by Trish Annese
I meet M. in Prague on a lonesome Sunday in March as I chase a lost turquoise scarf down an asphalt alley and she retrieves it, stepping from the recesses of a darkened doorway—a mistress of ceremonies stepping into the spotlight—and restoring it to me with a flourish.
by Angela Nishimoto
Using the de-thorner to flake off the extraneous, plucking damaged, unsightly petals one by one. Thorns, leaves, stems, petals scattered around my feet. At this time and place, roses needed to be in bud to sell. If they were bloomed out, they were trashed; like other produce, they had a short shelf life. Continue reading
by Russell Thayer
Maggie waited on a barstool, ready to enjoy a night of hot jazz. Another long day of restaurant work had ended, and she was finally free of her custard-yellow uniform, white apron, and the idiotic mutterings of her co worker, Eve. The thought of Ronnie Johnson’s Combo on stage soon at the New Orleans Swing Club made Maggie snap her fingers with excitement. She’d dance tonight if a man asked her. Someday she might even get up on stage and beat that old piano herself. Continue reading
by Sharyn Skeeter
From the novel Dancing with Langston from Green Writers Press
The jerk sat with his fingers tapping on the meter, waiting for his tip.
“Lady! Look, I can’t get the cab through. They got that truck blockin’ the street. You gotta get outta here.”
“Get out here? Are you kidding?”
This wasn’t good for me, but he was right. There was no way into the side street, past the construction truck and parked cars. I had to lug out from the back seat the old blue suitcase and plaid carry-on that I’d brought for Cousin Ella’s clothes. Continue reading
by Ace Boggess
Inmate Buck Berk ran the buffer for an hour before it bumped a chair and the snake leapt out at him. Well, it didn’t so much leap as wobble, its insignificant head slicing the air in a down-up motion more like a woodpecker’s. It bounced a dozen times, then stilled. Continue reading