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“Ah,Um”

Issue 19 by Rainier Harris

Cacophony of instruments rudely disrupt the silence in my ears &
claim the space as their own to live and thrive. First, the saxophone
with its tang & pang & variety & what is. Piano, forte, mezzopiano
repeat. The tongue pitter patters on the mouthpiece, embouchure tightening
its hold, showing no signs of regression yet soft and silky.

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The Hunters

Issue 19 by Anna Kaye-Rogers

Her prey was close; she could feel it. Ochre Number 8 had been sold out in the greater Tri-State area her past two weekend shopping runs, but there had been a restock, she was sure of it. The lanyard-wearing woman behind the counter had told her there was a truck every two weeks. It was time.

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The Not-Wife

Issue 19 by K. A. Hough

I pull the key from the ignition, replace my hands on the steering wheel, sit and stare at the windscreen. Tucked in, safe, away from the damp that arrived with spring.

Fog in the city. Fog in the hinterland. Fog in the head.

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Yearling

Issue 19 by Jaclyn Reed

Wake up to the cock crowing in the front yard. It isn’t even light out yet. Through your bedroom window on the second story of the farm house you can see the summer sky just starting to turn pink and purple at the edge of the pasture. You see one of the yearlings bucking around the fence waiting for breakfast.

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Autumn

Issue 19 by W. A. Schwartz

There’s something wrong with my hands. Lately, I’ve taken to squeezing them into fists—grasping at something—at the most peculiar times. When I’m checking out at the grocery store. Facetiming my daughter who is away at college. Making love to my husband. My thumbs ache and I’ve noticed the knuckles on my right swell to the size of cumquats in the morning. When that happens, I hide my hand.

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Penned Inn

Issue 19 by Damon Piletz

The house tucked back
So you’d never
See its entirety unless
You were on the towpath
Which was exactly where
She was trying to drop
Those last twenty-five she’d
Been feverishly struggling to lose

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On the Way to Work – Relevancy

Issue 19 by Piper Templeton

On the way to work, Shirley Lamothe stopped on her porch to pet the new cat. She had ceased naming the felines long ago. The strays tended to congregate around her modest, wood frame rental house because she put out dishes of food and water and allowed them entry into the house if they so desired. They kept her company, as Brian stayed mainly sequestered in his tiny boyhood bedroom,

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An Unwelcome Guest

Issue 19 by Kit McCoy

Paul placed his finger on the pulse of his home in the dark of night to feel the soothing and generous spirit that surrounded him. His children had been dead tired, his wife irritable, and he was aching to be alone so that he could wonder about the melancholy that crept around the edges of his trip

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July 8, 1927

Issue 19 by Paul Luckhart

The wildfires burning in the city’s outlying regions were said to be the worst anyone could remember. A cloud carried through the streets, softening colours and dulling the edges. The features of structures and people were made indistinct, and all that was visible was what was near. I thought of glimpsing something I was not prepared for, like a monster jumping from outside the frame in a horror film,

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Quantum Solidarity: Making Hajj at Bear Lodge

Issue 19 by Kevin James

The mind-numbing atrocities at home and abroad dare me to respond. It’s as if world events conspired to belittle me, taunting me to try to make sense of bloodbaths by religious extremists with death machines improvised or designed. Perhaps it’s this very feeling of alienation and impotence that fuels the rage behind the headlines.

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The March Against Death

Issue 19 by Jeff Richards

I was standing on the steps of the Lee Mansion looking down on the crowds crossing Memorial Bridge and beyond that Lincoln Memorial. The crowd split and went to either side of the Memorial. It looked like a million people though I’m sure it was much less.

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The Bonsai Tree

Issue 19 by Sara Wetmore

A few months ago, I gave up on my office dracaena. I’ll admit, it had been having a rough time. Its leaves had all nearly fallen off, its stems soggy, its color faded. Truthfully, I had been thinking of letting it die for a while. Not just gradually either. I wanted it to suffer,

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