By Alanna Pass
from my pencil
anchor me to this earth
like a kite on a string.
form words on these pages
giving shape to my thoughts
running wild in my head.
These lines that form words
are lassoed into sentences, then paragraphs
a calm order brought from the spiraling chaos.
My soul is tamed
At least for a while
From the simple act of writing.
As I wash my hands –
Watch soap slip silently;
The thrill of cold water
Numbing to nothing –
I can see a spare sock
Stuck under the doorframe
Just a little bit;
The rest too thick to fit.
And our child, standing,
Staring at that sock;
Pondering his next move.
Flexing a narrow finger.
The weight of your absence
Is ubiquitous here;
A fierce silence, rent
By pointless everyday.
And I dry my hands
On a soggy towel,
Suddenly knowing that
I’m finished with typical.
By Susanne Swanson
“Do you know how many times you’ve said ‘okay’ in the last minute?” she blurted out.
(Twenty times by my reckoning. She was not the only one counting.) He stopped. Public speaking was not his forte, though economics may have been.
“Twenty-three times!” she announced.
“Sorry,’ he said. “Didn’t know I was doing it.”
The rest of us knew and thanked her. We were on edge waiting for the ‘okay’ and winced when it came. No sentence was immune.
“I’ll work on it, okay?” he promised. “But when it’s quiet you’ll know what I’m thinking, okay?”
Okaaaay! we shouted.
By Brian Geiger
“And,” continued the lawyer, “the final statement: ‘To my son, Johnston, I give the timepiece that accompanied me from boyhood to death. Live by it as I did.’”
Johnston watched as the timepiece was passed slowly down the tableside—from his grandmother to his mother; from his mother to him. Her eyes watered as she pressed it into his palm. He kissed her, fighting tears himself, and motioned for his daughter’s hand. The mothers smiled as he pressed it into her palms. With a delicate laugh, she placed it on her round stomach. “An heirloom,” she mouthed. “It’s perfect.”
By Angelo Marcos
She limped along trying to ignore the searing pain in her shin. The blood had congealed, so she was no longer bleeding.
She used a branch as a walking stick, leaning onto it so as not to aggravate the wound.
The bucket she carried seemed to grow heavier, feeling after a time as though it were filled with boulders. She had twice felt as though her shoulder had dislocated.
The merciless sun beat down, reminding her of the thirsty children awaiting her return.
She’d walked two miles.
Two more to go.
By Jade M. Wong
A chilly breeze plucked a white petal off the tulip sitting at the open window.
He loves me.
A second plucked petal floated with the breeze before coming to a rest on the damp soil.
He loves me not.
The flowerpot trembled as a stronger wind blew in, sending petals fluttering in the air.
He broke my heart.
A giant gust rushed in, flinging the flowerpot across the room, shattering the clay and showering the floor with soil.
So I’ll break everything he’s got.
By Brad Rose
My brain is awake, my body asleep. It’s like the sun shining in the rain. I see things that aren’t there: next to the lake, angels eating breakfast; near the girls’ dormitory, dogs on fire. Who should I tell?
I like clouds—nimbus, cirrus, anvil—ghost-empty, fog-quiet, the slow march of the sky’s lonely prisoners. When I rub my closed eyes, I see black lighting. I dream I’m rain.
At the stoplight, I got out of my car and walked to the stranger’s car behind me. “Move over,” I told her. “I’m going to drive.”
Perfect weather for a storm.
Bio: Brad Rose is the author of a collection of poetry and flash fiction, Pink X-Ray (Big Table Publishing, 2015.) His new book of poems, Momentary Turbulence is forthcoming in late 2017, from Cervena Barva Press.