photo of miniature woman tied up with red yarn

Knots by Gwen Beatty

We would drive until we hit dead ends. The point was to get lost, really, but we could never shake the city lights in our rearview. When Davey dropped out of college he told everyone he was training to be a professional wrestler because he didn’t want to admit he’d turned to relentless day drinking,…

photo of campfire at night

Night 17 by Sam Martone

A new moon’s walk home. My flashlight’s flashing light. We spent the last few hours a pasture away from camp, sitting around a fire with other counselors daring enough to sneak out, drinking whiskey from paper cups and lukewarm beer someone had been keeping in the trunk of a car. Now, you and I are…

sculpture of nude woman reclining on couch

Party with Artists by Leonard Kress

Several men check their Blackberries for scores—Ohio State and whoever—so they fail to notice the girl who’s less than half their age, as she lowers herself to the couch and falls asleep. One of her arms dangles and her fingers splay over the edge and grasp at the carpet. If the dog chained outside the…

photo of man making creepy face

Unaging Photos by Nathaniel Tower

I used to photograph girls back in the 80s when it was still about novelty and vanity. My studio was a shaded bench hugging the lesser-traveled trail of an oft-visited park. There my old Hasselblad captured girls who were beautiful in their own ways. They had kinks in their backs and lopsided noses. Bodies strewn…

photo of armadillo

Smudged by Wendy Taylor Carlisle

Fawn dead on the roadside, a grille sacrifice, “they jump right at you,” Larry says, who knows about deer and also that there are coon here although I don’t see them or the buck since the dogs came to live with us but nothing spooks the armadillo, shuffling into the brush, proto-brain signaling hunger, scythe claws at the…

photo of broken eggshelss in mostly empty egg carton

How To Starve by Melissa Prunty Kemp

Take three weeks before departure to practice. It could be mid-summer squash harvest, or time for shucking summer peas. The runts and droppings would have been added to a dinner soup. Smell the boiling pork scraps saved for the first pot swirling among aromas of green. Then ladle this premature harvest into the largest gourds and pray thanks,…

photo of hand tipping over silver bowl containing water

Two Poems by Susan Yount

After Icarus Fell, after Pieter Bruegel’s Landscape with the Fall of Icarus 1560 oil on canvas 28.9 in × 44 in our ships would never dock. When no one on the island seemed to notice, we thought them all dead. On Sundays, we’d trade women. On Mondays, we’d wake drowning. On Tuesdays, we’d spin in the sea,…

water dripping from a faucet

The Moon, It Grins by Rory Fleming

I started replaying my file of The Legend of Zelda: Majora’s Mask. I tapped the A button to get through the opening screens so I could play the damn thing, so I could look up and see the Moon. Link had three days to prevent it from crashing into the earth. Since Link was my…