IF WE MISS THIS ONE by Abbie Barker

The morning sun highlights imperfections—the cigarette burn at the edge of my seat, the dust on the dash, the dried blood hugging the edges of Grant’s thumbnail. He’s disheveled, unshaven, his black hair kinked from a restless sleep. I want to slide my hand over his cowlick and smooth it…

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SNOWBANK by Frances Badgett

The night comes on so quietly, a hush riding each flake to the ground. The snowman slumps against the brambles, overwhelmed, the new snow wet, heavy. The quiet is unsettling, and all Mara can hear is the hiss of tinnitus in her left ear. She pops in headphones and listens…

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FRAGMENTS by Chelsea Plunkett

I. My mother tastes like the peanut butter sandwiches she made when I refused a homemade meal, Chai-spiced tea to soothe bronchitis, and a sprinkle of powdered sugar on brownies and banana bread. Her taste is stolen bites of cream cheese mixed with sugar as we make pumpkin cheesecake, steady…

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BONES by Wilson Koewing

I slide the glass racks to the side and peer into the dish pit where Bones struggles mightily to scrape the charred remnants of bread pudding from a hotel pan.   “Bones, how are you holding up?”  “Good, Chef Adam,” Bones says.  “Let me know if you get overwhelmed.”  “Ah, shit,”…

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MARKS by Monica Dickson

‘The phantom scribbler strikes again’ – Biro on gloss, 1976 The cubicle door is freshly scarred, blue ink on institutional green. This is where John learns to read. John has been constipated since he started school. His mother takes him to the doctor and they send him to hospital where…

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BEACH HOUSE by Jenny Stalter

Our house faces neither east nor west and sits in shadow. The tiny green house with the too much wicker. The tinted glass dishes full of seashells and tapestries accented with smooth beach glass. Oil paintings of seagulls. Mom really went for the beach look. Most people acquire a life…

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