What Does It Take to Swim Around Manhattan?

In Issue 64 by Julie Labuszewski

August 19, 1989 in the East River
My breathing to the right. My breathing to the left. My breathing to the right. My breathing to the left. My escort boat on my right with the official race observer, the boat captain, Coach Foster, and my dad. My dad concerned about his twenty-seven-year-old daughter in a 28 ½-mile, non-stop race around Manhattan Island. My coach reassuring my dad.


Lucky Number 57

In Issue 64 by Kimberly Horg

Nowadays, it might be hard to imagine food tasting so terrible that you must cover the taste to eat it. Sad but true. Many people lived with dirty water and tainted food in the 1800s. It was a leading cause of death. Much of society drank alcohol daily because they had no other choice; clean drinking water was not an option, and soda and sparkling water were yet to be invented.


“On the Way to Conception” and “Different Folks”

In Issue 64 by Julie Benesh

My parents loved each other but it’s unlikely no one was harmed
on the long, broad path to my conception, and as for fidelity,
my mitochondrial DNA is British all the way to the damsel
du chambre of Queen Philippa, born in Tonbridge Castle,
mother unknown, fathered by Edward’s ambidextrous favorite.


The Carpenter and the Poet

In Issue 64 by Stan Dryer

The carpenter was the one who found the “Lovers Poem.” He was a big man who was fifty-six years old, shaved every morning and wore overalls and a light-blue work shirt. His thoughts were generally of levels, plumb bobs and squares and how he could best restore someone’s old house to its original beauty and purpose.


Be There Now

In Issue 64 by Timothy Ryan

“Door’s open!” Russell yells.
“When’s it not?” Geoff and Sarah push on into his foyer, absorbing the faint sound of an intricate minor key wailing. They navigate past the huge brass Sri Lankan oil lamp standing front and center topped with a crowing rooster. After hanging her coat on a hook, Sarah turns and stares the rooster in the eye.
Cool, Sarah thinks. Ragnarok. Wrong culture, I know.


The Wrong Kind of Love

In Issue 64 by Jan Little

The latest Time magazine with a photo of her ex-boyfriend Howard on the cover as person of the year lay crumpled in the trashcan. The article gave him mixed reviews in the superman category. Reporters said he throws super tantrums when people don’t like the way he fixes their problems. As a result, fewer police departments now ask for his help in catching criminals.


The Hour He Lost

In Issue 64 by Melissa Flores Anderson

Arturo pulled a clunky wooden wagon along the creek. Its wheels bounced on every rock and ridge. He went out early in the morning before the sun moved high overhead and the temperatures heated to the 90s. The wildflowers from spring had withered, replaced by yellowed grass that stood almost as tall Arturo, which is to say almost as tall as a man of small stature.


On Love

In Issue 64 by Glenn Verdi

Martin sat at a small patio table at the craft brewery. A pinkish sunburn on his bald spot and the slight build of an introvert were his most striking features. His friend Gabe sat across from him trying to attract the attention of the waitress. Gabe, with his large shock of white hair and broad shoulders twice the size of Martin’s, was not used to being ignored.


Seed People

In Issue 64 by Carol Campbell

I’ve always been able to see faces in things. Yes, of course in clouds, like the ones that trail into my view from the bay window, the purple and pink sea horses and scoop-necked swans swimming across a windy sky while I listlessly watch the UPS truck trying to get down the driveway. But I sometimes freak out my friends when I describe the green man in the woods or the child’s face in the dark, green holly leaves. Layla says I should go back to school to get my art degree, implying that cutting hair isn’t artistic enough.


Invisible (L)ink

In Issue 64 by David Kirby Fields

The first time he did it, it was a joke, really. An attempt to amuse himself during his otherwise soul-crushing nine to five.
“Per our recent conversation.”
“Circling back regarding the matter discussed below.”
“I just want to make sure I’m clear on next steps.”
“See attached.”
He wrote scores of emails every day. One hundred plus leading up to various milestones. Milestones. The term alone.


What Do You Call an Elephant?

In Issue 64 by Judith Ford

June 7
“Ma’am? Could you tell me one more time how you discovered the box?” The young policeman leaning in the doorway of Ruth’s living room looked up from the small, brown notebook he’d been writing in.
Ruth clenched her hands together in her lap to stop their shaking. After she’d called 911, she’d vomited into the kitchen sink, her teenage daughter, Grace, pacing behind her, saying over and over again, “I don’t know how that got there, Mom! I promise. I don’t know.”
“My daughter says it isn’t hers. Why would anyone bury a baby in my garden?” Ruth shuddered.