The Rothmans Job – by Mitchell Toews

A STORM LIKE THIS was rare. Snowflakes blocked out sky and sun and moon and stars. The flakes – as big as baby fists – had been falling for three days. Light and dry, they flew, then settled, then flew again – whipped by a dodgy north wind. At night, the tops of buildings disappeared…

Disaster Relief – by Caleb Echterling

A National Weather Service are-you-crazy-for-the-love-of-God-get-inside warning coughed from the idling trucks’ tinny speakers. Twilight darkness captured the noon sky. Hailstones fell from the sky like ticker tape at a Yankees’ championship parade. Molten lava provided emergency track lighting along the roadway shoulder. Highbeams twinkled from the stalled National Guard convoy. Soldiers – ripped from their…

Oreo – by Kristine Brown

“No, it’s not candy.” Ms. Shoestack giggled as my eyes grew big. Four rubber moulds, all a pastel shade. I thought of the bubblegum on sale at the Sanrio store, Hello Kitty and friends dancing across boxes of blinding tin. “She’s always holding her crayons in a fist. I know it’s not part of the…

Bones – by Natalie Crick

Bones I have to go back. I have to keep searching   For something alive Among the dead.   I am yet undecided How to arrange   Her bones. I want to conjure   The dark red throbbing heart. Regrow her hair and teeth   The way they used to be. Her legs are in…

Yorick / God and Murder – by Paul Ilechko

Yorick   The children kick the skull down the road. It’s how they play football in a war zone. Alas, poor Yorick. We never knew him, or the million others who, like him, lost their heads to violence in these years of murder and disgrace.   Alas poor Yorick. Perhaps you were an intellectual, targeted…

Bloodmilk / Ghostly Garden – by Avalon Graves

BLOODMILK Spidersilk forms as you exhale, words woven to invoke as you levitate through this plane, effortless. Feral female energy pours from the core of your breast; bloodmilk spills abundantly careless and vital. You resurrect barren lands, your eyes feed. Your smile satiates. Thunder strikes, crowds throw shade, you make lemonade (sage and spirit personified…

Mirror – by Jeremy Spears

*** Jeremy Spears’s poems have appeared such publications as The Green Mountains Review, Five2one, The MockingHeart Review, The Furious Gazelle and Wordgathering. He is a recipient of the David Lindahl Prize from the JWR. He lives and works in Phoenix, Arizona.

The Library Tale – by Ray Busler

She lay upon a couch of deeply tufted leather; leather dyed a color darker than spilled burgundy, lighter than clotted blood.  Although the air in the study was almost chilling, a thin film of perspiration formed on her back, buttocks and thighs.  This effect, more of adhesion than lubrication, held her transfixed to the smooth…

Yard Dog – by Matthew Lyons

Later, they find him innocent, but that’s not the most important part.  He’s wearing his same brown suit with the ochre tie on the last day and when they finally read out the verdict, he doesn’t look at his lawyer or at the empty seats where his family ought to be or even at the…

The Adirondacks – by Marina Rubin

What do I remember about that day? That I was closer to God? That I was good? That I did what any good daughter would do? I was so preoccupied with my trip to the Adirondacks that I didn’t notice how pale my father was, sitting in the kitchen, rubbing his stomach and sighing; or…

Smolder – by DENNIS FRIEND

Smolder By Dennis Friend       “What was your girlfriend’s name?” Konni had been reading the newspaper when she glanced up slowly and stared at me. I could not read the look on her face. What an odd question, I thought. Konni knew her name. In the 40-plus years we’ve been married, Konni has…