By Sheila Morris
One of the women I miss most is Maya Angelou. I miss her thought.
“… all of us are caged birds, have been and will be again. Caged by somebody else’s ignorance. Caged because of someone else’s small-mindedness. Caged because of someone else’s fear and hate … and sometimes caged by our own lack of courage.”
I long to hear her again. The rich, slow – almost ponderous – rhythms of her speech mesmerized me, and the deep rumbling voice was like the sound of my old Dodge Dakota pickup truck’s muffler when I started it first thing in the morning.
Sheila Morris is the editor of Southern Perspectives on the Queer Movement: Committed to Home.
It was times like these when he wished he’d gone camping more.
Hoisting the stone back up, he struck again as hard as he could. After several more attempts, flames finally burst into life. He fell entranced watching them lick the air in greedy consumption. It wasn’t till he heard the thump coming from the trunk of his car that he was brought back to reality.
Right, he thought. Thanks for the reminder.
By J.R. Night
The late hour had come and all were released from their graves. The first thing she always did was head home.
Only one window burned yellow. It went out, the window opened, and two legs edged out. Her son landed not two feet away from her.
“No sweater? In this cold?” she shouted as he passed through her, unaware.
By David Pablo Cohn
The empty length of the hallway beckoned. There was, he supposed, a word for it; there was a word for all compulsions, a word for everything. The range and flexibility of the English language was as unlimited as the breadth of inexplicable human behavior. And there was so little of Simon’s life that anyone would describe as “inexplicable.”
A blade of late afternoon sun sliced in through the door at hallway’s end, held just ajar by a misplaced door mat. Over his shoulder, laughter rose in the wake of another toast. The sunlight whispered of undiscovered country.
David Pablo Cohn’s first collection of short stories, Eight in Three Weeks, was published in 2017 by Montemayor Press.
attracts late afternoon sunlight
endows flesh with the translucence
of an upstairs window.
I’d believe the day ends,
and the night begins with you
if I didn’t know better.
I confess I know no worse.
IN A DOWN-CITY APARTMENT
A man tucked under sheets,
a roach oozing from floorboards,
the other scrambles toward
the crumbs under the bed,
both give every indication
of how they plan to spend
Cat slaps the bird around,
snaps its back
before devouring the flesh.
Sometimes, there’s a cruel streak
John Grey has recently published work in Nebo, Euphony and Columbia Review with work upcoming in Leading Edge, Poetry East and Midwest Quarterly.
By Brad Rose
Told Shanice that I don’t like to give myself any crazy ideas, so I focus on what’s important, what’s right in front of me. Just get the job done. Wednesday, when I pulled up to the bank, it was quiet as a fingerprint. As I entered, both tellers smiled at me, as if they were my friends. I don’t like anything touching my face, so I don’t wear a mask. I like to look people in the eye. Sure, between rounds, there’s whimpering and moaning, but afterward, there’s a silence so thick, you need a tunnel to crawl through it.
Brad Rose is the author of a collection of poetry and flash fiction, Pink X-Ray. His new two new books of poetry, Momentary Turbulence and WordinEdgeWise, are forthcoming from Cervena Barva Press.
By Victoria Bird
She is buttoning her silk shirt over shivering flesh when the tightness closes around her throat. A whip’s feathered kiss. The ticklish snarl of a cheese wire. The heft of apology in a string of pearls. Perhaps he is dying somewhere, and that threadbare touch is the last of his grip. An affectionate farewell in the brush of his fingertips. One last bloom of purple and red.