Comfort

by Bruce Petronio

Before they start the game, she asks him to get the kitchen timer. She’s sitting upright in the Barcalounger, in a flannel nightgown and a Buff head scarf, the Scrabble Deluxe board on a TV table between them. He gives her a look; they never use a timer, only the Merriam-Webster Collegiate she’s had since grad school a quarter century ago. Continue reading

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Horse on a Plane

by Carol Ellis

Last time she flew she sat next to a horse
whose voice harmed no one even as she bent
her head to look out the window. Continue reading

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Just Another Family

by Susan Robison

Sharon is done training monkeys for the day. She just taught a nine-inch capuchin how to flip pages for a woman in her seventies with Lou Gehrig’s disease. The monkey, Delores, advanced in years herself with fingers no longer as nimble as they used to be, found it hard to turn each page and often clumped several together. Delores squealed with frustration and finally got down on all fours and looked around the table as if to find an escape route. Sharon had to figure out something not only for the old woman, but for Delores. After trying several strategies including well-timed offerings of pumpkin seeds, she lit on having Delores lick her thumb before turning a page and ta da!—success. Delores’s thrilled vocalizations were so high-pitched she was singing as she licked and flipped. Task complete, she stood and stroked Sharon’s cheek. Continue reading

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Eve Interviews Lilith and Asks if She Has Regrets

by David Rogers

Regret–
that was the real original sin
The river flows a different way
To paddle against it for long is folly
Hummingbird and mockingbird
nest on branches Continue reading

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Bloom’s Women

by Francine Witte

Bloom isn’t much.  Near 60, and like a bag of saggy potatoes. On top of that he smells.  Like urine mixed with tobacco. But there are women, a number of them now, who find his odd smell sexy. Animal pheromones it says to their lonely vaginas. Continue reading

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