photo of mold

to decay by Sam Stebbins

I’ve spent the past few weeks watching mold grow on stewed tomatoes, mourning their sweetness, the possibility of feeling the catch of the teeth of a serrated knife as I slice through them. I’ve been thinking about the serrated knife, a gift from my mother, designed for cutting meat I cannot afford and wouldn’t eat…

photo of ring with topaz crystals

Pawnshop Mama by Laura Hoffman

the bloodshot man at the Value Pawn said it was genuine as he fingered the dainty band of white gold: my old metal cherry its stone: a mystic topaz that winked at me in sparkling Morse code beneath the buzz of lifeless fluorescence it was the ring that the man with the Roman nose forced…

photo of Darwin statue

The Secret by Jack B. Bedell

The Secret —Antieau Gallery, Royal St., NOLA   Her fairy tale of blue sky and quiet bugs presses itself into the bark of a black tree— Grasshoppers and mosquito hawks, damsel flies and beetles live this story stitch by stitch, closer to the skinny robins in this tree than any world would allow. To keep…

photo of chrysalises

De Generatione Dei by Joshua Jones

When we fessed up about not wanting any, Mom said “Sometimes babies just happen.” And, like a crack in a chrysalis, a hangover blistered my thigh while a tension headache bloomed. Above me, my wife—atop a donkey and peppered in swan’s down —rears back a mallet as big as sin, and I realize Mom’s right,…

photo of couscous

Drinking dirty by Mark G. Pennington

Her haunted look and I’m buying Grand Marnier, hot salmon, tomatoes, something called couscous. I can’t look right in the eyes, she reminds me the trouble, there are two blondes either side but it is her I want, her motherly, her ache, her deep explosive love, she’s good, she’s heart, she’s screaming blood, hurricanes and…

photo of firewoord burning

REAL SHIT by James Croal Jackson

We’re eating Thai food, like we were supposed to do yesterday, and I tell you that spice level, I couldn’t handle but next I know we’re walking through alleys shoulder-to-shoulder when you ask when you gonna talk about the real shit? And we keep on, sun dipping to avoid the real conversations and I know…

photo of inside of a coffee cup

Coffee by Wheeler Light

Too much of a good thing I call breakfast. We meet for coffee and talk. For a bit, it’s warm out. The same conversation again. You pull the ripcord saying you have to go to the work you don’t have today but it’s a good excuse. I don’t call you out on lying and play…