Overnight Guests

All is quiet…finally after the two sisters quit re-living the day and drift into hide-a-bed snoring. Until 4 a.m. when the brother rattles the unfamiliar bedroom door knob and slices light into the hall where he bangs the bathroom light switch on and spotlights my room like the cops cornering an escaped convict, and he stands there suddenly unsure where …

Stain

Let’s start with this coffee I just spilled, stain spreading, steadfast as the walnut floorboards that must still swell with moisture in the room my family swarmed for dinner as a boy, window shades filtering the adamant, decaying sun of summer evenings. I focus all attention on the earthy, robust smell, that seems darker than the coffee, and I refuse …

Ti Amo o Ti Ammazzo

Italians live with this very strong belief that the amount of hatred you feel towards your partner in a romantic relationship is equitable to the amount of love you have for them. This love/hate courtship shows itself as a couple fights in the town piazza, two actors performing for the crowd. There is no shame in public. She smacks him …

Elizabeth Herron

Arkansas, 1978   I rode hard the along the Mississippi, a horse the color of the clay outside the house where we listened to the car radio come Friday night and danced on the hard red ground.   Through the ditches, down one side and up the other, through the slurried water pouring toward the bean fields, ran the red …

Part III – Love’s Perpetual Reign

Teach me your ways, O’ Mistress of Mislead Mystery. How do I cloud my own past and present without walking straight into a nightmarish field of peril? “Forget all tension stirring in your entire being. Do not over analyze. For once, do not even utter a single syllable. Relax, my dear, and love will show us how.” Hark! The celestial …

Sarah Marchant

Amy   You speak of Seattle, branches of water all green and far away as your eyes on the skyline.   You speak of gems your shaking hands aren’t equipped to hold, shattering into red sparks.   You speak of your breath turning blue, of smoke puffs and a tent without a flashlight.   You speak of a purple sunrise …

She Is Me

Her glistening face was set with polished pools of brown, a slash of teeth below. A primal splash washed the air. In the pocket of a mountain lake, translucent drops of water ran across her olive skin, light sandstone framed the beauty of her form. Light was all that passed as her lash flipped a diamond, to spot an eye …

Flotsam

Her hair is distracting. Her hair is blue, and it’s distracting. I know that blue. It’s that, I don’t care that you’re watching me blue. Why can’t she be normal? Sitting on her knees on the subway. Maybe I could talk to her if she’d just sit like a normal person. Maybe I’d walk up to her and tap her …

Butt Dial from Hell

He’d just scooched his ass down into his favorite vinyl booth for a celebratory drink at his favorite Republic bar, had just signed half his life away to his bitch of an ex-wife (and the other half to his lawyers), and now it was her asking him why he had called. His large hands fumbled with the thin phone as …

John Kristofco

what to do when the missiles come (at last) 1962   watch the moon through crystal skies one time, telescope your life into the week it takes to build a crisis into chaos, then, crawl beneath your desk, press your head against your knees and take up all the burdens of the world, the weight, slam the door just opened …

A Season for Despair

Blood drips onto the plates as he chatters away over supper, seemingly oblivious to the dead end that awaits them all. The kids slink silently away, as though escape is possible. Surely they know that later in the night, he will thump up the stairs in search for them as she lies in bed wondering when they auditioned for this …

Red Eye

There is something elegant about the way the sun kicks out over the horizon with such agony, each morning, and today I’ve seen both its death and birth, an entire lifetime burnt away over harsh landscapes; everything is forgiven when dawn pours out over the hills— when the first dregs of light skim over the treetops, and they seem like …