Sim Sala Bim by Gina Williams
“‘Is this all there is?’
The question caught me off guard for a split second, sucked a little bit of air from my gut…”
Where We Are by Jared Yates Sexton
“The thing that really got her was how I listened to records all hours of the night. She said she didn’t care about my moods, my general nihilism or ill temperament…”
Hunger, Not Tame by Sheila Lamb
“Brutal wind beat against the door of her camper. The cold didn’t bother her—Kate had only ever lived in cold and windy environments—but the sand did…”
Waiting for Flight by Michael Chin
“Carl Perkins spied his son’s ex, Lucy, in the airport terminal…”
Misfire by Joe Oestriech
“An hour after load-out, Biggie pulls the Econoline into the parking lot of the Raleigh Fairfield Inn…”
What of the Raven, What of the Dove by Randon Billings Noble
“A story was growing inside my neck but I didn’t yet know what it said…”
The Line by Amy Collini
“The week before I leave for freshman orientation at Ohio State, my father offers me a gift: an “in” at the plant where he works…”
Moth in the House by Jessica Greenbaum
“Skimming the wood floor like a bi-plane over the November fields,
might wonder where the breeze went, and all the chorus and lilt of the leaves…”
Bubble by Jessica Greenbaum
“Walking through the park, I saw a grackle ferrying a
bubble in its beak as it flew to the tree top where…”
Back Seat Event by Gabrielle Freeman
“I want to kiss you, but
I open the car door, and it is raining…”
Those Birds by Michael Colonnese
“Lined up on the wire,
Everything She Can’t See by Liz Ahl
“The little girl is full of questions
and asks them all, one after another…”
Waterfront Metro Station by Elizabeth Acevedo
“through the speakers
the conductor’s voice scratched
a stop away from mine…”
I want to kiss you, but
I open the car door, and it is raining.
I know the cloth seat will only keep our heat
for the amount of time it takes to unfold into the wet night
and you behind me.
Your lips are not warm and flushed on the back of my neck.
Your lips are not pressed to my open palms.
Your lips are not gently insistent,
nor are they stripped back. In open moan.
On the morning road, the cello’s throat opens
into a blur of birds and fog. I know
there are too many birds to divine.
Deliberate deep draw of the bow
and a single crow is caught
backward in thick mist, bourbon slow.
Loosed mercy. My feathered hands
press denim, measure the heat
of my breath against cold glass.
I dream of birds. I’m saying
I know steel, glass stand between me, mist,
and rain. I’m saying I know there are
too many birds to count.
Your lips are a low note drawn
slow across burnished cello hips,
fingers insistent on strings. The heat
of your moan stripped bare on the pane.
I trace it. I beg you.