After the Earth Has Hardened

Siew Siang Tay

Afterwards, we go to Kuan's house. Her gait seems controlled. She closes the door quietly behind her, as if not wanting to disturb anyone. But there is no one about.

Acting Out

Fred Redekop

My two-o'clock on Tuesday is a struggle to stay awake from start to finish, and I counted it as a minor triumph of my clinical training that I didn't yawn once. I called my wife afterwards to tell her of my success.

At the Shore

Donna George Storey

Lila is still sleeping, so I get myself a beer and go out to the porch. The breeze feels good. T.J.'s house is right on the ocean, set up on twenty feet of pilings and cross beams. It has a straight view of the Atlantic, nothing but waves, gulls, clouds.

Pittsburgh at Midnight

Mat Snapp

I had a choice in plans between a weekend in Las Vegas with the girl I love, with whom most my weekends are spent, and flying to Pittsburgh to go sledding, freeze myself, and drink golden lager from a keg in a house seething with testosterone.

Marking Territory

Theodore Ross

We bought a house because that's what's you do—you get married and you buy a house in Los Angeles.

Broken Wing

David McGrath

What do you suppose goes on in that house?” asks Harry. “Two women like that, by themselves?”

A Second Glance

Lucinda Nelson Dhavan

The thing Doug remembered most clearly about his stint in the Peace Corps in India was the rat-like creature that drank his evening cup of milk.


Steve Hansen

And when it is so constant that it becomes the deepest, loneliest silence you have ever known, you can be sure that it is tearing away at your insides more so than the mountain's. In the evenings when I'd come back to the surface, I would have a drink or two to steady my nerves.

The Hand that Whirls the Water

Alexandra Fox

The ring is rinsed of blood with cold water, and put into the daughter's hand.

A Stranger in Transit

Thomas Benz

She has not appeared again, though I have haunted the platforms at certain times, panned the corners and surrounding shops for some semblance of her walk, her shape, like searching for the light of an engine in the distance.

Something Like Catharsis

Adam Hartman

Iris could not stay where she was, nearly sprawled out on the curb in front of her house, crying. Cars were slowing down to look at her.


The Milo Field

Ashley Rice

My brother, my cousin and I were walking through a field of milo in the middle of Arkansas in the middle of summer. The light was fading. The three of us were shouting at each other: insults, bits of songs, sibling-taunts—as we tramped through the tall grass.



Ward Kelley

In the land of the living, I know
I do not belong. Under my breast,
there is proof of this, an ache

Cowboys and Indians I

Andrew MacArthur

I would like to believe long ago on the gorge
shamans built fires, danced, shook their spears,
and here—just here—when horsemen appear

Session in Progress

Mario Susko

The illusion begins or ends like this:
the light blinds you and you see a reflection
of the pages torn out of a book, scattered

Visiting the Academy …

Bob Bradshaw

A hallway of the world's most notorious
serial killers looms ahead. It's like
a respectable wax museum, sans wax.

The Shape

by Mario Susko

my shape was never chalked, the position
being utterly irrelevant, the angle
not even remotely predictable for those
who, if returning, had to run by again

Birute Galdikas …

by Terri Brown-Davidson

Some considered her ”odd girl out.” How attractive is chutzpah
in an unwrapped package?

Old Friends

by Silvia A. Brandon Pérez

But the wine has soured,
and the roses are withered by the heat
of mid-morning.

Mothers and Friends

by Silvia A. Brandon Pérez

I wish I could have been
her friend and not her daughter, or that we could have
traveled all the distances between us, then or now.

We are Visited …

by Peter Roberts

what we cannot hold
we hold with words



Anselmo Alliegro

The art (detail) featured in the HTML and PDF editions of this issue was graciously provided by Anselmo Alliegro.