Dating a Carnivore

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By Hákon Gunnarsson

James had one hobby, food. Sometimes it seemed to be his entire life. He was always falling for the latest trend, one day a vegan for the animals, and the next a carnivore. “Only meat. That’s the way to go,” he said to Lisa on their first date. She surprised him when she said: “I couldn’t agree more.”

On their second date he went to her place. He sat down on the sofa to wait for the dinner. The last thing he heard her say was: “I’m a cannibal for the animals, and the plants,” and then everthing went black.

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At Night I Fly

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By Scott Hughes

I don’t know how or why. Don’t really care. I do it, and that’s what matters. It’s no dream. I’m no monster or angel. I have no wings. With the moon I rise and take flight. Soaring over darkened houses and lawns, I climb higher each night. Just below clouds, then through them and over. Up and up until ice crystallizes on my lashes. Tonight I go further, break the atmosphere’s grip, and find the vacuum of space doesn’t kill me. Here now I fly without breathing, circling the Earth like a satellite, a shooting star that will never decay.

     
Scott Hughes’s fiction, poetry, and essays have appeared in Crazyhorse, One Sentence Poems, Entropy, Deep Magic, Carbon Culture Review, Redivider, Redheaded Stepchild, PopMatters, Strange Horizons, Chantwood Magazine, Odd Tales of Wonder, The Haunted Traveler, Exquisite Corpse, Pure Slush, Word Riot, and Compaso: Journal of Comparative Research in Anthropology and Sociology.

Nineteen Months

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By Amy Brunson

The first night
Pizza on the stairs
Surrounded by
boxes
And the unfamiliar sound
Of being
Alone

The ceiling above the bed
Telling me
This is it.
You are
Here
Now

A place filled with memories
None of them belonging

Nineteen months
Could have had two babies
But instead
Nine lovers
The mother
Three skeletons
Five neighbors
A handful of friends
One ghost.

Now I see
This place held me
Weeping into wine glasses
Dancing in the nude
Laughing on the phone
Fucking on the floor
Mourning the past
Fearing the future and
Thanking the present for itself.

Diaphanous

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By TN Kerr

When the light is just right, I can see her sometimes.
Expectant at the top of the cliff; leaning forward while
the wind swirls wisps of her dark hair behind her.
She stares out to sea.
One legend says that she waits for her lover
to return.
Another tells that she wants to leave.
I’m old now and I see her less often than before, but
she’s still there. Just after sunrise,
just before sunset.
When the light is just right, I see her sometimes.

The Packing Up

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By Charles Rafferty

We never heard a sound coming from our neighbors, who were separated from us by thick walls of forsythia. Still, whenever we made love, Donna insisted on closing the windows. She would even lock the bedroom door, though we had no children, not even a cat that could nose its way in. Later, when we had stopped making love altogether, the house held our silence like a broken bell. Anyone listening as they let their dog pee against our mailbox would be unable to guess whether ours was a house of passion or devastation. Even the packing up was quiet.

     
Charles Rafferty’s most recent collection of poems is The Smoke of Horses (BOA Editions, 2017.)

I’ve Grown Accustomed to my Face

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By johnlmalone

I’ve grown accustomed to my face.
I wear it all over the place.
I wear it by god’s grace.

Though it’s not to everyone’s taste
It has a certain fan base,
Like ‘Arsenic and Old Lace.’

Accustomed. To my face.

There’s not a feature I’d erase:
No smirk, wrinkle or grimace
In this time-chiselled face.

There is surely then no disgrace
In multiplying this face
On the screen at my partner’s place.

I’ve grown accustomed to my face.
Accustomed. To my face.