by Virginia Watts
You are either born afraid of horses or you aren’t. I tried to pretend I wasn’t afraid of them the summer I was fourteen. Blame the recent television coverage of the equestrian events on the Olympic games in living color. Female riders like string beans. Absolutely no hips. Just slinky. Gorgeous, oiled leather boots molded to their calves. How did they get those boots on and off? Continue reading
by Mark Brazaitis
The first trouble was the boy.
Mike Little said he was lonely. He missed his parents and his brother. He missed his bedroom. He missed the café at the corner of the two busy streets where he used to meet his girlfriend after school. This was, of course, before she broke up with him. He was with us because she’d broken up with him, he confessed. He wanted to show her he didn’t need her—he wanted to show her he didn’t need her or the entire earth. Continue reading
by Janet Yoder
Early in the coronavirus pandemic of 2020, two of my cousins and I did a Zoom ukulele session. Before the pandemic, we had planned a cousin reunion in McPherson, Kansas. A wheat farm near McPherson is where my cousins grew up, where their mom and my dad grew up, where my Grandpa Yoder farmed, where his father farmed, where one cousin and her husband still farm. We had planned the trip months ago. My Aunt Mary Ellen is 88 years old and lives in the skilled nursing section of her retirement home there. She is the family historian, storyteller, and one of its musicians. So, my sister Gail and our three cousins planned the reunion. We all anticipated our time together, especially Aunt Mary Ellen. But the coronavirus arrived and we had to settle for our Zoom ukulele session. That’s how I learned about audio latency. Continue reading
by Alex Manuel
Some names were highlighted
in a faded yellow marker, and I don’t understand why.
The first few were boys. Initially I thought
they might’ve been her school-yard crushes,
but I doubt my mom had a crush
on her chubby English teacher. In his photo, he wore
glasses that made his ears bulge out.
A jokester chicken-scratched
Dumbo by his name. Continue reading
by Brad Crenshaw
All said, things are settling down.
It’s that sort of world, definitely
haunted, but those who know report that roads
are open in Los Angeles, where people
try to breathe again, and citizens
in India can see the Himalayas
white as frozen ghosts. It gives me heart
somehow. Hindus wave at neighbors, and
in Tuscany the sheltered businessmen
are singing on their ledges. Early morning
somewhere lately, oilmen wake on ocean
platforms without blasting, no spills
out of the center of the earth. Almost
no one’s getting murdered anymore. Continue reading