Her Eyes Reflected Oceans

In September 2023 Issue by Kathleen Zamora

At times it seems that just when life seems to be going your way, every little thing you could possibly imagine goes wrong. Everything you take for granted comes into view. The simple mornings, the perfect nights, the sleepy smiles, the warm dinners, the last hug you gave someone, the last words you said to another becomes permanent, fossilized in their memory, trapped in the coffin we call a body.


Choosing Gratitude

In September 2023 Issue by Nancy L. Glass

Amanda, our hospice nurse, answered the door when I rang the doorbell, showed me where to leave my shoes and escorted me into the den, where I found Faiz’s mother, Haima, sitting on the floor. Haima apologized that the air conditioner was out again, for the second time in a week. Within minutes, my slacks and blouse stuck to my skin, and the air in the den felt heavy despite a frantic fan and the open window in the breakfast room.


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

In September 2023 Issue by Sandro F. Piedrahita

When Rómulo and Julissa met at the Salsodromo, not knowing that was the moment when the past and the future were forever riven asunder, they both blatantly lied to each other, knowing there was nothing else to do. Each of them had an inadmissible secret. Rómulo could not tell Julissa he was a lieutenant in the Peruvian military. The Shining Path had “a thousand eyes and ears,” and if he disclosed he was a soldier, his life would be in mortal danger.


Fear in America

In September 2023 Issue by Kathleen Tighe

My students are working their way through The Rime of the Ancient Mariner when the superintendent’s voice crackles over the loudspeaker. “Excuse me teachers and students. We will now conduct a hard lockdown drill. Hard lockdown.” My class responds immediately, leaving their desks and joining me in the corner furthest from the room’s single entrance. Cody flicks the light switch off, and all sink to the floor.


Old Boyfriend

In September 2023 Issue by Madeleine Belden

Chase Richard Pitt–my first love–came back into my life at 3:57 p.m. on a Friday afternoon in October. Well, technically he walked into Paris Café, my modest thrift-store-decorated establishment, asking if he could get a bottle of water and a slice of quiche to go. I know the exact time because I close my café every day at four, and I was just heading toward the door.


A Kitten Before the Fire

In September 2023 Issue by David Kennedy

This was not how Senator William Sharon had intended to spend his retirement. Having amassed his fortune, failed to obtain re-election, and outlived his wife, Sharon had dreamed of living off the interest, tossing aside the newspapers once he tired of politics, and paying for discreet liaisons who could be trusted to dispose of themselves once they were no longer needed. It had come as an unpleasant surprise that the tides of business were ever-changing and unpredictable…


A Workplace

In September 2023 Issue by Quin Yen

“A workplace is like a family, a home,” Megan says aloud as she faces her computer. She is thinking about the eight hours that people spend together at work, which is more than the time they spend awake at home.
It makes sense. Some even say it’s like an arranged marriage. Like it or not, you have to work with people, unrelated to you, hour after hour, day after day, and year after year.
Megan has worked in the Rehab Department for almost thirty-eight years. That is a long time.


“Farewell, My Lovelies,” “A Chameleon Named Silencio,” and “The Unwoke Wizard of Oz”

In September 2023 Issue by Robert Eugene Rubino

Good riddance, alcohol.
Good riddance mary-jane.
Good riddance hashish and uppers and downers.
Good riddance Timothy Leary … we hardly knew ye.

Good riddance to
those bottles of quenching cold ice-cold cottonmouth-inducing beer & ale
and those steins of on-tap room-temp Guinness stout
— it’s good for you the billboard said and the billboard wouldn’t fib.



In September 2023 Issue by Bill VanPatten

Henry Baker sat in his wheelchair outside the Caring Hearts assisted living facility in Mañana under the shade of a tree that he reckoned might be almost as old as him. Then again, maybe not. He was eighty-five and the home was built in the early 1950s, so unless the tree was already here, it may be only about seventy years old. He remembered when the building went up.


Meeting Mamie Eisenhower

In September 2023 Issue by Lori Crispo

At twenty-three, Marion Jennings (née Gustavson) is too old to be homesick.
Or so her mother says during their once-a-month, long-distance chat.
“There’s no time for wallowing, Marion Louise. You have a husband and a new baby to care for,” she tells her. “Instead of crying about living in paradise, you should be attending to your husband’s career.”
This is not what Marion wants to hear.


On a Sunny Friday

In September 2023 Issue by Hardev Matharoo

It was good weather for May. People were lying in the park, wearing short-sleeved tops against all odds and calling it summer. You walk outside with a jacket out of habit and regret it twenty minutes later. You’ll sunbathe but you won’t wear sun cream because somehow it feels like the sun can’t hurt you. If you’re so inclined, you start thinking those romantic springtime thoughts, where you wonder what summer might be like and whether you will be happy because happiness seems a right when so many people are smiling in front of you.


Ashes of Old Lovers

In September 2023 Issue by Jo-Anne Rosen

That couldn’t be my father on the phone. Forty years had gone by without a single card or message from him, and for all I knew he was dead. No, my elderly neighbor was teasing me.
“Pete dear, I’ve got a client on the other line,” I said.
“Mary Edwina, please listen.”
I listened. Pete could not have known my horrid middle name.
“I’m Edward Keller. I’m your father.”
“Hold on,” I said. “I’ll be right back.”


The One She Left Behind

In September 2023 Issue by Peter Alterman

It was Friday in Madrid. Hot. Humid. Noisy. The streets of the Centro were crowded with tourists foreign and domestic. By eleven A.M. it was almost impossible to move through the Prado for the crowds. Tour guides drilled pathways through the mobs with their colored pennants. Echoing off the marble walls and high ceilings, the din was as loud as the inside of a railway station at rush hour. The air dripped with garlic and stale breath.


Desert Venus

In September 2023 Issue by David W. Berner

From this distance, he’s not easy to see. Not with the naked eye. He’s old. I know that’s true. How old, I don’t know. He sits there on a beat-up couch on the porch, a big porch that wraps around part of the house and has screens on the sides to keep the bugs out. But it can’t do that too well if it’s just on the sides. I see him use his hand to swat away the eye gnats. They can be irritating late on a warm desert evening.