Read Volume 21!

TABLE OF CONTENTS

FICTION

“Ragamuffin” by Phillip Scott Mandel

Ragamuffin. That’s what your father called you, in his raspy English vodka-addled voice. Regg-eh-muff’n. A big man, larger than Peter the Great. When you were a child, he was Stalin’s Great Terror. He was only trying to make you tough. Rah-gah-muffin.

“How to Breathe Like a Man” by Alex Apuzzo

“Y’all get hooked too easy,” he says, and I know he’s talking about me, too, because of how I can’t stop thinking about things, how I bite my nails in place of breathing. “And don’t forget nothing. Can’t just make do. Wanting so bad you think it’s a need, like air or water or warmth. That’s a woman for you.” 

“Vanishing Twin” by Jaime Campbell

Her hands settled on her abdomen, which pooched out even though nothing grew in there at all now. Still, the lingering shape reminded her of the war for survival that had taken place inside her as she looked from her stomach to Pesha.

NONFICTION

“I Am Thinking About Flowers” by Brianna Pike

I am trying to imagine blue and white and yellow flowers when my mother calls. I am trying to imagine aster and daisy and corn flower when my mother calls to tell me my grandmother is dying.

“Counting the Omer” by Marcela Sulak

The grasses are accustomed to bending. These winds are accustomed to prayer. 

“In the Mists” by David Micah Greenberg

Simultaneity allows us to recognize change. This is because the image of what is long gone remains, to show us how far we have cast it aside. 

“In Which I Imagine Running into Shinsuke Nakamura at Waffle House One Night” by Brian Oliu

Separation is key here: white from yolk, cream from coffee, each square a pit to fall into, rounded on some edges, hard and harsh like the prongs on a fork in others. 

POETRY

Two Poems by Yasmin Kloth
          “Moving Boxes Like Building Blocks”
          “Sea Glass”

All my broken places I hope
are not broken
in the same places in you.

“Self-Portrait as Diversionary Tactic” by Ann Keniston

Our mother’s body was a raft
that leaked or wasn’t tied

together right.

“Reading the Autobiography of William Carlos Williams” by Lex Runciman

He knows fever and worry flare at 3am,
knuckles or a fist on his door, or his phone rings-

“Joan of California” by Sheree La Puma

Before the wedding, Joan savors the sweet
of sweaters, cashmere & pearls.

“San Stefano” by Rebecca Aronson

I wanted mainly to look at the way the light falling through an arch
changes the mossy stubble on the ancient bricks

“The First Image, a Script” by Olivia Bates

the beauty of the gardens
is that there are so many
kinds

“The Unoriginal Presentation of an Eating Disorder” by A. M. Kennedy

I don’t kiss for a decade but tomorrow
would still be too soon. I chew my lips too if that helps.

“When I Hit Bottom” by Jeremy Radin

I wear the dark sweatshirt at the angry
height of summer let absence lay waste
to my hands

“Tearing Down Spiderwebs” by Ruth Baumann

When I would black out in stranger’s houses
& miss days at a time, yes, of course I held
keys between the fingers in my heart

Two Poems by Helen Hofling
          “Letter from a Mailbox Key to the Moon in the Puddle”
          “Letter from Dental Floss to a Funeral Home”

ritual is the foundation of meaning in society
you and I both know that let’s not be coy

“About My Tumor, Before I Meet Her” by Abby E. Murray

She—I know my tumor
is female—

“I Imagine Myself Grateful” by Susan Cohen

Afterbirth is membrane.
What can afterlife be made of?

“The Clearing: Off Penn’s Creek” by Steve Myers

Being down on his knees—was that what saved my mother’s brother,
up there at his Centre Cnty. cabin in the early Seventies?

“Embouchre” by Megan Merchant

My music teacher tells me to travel home, to always

end there.

“Equinox” by Jessica Goodfellow

No amount of day could ever be equal
to the same amount of night.

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