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The Ecstasies of Adalenie Santaliz

In January 2024 Issue by Sandro F. Piedrahita

Now that she is gone – meningitis in a Brazilian convent – perhaps it will be easier to put everything into perspective. Perhaps now I can figure out what I never fully understood while she was alive.

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The Cave of Altamira

In Winter 2024: Climate Crisis by Stephen Newton

In the final days of the Age of Dwindling Resources, Alejandra Sánchez, as young and fearless as a latter-day Joan of Arc marching to war, led a ragtag procession of nearly two hundred women from their city of Santillana del Mar to the sandbanks of Playa El Sable where they gathered to witness the end of the world.

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Chasing Paradise

In Winter 2024: Climate Crisis by Marianne Dalton

This series, Chasing Paradise, draws upon my work as a fine artist in painting, as I create stylized photographs of flowers and plants found in my rural environment.

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Together

In Winter 2024: Climate Crisis by Jaime Gill

We slept at gunpoint but woke up alive, so it was a good night.
For the first time since Bai disappeared, I didn’t dream of monsters. I dreamt I was in my tiny childhood bedroom and my mother was alive and calling me for a pungent dinner I could smell wafting from the kitchen, sweetness and spice.

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Beatniks of the Kerosene Age

In Winter 2024: Climate Crisis by J. M. Platts-Fanning

Captain’s Log: The last stage of our short Kerosene Age is upon us. Stationed here, at the Rainbow Rides Fairgrounds, the end we’ve all been anticipating is now wetting the souls of our feet. Our best estimates place us only a day ahead of the imminent deluge.

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You-you

In Winter 2024: Climate Crisis by Benjamin Hollo

There isn’t a hard edge to be found in the hut. Round walls slope into concave ceiling. Amoeba-shaped windows display the world outside: ferns, wavering in steam, and droplets dangling from speckled red toadstools. So vibrant, these exterior views could almost be cinemagraphs, mounted on soft grey walls, inside the climate-controlled seal.

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Weathering A Storm

In Winter 2024: Climate Crisis by Tinker Babbs

When the rain came, no one in Mossville, Georgia, could have ever imagined the Ohoopee River would spill over its banks and become the reason for so much tribulation. Everyone assumed a brand-new Army Corp of Engineers earthen dam would hold back the river for the next hundred years. But they were wrong.

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“Brood X”

In Winter 2024: Climate Crisis by Marie-Louise Eyres

Each insect turns a fraction on its axis, a cocooned child shifting in a half-sleep,
oblivious beyond cool mud to flames of wildfires as they streak across the hills
of Paradise.

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The Swans

In October 2023 Issue by Diana Radovan

In front of the door of her building, Maria’s male black cat Dash is waiting for Steve’s cuddles. Steve lifts Dash up and kisses him on the head. Dash allows it.
— This thing could kill me, he says, and Maria knows Steve means Dash, as usual.
Steve places Dash back on the ground. Dash disappears behind the brick wall surrounding Maria’s garden. Maria and Steve go inside. Apparently, Steve is allergic to Dash.

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Jasmine

In October 2023 Issue by Sally Ventura

When her uncle came to visit from Florida, he brought a bagful of shells.
“Look at you! How big you’ve gotten! C’mere, c’mere! Give your Uncle Glenn a big hug! Aren’t you glad to see your Uncle Glenn?”
Her siblings (“half-stepsiblings,” as her mother joked about her confusion over the distinction between stepsiblings and half-siblings) were jealous that he gave her the big conch shell, but her Uncle Glenn had said that she was the youngest, so she would appreciate it the most.

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The Twelve-Year Chaqwa: A Time of Suffering and Chaos

In October 2023 Issue by Sandro F. Piedrahita

Like the original mother Mary, Mariá Elena Moyano – known affectionately as la negra by the masses – was considered a mother not just to her own two sons, whom she adored, but also to the thousands of children of Villa El Salvador, the largest shantytown in Lima. She had run hundreds of communal kitchens and the extensive Glass of Milk program since her days as president of the Women’s Federation of Villa El Salvador. By February of 1992, by which time she was vice-mayor of the town of three hundred thousand people, the program delivered a glass of milk each day to sixty thousand children and elderly who would otherwise succumb to malnutrition.

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The Twelve-Year Chaqwa: A Time of Suffering and Chaos

In October 2023 Issue by Sandro F. Piedrahita

In France, I met Irving Rivera, a Puerto Rican born in New York City, about twenty years older than me. He lived on the same floor as I did in the Maison Américaine at the Cité Universitaire in Paris. I saw him often, since there was a cafeteria in the basement of the dorm room, where both he and I often ate. We gravitated toward a group of Spanish-speaking friends, some Latin American but mostly Spaniards, who also lived at the huge American dormitory. I would also regularly see Irving on a table in the plaza behind the Maison Américaine, with a sign saying, “Independence for Puerto Rico Now!” He requested donations, ostensibly to help rid Puerto Rico of its American colonial masters.

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Corona Choreography

In October 2023 Issue by Susan S. Levine

A large dispenser of no-name hand sanitizer should not be the first object patients see as they open the door bearing the engraved brass plaque SANDRA R. KRASNAPOL, PH.D. So, Sandra had positioned the bottle behind the lamp on the small bookshelf in the vestibule. Immediately visible, yes, but an offer rather than an outright command. She expected the alteration would not go unnoticed by her patients—and it didn’t.

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Born Naked

In October 2023 Issue by Justine Busto

I was born naked, but I got dressed up as soon as I could. Mom teased me about that when I was a kid. When I chose a fringed flapper dress for my first day of school, she rolled her eyes at my Miss Priss personality. She was a single mother, just starting out in the practice of law, had put herself through law school. And she didn’t work for some fancy-pants law firm. She was a public defender, so she didn’t have time or money for frills.

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Answers to Questions Not Anticipated

In October 2023 Issue by Ricardo José González-Rothi

I slip the CD into the car audio slot and the music begins. As always, Cole tells me he likes riding in my tiny car because we can play CD’s and listen to music and we dance and get silly while driving.

I hunt through Goodwill stores and garage sales, always looking for “hidden jewels,” preserved covers and discs without scratches on the tracks. Cole is very specific about his likes. He doesn’t much care for little kid tales. He likes The Four Tops, Jimmy Buffett, The Beatles and Raffi. This day I slip in Jimmy Buffet’s “Greatest Hits” into the slot. Track 7.

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The Pointillist Strain, A Requiem

In October 2023 Issue by Mark Knego

Two women walk in tandem down a cobblestoned street, one of many radiating like the veins of an emerald-green tree leaf from the metro down through the park towards a museum. The park is lined by elegant two-story mansions with beautiful balconies.
Children mount small horses inside the park in a corral of sorts, their moms adjust their helmets, while Daddy snaps pictures.

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The Voodoo Shell

In October 2023 Issue by Marianne Dalton

I hold the tarot card in my hand and stroke the silky surface, studying the illustration. It’s a colorful drawing of a woman seated on a throne. She’s beautifully dressed in a red billowy gown with a crown of moons on her head. I rub my fingers over the image as if using a paintbrush, imagining I’m the artist creating it. Mom’s voice interrupts my dream drawing. She directs me with her sweet sing-song upbeat tone. Put the card here on the table, face up, and then take another from the stack and flip it over next to it. Mom smiles and looks me straight in the eyes. Her cobalt blue eyes glisten and sparkle. I’m mesmerized.