Current Issue

No Lights by Kim Kolarich

I met her at work at the advertising agency. I had graduated from DePaul University, and it was my first job. I got my own office; it was small, but I could shut the door and take a snooze if I had partied the night before. My parents said it would be easier for me…

Grandma Cloris by Grace Ocasio

I This morning wrapped around my ankles the way sunlight bleached your shins in that 1935 photo.   In a white and black polka dot dress that flows below your knees, you lean against a Chevrolet Standard, your left shoe glued to the car’s running board, right leg stilt straight.   The sun’s light defines…

The Katydids by Brett Peruzzi

The insect chorus is always loudest in August. It’s the katydids. The males join the cicadas and crickets late at night near the end of summer. They sing in quick bursts of three notes a song that gives them their name: kay-tee-did. They are like gossips whispering about what poor Katie did. They are rappers…

Casting for Bass in Maine by Brett Peruzzi

The water is bottle green, clear as the Caribbean. We can see the boulder-strewn bottom fifteen feet down. I paddle the canoe into position offshore in front of a red maple that hangs into the water a cool shadow for the bass to lurk in. An old fallen tree is splayed across the lake bottom…

Board-Box by Andrea Lambert

I’d left Nick once before. I remember when I left. 2006. The walls of the Echo Park squat where he was staying were pressboard. Black. Brown. Whorled with hibiscus. Soot. Pressed hard into the board-box as Nick liked to call it. The dim dawn hid through a crevasse in the wall. A pigeon lived in…

Cyclone by Will Cordeiro

The sermon done, I straggled past the barn, sun hawking blood through haze. Burnt noonlight scorched dead yellow grass and seeded clover — storm fast, gray brains above me soldered. My thoughts forking, I stalked past thickets to a freckled culvert that older children liked to laze and wander in. But fleeing water, they’d sought…

The Dance by Adelina Sarkisyan

The road to my village is like a snake – it will eat you alive if you let it. These are the dead, the dying, the not yet buried. These are the fig trees and the unmarried women and the beehives. These are the women who weave trees into their hair and pluck seeds from…

Milk and Honey by Adelina Sarkisyan

At birth, they fed me milk and honey and washed away the blood. Is it any wonder every month I try to forget? I desire red: sun, pomegranate, scarab, poppy. A blooming of the mouth, the lips, the eyelids. I see the green turn orange, the body of autumn where even color is one with…

The Hillside Graveyard by Ace Boggess

stones rise in a celestial planchette pointing to no & yes there is no marble lady to gaze with tenderness over the city the auto shop the warehouse the parole office where ex-cons wait smoking long cigarettes in the cold I am happy to be here now not there in the absence & omnipresence I…

I Kept Everything by Erin McIntosh

The high school graduation invitation from my neighbor, a film canister of teeth I lost, ready to be retrieved by the tooth fairy, plastic dollhouse furniture, theater programs, every letter ever sent or given me by my childhood friends Anne and Traci. We were prolific letter writers. I don’t know the last name of the…

Maybe by Chelsea Cristene

Look at the baby, my mother mouths against my ear, pulling me close. She sees babies at the mall, in the grocery store—babies in the tomatoes! Allen Ginsberg would shout. She calls my name to show me babies on her phone, searches my face for a sign of enchantment. But all I see are strangers born…

Nude Male with Echo #307 by Darren C. Demaree

I laugh on this side. I laugh on the other side. I’m not sure where I am & I am laughing at that. That was a decision I made to take on the immensity, the sheer swallowing of the world inhabited by so many small pieces & so much weight with my own small laugh.…

Beer Bottle Bird by Ed Tato

The beer bottle bird – she’d said when the monsoons hit – is made for the rains but each dry season eats sand to survive. The female leaves. It sleeps alone in a soffit or the galvanized pipe of a chain link fence. The male waits at the edge of a peach tree limb. He…

On the Cold Side of Things by Grey Held

The five months post-October – when warmth goes prodigal and cold wind sews the seams of my overcoat and cold wind finds places to sigh and whine through my bedroom windows’ seams — I didn’t used to mind them. In fact I used to love the rain-freeze that makes cities glisten, and the perfect white…

On the Final Day by Grey Held

On the final day of the Quit Smoking Class, I brought the 12-ounce jam jar the teacher said to get, to empty out and clean. It was to become the receptacle to put the butts of our cigarettes in – The good morning cigarette. The ten o’clock cigarette. The lunchtime cigarette. The mid-afternoon pick-me-up cigarette.…

Ghost Auction by Elisabeth McKetta

The auctioneer holds in his hands all the years we yearn for. Not that far from high school we already see the hardness of our wishes, how we would’ve shed our allowances to go to an auction where adult years were sold cheap. Where for a single night we could be eighteen or have sex…

This is my Body by C.J. Griego

In those days, Janet was always hungry. It seemed to her that the space behind her bellybutton was just that, a space. No number of fish fingers or baked beans seemed to be able to fill this gap within her, and, just lately, Janet had begun to suspect there was something missing inside her. That…

More Demons by Bruce McRae

The demons under the house and eating clay. The demons in the ashtray or teasing the dog. That steer burning airliners into an ocean. Demons in the underbrush and sucking on stones. Demons beneath the skin and writing curses, writing sermons with broken soda bottles, writing poems with the blood of your mama. Legions of…

Quite to the Contrary by Bruce McRae

Mad Mary isn’t truly mad, especially when compared to many others on the list of tyrants and despots and those that murder indiscriminately. Mad Mary, who’d be burnt as a witch or stoned as a martyr. Who’d be beatified in medieval circumstance. Saint Mary, they’d call to her, lighting a candle in her name, a…

Summer Arts Fest by Carol Tyx

Early June. Music turns the street into a pool of sound where we float together in the summer dark, the scent of peonies and roses behind the hot grease from the Belgian waffle tent. Now the pool drains, street becoming street again, residue of plastic cups, cracked spoons, empty cans. I’m slow to rise, still…

Three for the End of the World by J.G. McClure

1. PARABLE OF THE SEXBOT Since we’re all dead, there’s no one to tell the last chatbot to stop looking for you tonight, so burning its backup generators, it asks again and (as programmed) again, Are you there are you there hello sexy don’t be shy. Decades pass. We are still dead. 2. PARABLE OF…

Pesto by J.G. McClure

She says pine nuts. He says walnuts are fine. She says pine nuts are better. He says why. She says they’re just better and why does it need an explanation. He grabs another handful of walnuts from the bag; they have no food processor so he has to hold each in place, watch his fingers…