photo of a cow

Stolen Pleasures by Lise Colas

Taken from the larder on a sultry summer’s day, generous pats of best Epping butter, delivered by Mr Thackeray every second Tuesday in the month. Sly taste of salty gold on the tip of a rounded silver blade. Spread thick, without thought of the dwindling scraps left behind in the dinky blue and white butter…

photo of yellow subway car in station

Before by Tara Isabel Zambrano

Sometimes, Neil and I’d meet for lunch in a small Indian restaurant that served astonishingly delicious lamb curry with rice crepes. The waiter was a tall Sikh who often gave us privacy and a discount. We’d sit outside and watch the clouds swirl in the sky, our finger tips stained with tomato-turmeric sauce. On our…

photo of a bear

Two Poems by Jeff Whitney

Perpetual Country (Blood) It’s ok to be out of rivers and weak. Even today, wind troubling the lake’s thin chemise, two green birds kissing on a soldier’s cap, a Kansas calf’s warm blood misting the bullet   made miraculous by speed. We fail so perfectly as if it were designed. Sugar and sex the closest…

photo of girl with dark hair covering her face

Borealis by William C. Blome

The Indian girl in the bright green dress from down, down Madras way; the Indian girl with an overbite, hairy arms, and brassy coins; the Indian girl who’s somewhat tiresome at the zoo with her “let’s-stay-here-till-closing-time” chant in front of the great sandbox turtles and a rhino call home; oh the Indian girl whose voice…

photo of trilobite

A Benthic Wunderkind by John Gorman

Sweta caught me picking lint from my belly button. I was blessed with an innie. She didn’t bother looking away, and I gave her oodles of credit for that. You’d think, in a scenario like this, we were lounging poolside or finishing up a 10K in the park, but nope. We were both at one…

photo of crescent moon

0500 by Miriam Alexander-Kumaradoss

At 5AM, when I’ve been up all night, a wind sometimes rushes through the garden and sets branches and stalks rustling against each other. Sometimes I’ll be wandering through the house when this happens and I’ll stop in front of a window and watch them undulate. Sometimes the moon is just a fingernail in the…

photo of snake skeleton

Being by Michael O’Neill

It was cold the day you touched me. Your hands entering just below the ribs, opening the drawer inside me, pulling it loose from its tracks, emptying the contents on the floor and rifling through the chalk white bones in search of the constellation spiraling through the atmosphere of my carcass.   We are all…

photo of sparkly red nail polish puddle

The Hedgehog by Rachel Linn

Inspired by “Hans-My-Hedgehog,” a Brothers Grimm tale Nobody realized that Zhao Li was different until near the end of elementary school, when he started to look seriously weird. We were all the same cans of soup–and then he grew a layer of spines over almost his entire body. He still looked better than a lot…