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Prosa

Prologue to “A Sibling’s Story”

Prologue to “A Sibling’s Story”

by Valerie Jeremijenko Doha, Qatar, 2007 It was shortly after I began my first yoga studio when a junior teacher, an expat wife, who wanted a different shift, or something told me I was ‘not very yogic.’ I looked at her, surprised. I was balancing on a tightrope that could easily become a noose, selling […]


Keweenaw Fugue

Keweenaw Fugue

by Donna Vitucci At the top of the world, winter winds take down so many you find them bent along the highway, en route to Schutte’s Bar, flannel spanning their trunks but limbs crippled, stiff on the snow, shoved off and piled in culverts like slain lumberjacks. How he made it to town in the […]


The Undercard

The Undercard

by Clara de la Torre The Budweiser Girls were doubling as cocktail waitresses and ring card girls at Night of Champions, a popular black-tie fundraiser held in the second-floor banquet room of the Lubbock Country Club. Two of the Budweiser Girls had just entered the ladies’ room, an old-fashioned privy and boudoir combo reminiscent of […]


Abelista

Abelista

by Barbara Robidoux The bees love the smell of the old woman. When she stands next to their hive Abelista places the palms of her hands against the walls and feels its vibrations. They communicate through pulses. Workers have short and frequent pulses while the queen’s pulse is long and drawn out like a sigh. […]


Resolved

Resolved

by Richard Trauger The tormenting began in the spring. He would stand behind a wall or beneath a tree, always hidden, waiting for one of us to come close. Without warning he’d let loose a loud noise, or hurl a stone. As word spread about the problem a few came to see for themselves. Our […]


The Backpack

The Backpack

by Carol Severino “But we’re old enough to be your mothers,” I warned the two young Cuban guys flirting with us fifty-somethings at the hotel pool on a hill overlooking the sea east of Havana. At their request—they claimed to be broke like everyone else in Cuba (although somehow they had managed to scrape up […]


Boundaries — A Lyric Essay

Boundaries — A Lyric Essay

by Artemis Savory Idaho is borderless; there is no fee, no permit demand to enter Sawtooth Wilderness. Where the Salmon River snakes beside Route 75—deer sprint—across the highway. The town, in summer, is 100 people, a few restaurants, dirt roads, two bars for dancing. Open mike and failing darts at Kasino Club. Lawless Rod & […]


Bear Market

Bear Market

by Jared Smith The hunter sat by his fire and waited. The crackling pine made it hard to distinguish the noise made by the one watching him, but he knew it was out there. The smell of garbage and food waste broiled in the California sun gave it away, the stink almost strong enough to […]


Borders

Borders

by Hugo Dos Santos *** The Ms went to church regularly, but only on Sundays at noon. And during football season they went earlier to the ten o’clock mass in order to be home for the games. We went every Sunday at the same time, year-round, and we prayed every night before bed, which we […]


Compulsion

Compulsion

by Casandra Lopez I have a compulsion to undress my pain on the page. I can’t seem to stop wanting to split myself open to figure out the hurt. I am reminded of doctors performing surgery on Brother on Bullet Night. Mother saw him laid bare as a newborn baby on the gurney. Chest opened […]


Lisboa: Five Years (after Clarice Lispector)

Lisboa: Five Years (after Clarice Lispector)

by Oona Patrick Lisboa is built on the ruins of the horizon. Lisboa is the image of my claustrophobia. In Lisboa, I can’t breathe. “All the Patrício men have bad lungs,” the old schoolteacher told my mother. They got it from here—where they couldn’t breathe. Lisboa is charcoal eyebrows and dust on my shoes. Lisboa […]


Fine Weather

Fine Weather

by Anya Achtenberg Today is the day, I can feel it, so I snake the plastic bag with my good clothes out from under my trunk, where it got a good iron job with the weight of all my worldly shit and the sit down of friends who stop by. Then I huff and puff […]


Mannish Boy: An Excerpt

Mannish Boy: An Excerpt

by Tomás Q. Morín She’s in her forties. Eyes red. Her hair is often brown, like wood chips or railroad ties or the stitches of a boot sole, like a leather belt, a fake leather belt, like the spears of wheat on a penny. Sometimes it is black or blonde or red. It is hardly […]


When We Were Small

When We Were Small

by Donna Vitucci

Once a neighbor teen strung me up, noosed rope from a tire swing around my shoulder and tightened, me a small fry girl a human tire swing. When you hang, by armpit or neck, the rope burns, skin wilts.

I screamed. […]


Rupture

Rupture

by Donna Vitucci The dad sat on his patio and sipped his early evening cocktail, minding his girls as they played in the yard turning gloomy. Neela and Coco, they were, with names like gorilla baby names, and with the sweet malleable mugs gorillas have before they elongate, grow second teeth, puff up linebacker-ish in […]


Cradle Song

Cradle Song

by Michael Díaz Feito

An old guitarist, teetering along Calle Ocho’s dotted blacktop, strummed gorgeously, drunk like we were. A portable tape player hung from his neck. It unspooled a solo voice, which the old man accompanied only with his guitar, because he was mute. In other settings, he was familiar. At the fairgrounds by the Everglades, or maybe during a dull segment on Sabado Gigante. But at 3 AM, for such a clownish figure to emerge from the dark street—It jarred us from our stupor. […]


Soap

Soap

by Avital Gad Cykman

Little bursts of laughter explode between the twin couches and around the table. I didn’t clean after last night’s visit. Crumbs of salt crackers and laughter still roll over my floor.

The laughing sound does not belong here. […]


Testimonio #27

Testimonio #27

by Philip Garrison

She won’t ride in a car unless she can sit in your lap. She vocalizes – it sounds like bad yodeling! – when bathed, and barks when not offered a table scrap. Or when she wants in the door, or out, esta chucha tan delicada! Favorite meal processed pork liver scraps, favorite snack ditto. Aloof, rather feline, utterly Latina, her Husky-look deceives the unwary. […]


Family Ritual

Family Ritual

by Jamie Figueroa

The skin is sung off. Bodies are prayed over by the families of the deceased for three days. This ensures the bodies will not bleed. While the family whispers prayers that stalk the deceased into the great beyond, cedar smoke swells around the Harvesters, purifying them, causing temporary blindness. […]


A Whooping

A Whooping

by Alice Rose Crow~Maar’aq Pa smoked a pipe. Back then Ma was addicted to cigarettes. She stockpiled green packs of Salems. It was summertime when the boys and I arranged to pull a cigarette from a couple different packs, thinking that way our folks wouldn’t know, so couldn’t get after us for sneaking.We snuck slim […]


Sober House

Sober House

by Joe Bichl Grady’s hands shook as he set out the fresh poison. He placed the containers strategically, just like the instructions said. Flush against the baseboards, where they liked to run. The poison pellets looked like little green mints, like Tic Tacs, for Christ’s sake, but when ingested, they didn’t make your breath fresh. […]


The Tarot

The Tarot

by Cheryl Savageau There are over twenty decks in the maple chest. The Rider Waite deck is the first deck I owned, the learning deck, the Mother of all twentieth century decks. The second deck, the round Motherpeace deck with its childlike and women-centered images, is the feminist deck. I am the woman bathing in […]


Wet Ashes

Wet Ashes

by Cheryl Savageau I am in the closet, hunting for the source of the smell. Something smells like wet ashes. I am sniffing sneakers, on my knees looking in corners, not knowing what I might find.My nose gets tired and I quit for the moment. What smells like wet ashes except wet ashes? Outside the […]


Frybread Grease

Frybread Grease

by Tiffany Midge The first time Aaron kissed me, beneath the Alaskan Way Viaduct outside the OK Hotel Café, he was loose-lipped and slack. The kiss felt unwanted, lecherous, and a distant but familiar panic came on strong and sudden, flight or flight. His hands toggled my back like a pair of starfish, pressed against […]