Trapped by the Undertow by Susan Rouchard

The water beckons; I launch my body into waves. Below my feet, sharp rocks and sea urchins, in every nook, glow purple. Salt coats my arms. I slice through the ocean’s realm. Rainbow fish gleam, caught in a puddle of spilling sun rays. My breath squeezes in, out. Water drapes me. I face an infinite […]

Recipe for Free Speech by Sena Chang

This piece was previously published in Daruma. recipe for eternal suppressionof free speech (9.2 million ratings)​1 by joseph stalin, 1929  ingredients ½ cup of journalists 2 cups of censorship (disguise as cleansing of the media)high gini coefficient (works best with >0.5)a pinch of elites and a generous amount of peasants (1 : 20 ratio)skyrocketing unemployment rate (the […]

Abecedarian of Loss by Claire T Jennings

Apples lie rotting in their cottage garden as she falls asleep upstairs. Sweetbabes torn prematurely from the arms of their mother, now battlecorpses buried in shallow graves. Theirdead flesh and yellow leaves areeaten by maggots, railroad flies who pass out drunk,fat with honey fungus and cider. Her husband lights a bonfire,grabs the wheelbarrow, filling it […]

How Are You? by Amy Stewart

I’m alright, thanks – although now you ask I do feel a bit,you know,skinned –like the last layertougher than the reststretched tight over my drumhas ripped – and out comeall the things I can’t sayunseen thingsthat can’t find the words to fit themshapeshifters –I can’t pin down in any tonguea whole sea of shapeundulating and […]

Leftovers by Ceinwen Haydon

Wine-careless, you try to wipetacky, viscous stuff off our soiled floor.Still my feet stick. I can bear no more.I begged you to take more care when spillingnourishing meals, everythingI’ve ever cooked for you. Now I know, with your plummy Rioja you prefer snacks, salty and sweet, rather thanbalanced main courses. Our fridge is rank,full of […]

Cleopatra’s Needling by Karen Ridley

Age shall not wither her I think someone said. Well, that was a bloody lie for starters; I wither like a plant in a winter bed.  Now gnarly hands twist like roots around my head, where fingers once played music on myriad lovers. Age shall not wither her I think someone said.  In memories I dance, I move with […]

Phosphorus by Jordan Aramitz

There’s a firefly warmth to your wry eyesthat I want to capture in mason jars,to make string lights out of them,out of memories better left behind. 3am is the bewitching hour. My circadianrhythm scours two continents to bowto a heartbeat I can’t hearacross an ocean I can’t cross.I buy a dream [or two] of youand […]

Doorjamb by Chris Cocca

In the summer, when school was over, we picked mulberries in the yardand spun in circles on the grass.It was soft and living, warm on our bare feet,and every day the sun was lightening your hair.Your mom, she was playing Brian Wilson, and we listened to his brothers intervene.  In the summer, when we were […]

Fall’s Belly by Kehinde Winful

Growing stripes.Vertical like the feelings that never left leavewater-sized marks on the hills of my cheeks. Growing in vain.Still reminiscing on yesterday, please somebody come lie with me.There are no fresh starts – only leaves. Concave bulge simile.Normal bodies on easy street, phase outlike the clear sky. Fire flies directly over me. New size, turn […]

Shades of Black Don’t Hide in Shadows by Larna Bobby Lou

Black is the colour of my velvet suit Grandmother dressed me in for baptism,Black is the colour of carbonado, a natural diamond in its purest form,Black is the colour of Olbers’ Paradox which holds everything possible in the entire universe,  Black is the colour of my chest. The first shade used by Palaeolithic artists to express […]

Ode To A Dream Catcher by Makaila Aarin

At the Arizona market, I perusean array of crafts and relics in booths.My hand reaches for a Sacred Hoop of willow wrapped in rose coloured leather:a frame for a woven web of sinew,an anchor for gemstones and feathers. Now hanging from my purple painted wall,a talisman between the night skyand my body curled under Grandma’s […]

Plaid by Lindz McLeod

Luminosity among the pine  needles; silken-sided peers.  They fell him with twelve flannel shirts  sewn into wings, feed him his own  wolf whistle until his teeth blubber.  Good boy: cubbed mouth eager and malleable. Good boy: fit for purpose and factory fresh. They take to the skies again,   having picked clean  the carcass of […]

Matches by Debbie Hudson

Stood terraced in this limited Lowrylandscape, monochrome-matchstick lads liddedvermilion and blue. Like the bruise from yourdad, when he’s seven pints bittered on anil-one score. Blunt swipe of your fringe, blank face,buttoned coat. You’re a naïve oil painting,this sketched-scanty Saturday afternoon. About The Author Debbie is a writer and artist who lives in West Yorkshire. Her […]

Walk Towards the Whisper by RG Thomas

Spin is a whisper,a quiet collusiondressed up as fact, paraded as truth. Bias murmursabout the wayyou look or walkor think or talk. Prejudice shouts,behind your back,in your face,inside your head. Tyranny is dumb.No need to speakto the disregardedand dispossessed. Freedom is a cryfrom the streetsby those who failedto walk towardsthe whisper. About The Author Took a […]

A Burning World by Erica Abbott

The television set sizzles with static while the world burns at your feet – a war that’s been seen before is teetering on the precipice of unhinged jaws and fingers cut off from the electrical charges of the brain. Here lies all the truths that were kept buried while every lie hums just outside the […]

In Real Life by Rachel Tanner

Let’s talk about the newness of it all, of thebeginnings that followed me homethe entire hour drive back from your housethe morning you heard me throw upfrom last night’s wine and tried to kiss me goodbye anyway. The night was warm. I mostly remember how I was shaking when I took your handand put it on my […]

My First Strand of Grey by Michael B. Keane

It happened today: my first strand of grey.In my bathroom’s bright light, I felt shock, then dismayas my fate flashed before me: arthrosis, infirmness,decay, the faint footsteps of Death on his way.I felt hopeless already: aging, unsteady,and struggling to think. “What about me won’t shrink?My backaches? My future collection of hair dye?The length of my […]

Two Poems by Haley Byer

Parting the Red Sea The bog – bolbus berries blistering red, burst ripe in the late September sun. I, captivated, carried courage in my life before – carelessness. I returned home from the coast of clams to find Pa had become one of the ghosts of the bog. I wade through red water and I wait in my waders  wondering how long it took the […]

Three Poems by R. Gerry Fabian

Just Waiting For A Title I have a song in methat doesn’t have a title.It has a Tastee Freezclosed for the winter sadness.The song occurs in late fall.Even though there are lovers;it is not a ballad.The refrain is stabbedby saxophone urgency.But I goose bump to the lyrics.They are exceptional wordsthat go together so wellI always […]

Nevada Suicide Prevention by Leah Mueller

Nevada Suicide Prevention has previously appeared in Anti-Heroin Chic Friends catch her by the shoulderson the edge of a casino balcony,drunk and reeling above gaggles of tourists. Cocktails in hand, the revellers gaze: first with curiosity, then malice. Vulnerability brings out their sadism.They point and laugh. She tries tohurl her body into their upturned faces. Hands […]

The Dandelion by Sophia Vesely

The Dandelion has been previously published in Writer’s Egg Magazine. The seedling…most recently aware,frolics newly-sprouted in a fantasy of yellow.It smiles and gigglesunder the sun,which nourishes the bright skin.It crouches and tremblesby the harsh whip of the stormwhose shadows echo and howl.It dances and singswith the light kiss of a shower. Yellow bloom…most recently rooted,stands confident […]

Three Poems by Lucy Cundill

A previous version of “Carnivore” has been published in Squeeze 2020: UEA Creative Writing Anthology rorschach’s nose bleed Rorschach’s nose bleed,  you don’t sit on the paper like you ought to,  – you twist and turn and try  to defy shape. you try to defy everyone – it’s the only thing that lets you get […]

Three Poems by Audrey Spina

La Pietà to be published in the online magazine, They Call Us, in early January 2021. Museum Entrance Two ancient lovers hold handsas if they’ll dissolve away from each other like heated sugar;a woman holds herself, rocking a crying baby slung on herchest like a gold medallion. A glass door holds ustogether. We slide in […]

Don’t Talk To Me Of Hiroshima by Kaustuv Ghosh

Do not talk to me of Hiroshima, he saidSurprising the nurse with one free hand. Not fourteen anymore and not quite forty,He had manned the pickets for over a weekWithin the tear gas amphitheatre.Briefly, the sea of khaki had partedFor an elderly teacher who, bewildered,Called them his children and urged surrender.I had taught you the […]

Three Poems by Hibah Shabkhez

Born of melted bone-stew, my first forbears
Were conjured to bind and to sustain. Poured
Into the cracks and creases of your wares,
They sealed flaws forever. Then you soured
On such strength, and so

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