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“Death By Bleaching”

Issue 36 by Lara Colrain

They tell me that I’m not dying.
That my limbs aren’t burning.
That my face isn’t as ashen as I make it out to be.
But what do they know –
the false prophets with their loose lips, tailored suits, and painted-up lies?

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To Hunt and Be Hunted

Issue 36 by Alexander Koch

It was a quiet October day, drizzling and cold as dusk edged its way over the hills. In southwestern Wisconsin, out in the hollows far from any civilization, a small cabin renovated into a viable home stood by an outcropping of trees. Smoke was billowing from the chimney while chickens scuttled around the wet grass. A glass storm door was the only thing preventing the cold breeze from seeping its way into the house. Through that glass door, a woodstove squatted low to the floor, casting heat to fight back the cold of the crisp autumn day. However, this wasn’t just any October day.

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Heat Wave

Issue 36 by Aaron William

Gooooooooooood morning Woodfield! This is Kap Freeman with your drive time weather update. It’s gonna be HOT again today! [cue: sizzling bacon sfx] Mostly sunny with a High of 92, heat indexes creeping into the triple digits. Continuing into this evening with tonight’s low only getting down to 81. [cue: loud barfing sfx] Then HOT again tomorrow!

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Breeze

Issue 36 by Alpheus Williams

The headland rises before the horizon like a giant lion’s paw, sun bleached and golden. Morning mist lifts above it in a soft mantilla of grey gossamer. You can just hear the breakers over the heavy equipment, the banging of gears and the blades of the bulldozers scarring the earth.

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Keep Going

Issue 36 by Forrest Brown

It’s October in British Columbia and unseasonably warm. This means it’s also hot in the cabin of the twin-prop Cessna carrying me northwest, so I twist out of my sweatshirt and squirm in my seat to find a comfortable way to sit. No success.

I’m on assignment for Outdoors, going to interview Diana Li at her vacation cabin up north.

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Onslaught

Issue 36 by Julie Beals

You are moving forward! You are moving forward. You’re cruising down the road in your jeep, on the way to work. The leather seat is cool beneath you; the world that’s passing by is overcast, but the yards and flora surrounding the nearby houses are almost a fluorescent green. There was a thunderstorm the night before.

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How We Got Here

Issue 36 by Cory Essey

We danced on my porch on the night I buried my dad. My feet were bare against the weathered wood, smooth under my skin. My dress, black and wrinkled, shifted in the cool night air and I remembered my father holding me up to the sky above his head. My arms outstretched, face toward the sun and flying, flying.

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Twisting Time  

Issue 36 by Gary Bolick

JENGA, yes, JENGA and rain. Both are safe for all ages, right? At the beach, sheets of rain rather than rays of sunshine coating the beach. JENGA! Throw in a slumber party game, a few choice words, a little alcohol, nothing too severe: Pinot Grigio, and wait. Now add a little, no, a lot more rain, bingo! Problem solved, right?

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“A Walk on the Edge”

Issue 36 by Jill Bronfman

Let’s go to the beach today
It’s closed, I know, the Great Highway, the great expanse
But I know a way in-
I’m a scientist.
I’ll show them my credentials, say you’re my assistant

We’re here to study the shoreline, what’s left of it

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“A Sestina for Turbulent Times”

Issue 36 by Ada Jo Mann

Our kids march in the streets for Climate Change.
They’re chanting we are running out of time
disturbed by watching all the rising seas
from hurricanes, huge fires, torrential rains.
Their fears and tears give me a bit of hope
that our vast world will flourish when I’m gone.

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The Road to Bohemia

Issue 36 by Martha Branson

There should have been French-Creole farmhouses overlooking the Mississippi River, wide gallery porches under deep overhangs, rockers waiting for hot, humid summer evenings spent in society with neighbors. The yards should have been surrounded by weathered brick and iron fences and concrete statuary.

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