Feature: Kate Bolton Bonnici


The Permanent Ache by Gary J. Garrison
“Last week we put out cigarettes on our wrists…”

A Woman Should Have Legs by Robyn Goodwin
“The problem with Nancy’s suicide attempts was that nobody knew about them…”

Mostroferrato, Ancient Stronghold of the Briscoletti Family by Sam Martone
“Go south to a town with a tower towering beside it…”

Accidents by Ian Riggins
“Simple wooden things, painted white, with the usual assortment of bouquets and wreaths—the crosses stared up at me…”

Her Last Friday by Lucas Southworth
“Three months ago, the girl had three months to live…”

To the Wall by Holly M. Wendt
“The inside of her car bakes…”



Justice by Alyce Miller
“On a cold snowy Sunday afternoon, two days after Christmas in 2009…”

The Pine Tree by Joy Weitzel
“Pollen from the male pine cone will drift with the wind, hoping to reach a female pine cone…”



Mix-tape (#4) With the One I Still Haven’t Learned the Lyrics to by Mark Jay Brewin Jr.
“I couldn’t tell you how early I learned and lost the words…”

Jack Listens to the Language People Use by Kevin Brown
“When Wendy told us she had lost her…”

French Carousel by Susana H. Case
“Midnight in Paris, the party scene at the …”

Let there be spaces in your togetherness by Susana H. Case
“Let there be spaces in your togetherness…”

Imaginary Waltz with a Woman Wearing a Dress of Virga by Christopher Petruccelli
“Her silhouette is caught between windows and hanging …”

The Heron Rookery by Timothy Shea
“Now that the storm clouds have settled like sleeping dogs above the pasture…”

The Haircut by Timothy Shea
“While I know this road is not my river…”

Feature Issue:

The Suburbs



Death Row Report by Dale M. Brumfield
“In 1992, my father toured Richmond, Virginia’s old Spring Street Penitentiary…”

Invalids. Girlfriends. Beer. by Brenna Horrocks
“I needed a change of tempo…”

Lights by Matthew Zanoni Mṻller
“On Saint Martin’s Day in Germany the children would go into the dark woods…”

Bret Hart & the Finished Dungeons of My Youth by Brian Oliu
“Legends are born here: of sweat soaked vinyl & broken bones…”



Bloom by Kate Bolton Bonnici
“I stepped on a dead squirrel…”

Afternoon Heat Wave, Northern California: Lament for the Gulf Coast by Kate Bolton Bonnici
“Here, heat steals in—no air conditioning…”



I stepped on a dead squirrel,
the hem of my maternity pants cuffing
the sidewalk. I imagined the hem slick
with squirrel carcass,
lipping and lacing up my ankle,
and threw the pants away.
Bare-legged in the kitchen, damp feet
on beige octagon linoleum, my belly plaited blue.
You scrubbed the shoes with your mother’s bleach. Scissor-mouthed ants took the squirrel
underground. Shoes tied
in a plastic bag. There they waited, cocoons.
Until my memory of a bulging misstep
went smooth. Until the baby born chunked
with vernix, blood-dazzled, pulled at my thigh,
brittle nails marking white lines like larvae.
A new year, I need black flats: you call,
we’re late, child slams her cup.
Pockets of white blister the floor. Isn’t this the struggle? We shudder against fluids,
keep the sidewalk smooth, floor licked,
skin stitched dry. Meanwhile, the body blooms
a carrion flower, reveals our raw secret:
star-lipped petals, red spathe curls, pollen-
puckered tongue. A trick fly trap, one more sphincter
inside out. Then, plastic bag ripped.
Scrubbed black shoes
over pale carpet. Surprise, pleasure.
Knowing I’d brushed something just dead,
kept walking.

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