by Nathan Alling Long
Before the pigeon, I woke up with worry, a stone of dread that would skip from the leak in the roof to the water bill, from the pile of unwashed clothes to the peeling paint on the window sills. It would eventually settle in one spot in the pool of doubt and sink down deep—to a reoccurring tooth ache, the check engine light in the car, the credit card bill that depleted its limit like diminishing oxygen in a mine shaft.
by Mariah Rigg
For Papaya, the weekdays of summer are filled with the garden. She and her mama plant cosmos, pick mangoes, watch the chunkily ridged black-white-and- yellow-striped caterpillars curl and uncurl themselves into inching balls, devouring milky crownflower leaves, weaving themselves into chrysalides, so that they can break out as delicately feathered Monarch butterflies. Some days are sprinkled with sun, sand, and salt. Other days they pick flowers on the edges of the brown, dirt trails that run through the green ridged mountains. On the steamy, lazy days they lie in the rectangular shade of the tin carport and read aloud from the Chronicles of Narnia. Continue reading
by Rebecca Keller
1 The Mother, 1996
Yolanda fussed in her playpen, working up to a howl. Maria launched herself out of the chair like an awkward pole-vaulter. Her belly was heavy, and the sweat trickling between her breasts felt like an insect in her bra. Being pregnant the first time had been easy. Yolanda had been small and light, floating easily in her middle, light and calm. Continue reading
by Eva Lomski
a fuk a fuk a fuk
She wished she knew the species of tropical bird in the palm tree making that call, because she wanted to pin a medal to its chest. Late afternoon, just as the sun disappeared from the pool, and champagne corks were heard popping all over the resort, a fuk a fuk a fuk it called, tiredly, plaintively, to a potential rival or mate.
by Karl Luntta
He sat on a fallen palm tree on the beach, dazed, the pain in his ankle peaking, maybe turning the corner. He’d already begun to think of it as a foreign thing, not part of his body, no danger to him, nothing to worry about. At least he’d begun to will it so. Out here in the middle of nowhere, no doctor, nurse, no clinic on the island, things could go south quickly, and with little flourish.