Christmas Eve Skeleton

by Mike Schoeffel

She is 28 weeks pregnant when she overdoses in the backseat of a rusty Honda Accord. Heroin, of course. It’s always heroin. Bad batch going around. Happens every couple of months. No overdose calls, no overdose calls, then BOOM: three in one shift. Continue reading

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The Third Most Valuable Spice

by Phoebe Yeoh

“Did you know,” my grandmother quipped, “that cardamom is one of the most expensive spices in the world?” We were baking in her big yellow kitchen, our annual tradition on Christmas Eve. Snow fell softly outside the big bay window, glass steamed up with the scent of her famous Pebernødder. “Saffron and vanilla are the only ones that cost more.” She kissed me on the cheek and leaned down to pop a little cookie dough ball into my mouth, just as she always had for the past twenty-three years. Continue reading

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You Are Still Here

by Ayotola Tehingbola

Tobilola, I know you in so many ways. I know what you are feeling when you start to skip a movie and what you are thinking when you raise your brows at a song. I know you need a cold bottle of Coke to ease off the tension and that sleep is your safety. I know when you need a hug or a meeting of fingertips or just a touching of shoulders. I know you eat your nails when in dire need of something smart to say. I know that you will never intentionally hurt anyone’s feelings. I know you need to talk about us when you ask for a walk to the bridge. I know that humor is your escape and design your passion. I know that you never know what you want to eat. I know you abhor plantain. I detest it too. I know you hate being woken up. I know you like it when our faces align and our noses touch. I know you like to catch my lips and release me for air. I have learned you and now, I know you in so many ways. Continue reading

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On Taiko: The Invading Commander to his Soldiers

by Corinne Wohlford Mason

Listen.

When you begin to
hear the drums pound out a rhythm
you’ve reached the city’s edge. Continue reading

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Material Resistance

by Oksana Maksymchuk

Nowhere safe to go
I keep myself hidden in
an anonymous uniform Continue reading

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