A Congregation of Blisters (Year of the Tooth) by Jared Zimmerline

The company gathers to stand and scope
like lonely cattle toward a water hollow.
One man dresses like Frank Sinatra,
another picks burs from his singed red skin,
throughout the pack I see many tall scattered girls,
boys in flamboyant caps, armed with heavy watches
and an old woman who looks like she might be from Memphis.

A group of guitarists sit and sing near some trees Read more


Wind Chimes by Ashley Wiser

Blotchy sheets, brief modesty against Orion prying,
Fingers about ankles in a wake of leaves,
The trees, grounded trunks guard
While leaves obstruct the moon’s virtue,
Greedy to watch worms eat.
Wet, the earth from rain,
Is compliant to his shovel.

“It’s taken care of,”
he whispers above sheets
to her below, hidden from moonlight
she smiles.
Like the wind ravishes the wind chime,
Her breeze employs his hands.

Mid-Coital Catastrophe by Eric Moore

Jim sighed as he removed the threadbare boxer-briefs his wife had bought him two, maybe three Christmases ago. Slowly, the bulk of his 42-year-old penis flopped like a miniature bungie cord. Hah, yeah, a bungie cord. The guys back at the office would get a hoot out of that one. A hoot and then a few emulative sighs, before they returned to their golf magazines and dreams of weekend steak.

But the office was the last thing Jim wanted on his mind right now, and his wife, Joanne, would concur had she been reading his mind. Which, Read more

Afternoon Scherzo by Tom Hosmanek

Ducks. Ducks on the pond. Every spring they left. Every fall they returned. For a moment she focused on one as it skitted across the water’’s surface and effortlessly elevated itself, then slotted its body into a v-shaped pattern with the others. Where do you come from, she wondered. Some said they flew down the coast from New York State. Some, they said, came from Central Park. How could they know? She decided it was just another ““they said”” canard.

Turning her wrist she checked the time, and a small grimace crossed her face. Where was Goddard? Read more

The First Rule by Rachel Serslev

As you approach the store you can see the weathered yellow letters through the windshield. They spell out Liquor Store. There is a rusted gate pushed half way open revealing glass doors that are cluttered with advertisements. Despite the shabby exterior, you find the store brings a welcoming familiarity to you. You and your Dad have been coming here for as long as you can remember and the outings are some of your favorites. You are on the verge of escaping the cocoon of childhood. You struggle with your image, your friends and the boy you have been crushing on. A seemingly ideal life but to you it is exhausting and consuming. Read more