By John Grey
Crows have been by
to relieve us of my dead.
A possum was squashed.
A raccoon was mangled.
A sparrow dropped from the sky.
Don’t even want to think
about those carcasses being out there.
Luckily, crows have a taste for my discomfort.
John Grey’s poetry has recently appeared in The Homestead Review, Poetry East and Columbia Review. He has work upcoming in Harpur Palate, the Hawaii Review and Visions International.
By Paul Bluestein
I stuffed what was left of Chris into a black plastic trash bag, carried it out to the curb, came back inside, and exhausted, climbed into bed.
I was awakened early by the grinding gears of the trash truck and peeked out of the window just in time to see the bag tossed into the trash masher and driven off. Washed by relief, I got dressed and wondered what the day would bring.
Now that the photographs, saved birthday cards and your battered fedora are gone, will I finally be free of you?
By Carolyn Black
Am a little sour today
More than half-empty
Near the end of my days
A fresher version is nearby
It looks identical to me
But holds more weight
Ah, a hand is reaching toward me
Don’t shake me like that
I might curdle
The hand picks up the other carton
Which it chooses over me
Loaded, as it is, with promise
Of rich creamy coffee
I am all but dried up
Only a thimbleful of me left
Not worth pouring
Destined for rinse then recycle
May as well
Be totally empty
By Joe Stallone
We were slow dancing to the Eagles in my kitchen. The only light came twinkling from the tealight candles that I had haphazardly scattered throughout the room.
I was sauced on gin, swaying to the tempo and stumbling on your feet. You laughed at my rhythmic ineptitude, told me I was silly when I was drunk.
Raising my voice to falsetto, I sang to you: Take it to the limit.
Glenn Frey turned in his grave.
What they don’t teach you in secondary school is that when someone breaks up with you, it’s the good memories that sting the most.
By Christine-Marie Liwag Dixon
When you are young and in love, it is easy to believe that this is how you will feel forever, that these will be your dreams until you die, that you will spend every day of your life holding his smile. When you are young, love and virtue are not ideals to be upheld; they are constants held by unruptured skin, cradled by souls which have not yet emerged and collided into strangers overnight.
You do not know yet that even if your body lives forever, the person you are right now in this very second will soon die.
Christine-Marie Liwag Dixon is the author of Barkada Tayo: Essays on Being Filipino-American.
By B.A. Williams
Sal’s back aches, her jeans soaked, but she’s nowhere to be so she stays in the doorway, shifts her weight foot-to-foot, stares at the warm lights of the shop across, sparkles in the downpour, they sell handbags nothing but, all that space and so few bags, hardly any customers neither, though the ones go in come out laden down, but Sal just keeps to her doorway remembers her mum, her stepdad’s wandering hands, there’s no point moving, no point sitting on the street palms up, no one stops in the rain no one extends a hand with a little change.
B.A. Williams’ fiction has appeared on FlashFlood, Paragraph Planet, and the Guardian Online.