Skin

By Annie Harpel

years spent baking on the beach
desert wrinkles, sunspot hands
blue veins run like rivers
look close
through a magnifying glass
see every line of time
tear, tirade, loss, triumph
every season passed
every scar of life


Annie Harpel writes, “to sift through the details of life.”

The Caretaker

By Steven Holding

I remember.
Lying side by side, floating in the ocean, looking up at the night sky. Your hand in mine. Time seemed to stop as all sense of self dissipated, swallowed whole by the darkness, life as meaningless as each single speck of distant white light.
So many!
Millions and millions of stars.
It’s said you die twice. Once, as all that you are leaves this planet. Then a second death, when the last one to know you is gone.
In this place, I’m reminded every day of who I am.
I don’t know your name.
But I remember you.


“Twenty-six letters rearranged then placed upon a page never ceases to amaze.” – the writer

The Fork Told the Spoon

By Barbara Schilling Hurwitz

I know it’s cold here set on this empty dining room table, behind shuttered restaurant doors, where the lingering scent of sumptuous food has dissipated. The hustle of waiters, the soft conversations and the sounds of clinking glasses are now all shadows of memories. Gone are the warm hands that once caressed us as we sank into the chef’s luscious indulgences. And most of all, we miss the mouthwatering lips between which we slipped, and the tongues that licked us clean.

But we’re not alone. We’re lucky to have each other to cling to through these otherwise dreary, lonely days.


“I write to keep my mind active and thoughts positive through these troubling days.” – the writer

The Subway Musician

By Shira Wilder

The day has been long. I’m sick of the city, I tell myself. My weary body won’t hold me up forever. Soon I will look like one of those old ladies everyone pities, until they become one themselves: lonely, back permanently hunched from urban living, weighed down by grocery bags and regrets.

My footsteps echo in the freezing station. I approach the melancholy refrain of a lone saxophone, playing just for me. The old man’s eye is foggy with cataracts, but his melody sees deep into my soul. Transfixed, I can’t help but smile.


“I write because the mundane really is magical.” – the writer

Six Shots

By John L. Malone

Six shots ring out.
Fat, hollow bangs
ricocheting against the walls
of the night.
I tense waiting for a cry
of pain,
a howl of distress,
a ruckus of some sort,
someone doing a runner from the commission
of a crime,
an active shooter on the prowl, who maybe
is not done yet.
But there is nothing
only a twitchy silence
a dead emptiness for our imaginations
to fill


John is a South Australian writer of poetry, flash fiction and the occasional short story.

Garbage

By R. Gene Turchin

When the garbage on earth began to be too much, we gave up parks and enclosed our rivers in pipes. We fired one way rockets full of the detritus of human society onto the moon’s dusty seas. At first on the dark side but after a while we didn’t care anymore, we just didn’t want to wallow in our own refuse. Talking points were three:

At least it won’t smell.
It won’t catch fire.
We won’t get all kinds of funky bacteria growing up there.

They were wrong about the last bullet point.


R. Gene Turchin writes “to construct something out of an idea.”

Waves of Regret

By Michael Degnan

The ferry arrived 20 minutes ago, but I still feel the swell of the ocean. How strange the way we can preserve sensations in our bodies.

It’s the same with you. I still feel you pressed against me, swaying during our first dance. I still feel the lace of your white dress. That was 20 years ago.

I look at the sky. The sunset’s red streaks are like the lipstick marks you found on my collar a couple of years later. I arrive alone at my rental and sit down, regret still pulsing through my body like a violent ocean.


Michael Degnan lives in Peaks Island, Maine. He writes because “it helps him think.”

It Isn’t Normal

By Bruce Levine

The new normal
which isn’t normal
The perpetrators of the myth
who propagate the idea
True believers of the hyperbole
lulled into apathy
And the apathetic don’t care
as long as they can follow the herd
Believing that there is
a new normal
Refraining from thinking
as they sink into depression
And the new normal is the
isolation of fear
Manifesting the new reality
of loneliness and suicide


“I had to write this because this is what I see all around me.” – the writer

All The Concerts Are Canceled

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Image submitted by author.

By Sarah Grady

Been jogging, to scratch an itch, a footfall with each drumbeat in the headphones. I run because I don’t dance lately. Running is a weak substitute, too stern for my tastes. I still itch.

I need a roomful of people, united, bodies pulsing with inertia, respiration entwined with rhythm. I miss looking around at joyful faces, delighted cheers, enraptured movements. I miss the closed eyes. I miss the sweat on the performers.

When I run, the sun often shines in my eyes. It is together in the darkness that we find momentum.

               
Sarah Grady writes “to spend time with ideas that shape a person and her life.”

Drift

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By Brian Maycock

The dealer makes his way slow along the pavement. The street lamps are broken. I don’t see until he is within touching distance that he is barefoot. His toes bristle with hair.

His smile is sharp as he produces the bag. There is a swish of movement in the dark behind him.

Unseen, close by, sirens scream. The tips of shadows touch. Demons watch as I curl up on a park bench.

The monsters begin to dim, settle into a haze. I am safe. Until the drugs begin to fade.

              
“I write for the same reason I read: I love the written word.” – the writer