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…

heart illustration

Unpacking by Jordan Upshaw

My bones feel soft enough to slip my hands right through my chest, part my breastbone like clay reach inside and take out my organs, one by one fill the bathtub with cool water gently place each organ in to soak rinse cheap vodka from my liver squeeze the smoke from my lungs let them…

photo of rock salt

Please by Arlyn LaBelle

Their time at sea became its’ own reality. The salt and musk that sunk into their hair, their clothes, the way their bodies learned to lean, bracing in their sleep. Their mother who carved her wrists into flowers, and the way her body twitched as she was eaten by silver fish beneath her like a…