Blessed Event(ually)

by JC Reilly

Like that cow-mother we saw once on our Grandpa’s Pennsylvania farm, straining with her calf that warm November day, you too lay impatient and writhing for your boy to come.  Late, it would be the first of many times he’d defy you.  “No drugs,” you’d said.

Tied to machines and IV, the nurse-call button strangled in your right hand like a dead mouse, you were trussed as the turkey your in-laws would roast ten days later on Thanksgiving.  Something tar-like and unholy lurked in your all-pupil eyes.  Curses no devil dare speak steamed from your mouth like poisoned milk. Continue reading

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Why Write

by Ed Bok Lee

The castle where I happened upon the roundness of suns
was an island prison on the ocean

No one visited my distractions here
or my more joyful sins

A sanctuary of sound and sense

The waves brought shells and seaweed I learned
to fill with palm honey Continue reading

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Ice and Regret

by Ann Howells

November,
moon of falling cold,
ice blighted, snow infested,

overcast sky tightened down—
fierce and oppressive—
as earth pulls cold around her. Continue reading

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Tiger Swallowtail

by Lisa Roullard

You arrived: leaf-like, designed—
black sparked across yellow.
A study in thin.

One black tail broken off.
Abdomen crumpled
like tea-stained paper. Continue reading

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The Pharmacist Malgre Lui

by Gay Baines

It all started with a little argument he had with his mother, coming out of a larger, more important argument with his father.

His father wanted him to be a scientist. “Something practical.” But Jesus liked words: English lit, writing, acting. Especially acting. He would be the next Raul Julia. He imagined himself playing Romeo, Macbeth, Hamlet, Lear. He would show the Anglos how great a Latino actor could be. Continue reading

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Filed under Fiction