Chocolate Cake

By Jennifer Wortman
My dad’s student from the college, who’d come over for dinner, looked at me and said, “You can’t have any chocolate cake!” I was one. He thought he was making a pretty good joke.

How My Mother Posed Me

By Gary Fincke
The photographer instructs my mother to hide under the dark maroon blanket to hold her infant still. “It takes time and quiet for your darling to be perfect,” he says.

The Swedish Word for Joy

By Brett Ann Stanciu
I begged off 2000 Census training and rushed up the windowless stairs of the cheap-paneled church basement.


By Eliot Li
With wild eyes, my sister presses her small body’s weight against the oven door. The iron stove bucks and knocks around, before going still.

Teaching English in the Biology Lab

By Gary Fincke
Sea life charts are props for Melville, the mounted cat a visual aid for Poe. Leaves are displayed like a nod to Thoreau.

Photo Story: Warm and Alive

By Andrea Daniels
A careful undertaker from Sheepshead Bay. We met via personal ad, his exactly three lines long. A tidy accounting of loneliness.

Dimensions of Human Behavior

Alexandra N. Kontes
Shortly after we last spoke, you became a ghost, and I became a hermit.


By Andrew Stancek
“The blue jays need sunflower seeds,” he gurgles, his rigid, wing-like arm shaking.

Photo Story: 1974

By Riley Ann
We didn’t talk that summer. My father drowned out the silence with the news: Nixon, war, the World Series...

You play as a femme venom avatar & we never get past the character creation page

By Erin Vachon
We’re mashing up faces in the RPG campaign on your game system, two boys sitting, joysticking experience points in a multifaceted digitizer...

False Stars

By Frances Badgett
The frozen ground, hard and cold, lumped under their blanket, dug into them. She followed his finger to the sky.

Photo Story: If I Could Buy Thoughts

By Amy Marques
I would give a penny to the student who sits in the back and looks down whenever they sense a question coming ...

Golden State

By Charles Prelle
We’re humming down the Pacific Coast Highway just north of San Francisco on our gap year in a rented real American cherry red 1993 Ford Mustang...

Photo Story: The Candy Store Thinks She’s an Ocean

By Linda Grierson-Irish
She’d glimpsed scenes from a documentary on a girl’s mobile screen. Now her syrupy exhalations smell brackish.


By Myna Chang
There’s a split second, after the ignition catches and the radio blasts out a loud loud song from high school, when time strikes...

The Hill

By Hannah Marshall
I never learned to flatter, to dove like a wisp of white grace, instead challenging boys to footraces and tackling them into grass stains...

Photo Story: Now, We’ll Hold Her Forever

By Lauren Kardos
I cup you in my palm, brushing your curls with my thumbnail. The ringlets, once soda-can width, now spiral like tiny quinoa germs.

The Weight of Things

By Audrey Alt
Every Friday, she’s on time to pick up her grandfather, who teases, “Punctuality is your best quality.”

Wild Thing

By Karen Crawford
Mother empties Father’s pockets and confiscates his phone. Dollar bills unfurl. Pills scatter like candy across the floor.

Photo Story: The Dare

By Joanna Theiss
Blister heat, sunstroke heat. Melted tar, fried egg heat. T-shirt stuck to the small of my back heat, bunched wet and sour under my armpits heat.