You didn’t say anything as you gripped the bird in your fist. My parakeet, bright yellow like a small lemon, hung there very still, its head just above the knuckle of your thumb. The look on your face spoke your evil.
When I was seven my cousin John put a water pistol in my ear and pulled the trigger, laughing so hard he peed himself while I stumbled around the patio shaking my head and crying. Earlier that morning he’d boasted that everyone in the world was shit, except me, and someday he’d make the shits pay. That summer John was only nine, his arms covered with self-inflicted bite marks and Magic Marker skulls.
The road to you
Is full of broken glass
The five sand dollars I found
I used for a down-payment
On a piece of ocean
I cut a hole for you to climb through
A little article I read somewhere said you were trying to get rid of me. Possible cause of cancer, it called me. Restrictive to healthy flow of toxin-flushing lymphatic fluids, it said. Well, that article didn’t have the story quite right. Surprise. I’m still here. I’m the support your mother can no longer give you. The phantom touch of your ghost child holding your heart. You think you can get rid of me? You think silly science chatter will silence me? You think wrong. My underwire bites like hell And like the gods in hell and above It holds all [Read more]
Sometimes the small stories fall into the cracks of my couch along with the crumbs and pens and unnamable, sticky objects fished out and quickly discarded. I’ve watched furtively as the potted cyclamen has slowly died on the back porch, callous to its suffering. The waxy pellet I threw away was the pain of every living thing. Sometimes the small stories aren’t small at all, they’re just unrecognizable in their current form. Outside, my neighbor is mowing his lawn. The tender grass won’t stop screaming. Richard King Perkins II is a state-sponsored advocate for residents in long-term care facilities. He [Read more]
She scatters her scars over the water, praying the sea will take them away on the waves, leaving them to heal on some foreign shore. Dan lives quietly in Pontiac, Illinois, tending to home and garden. His poems have been published in The Writer’s Journal, PKA Advocate, Nomad’s Choir and many others. His work is also included in several anthologies. He has written off and on for a number of years and has written three chapbooks – Musing, Your Star and Other Poems and Random Tales.
The third time Maggie left her husband, she took the dog, but not the cat. She was back in four days with the fury tamped down in her gut and the guilt still a metronome in her head. Simon had sorted every shelf in the apartment while she was gone and put every knife from the kitchen in a Tupperware container in the freezer. “I knew you’d be back.” She had not told anyone she was going, so the failure to stay gone did not chime with criticism through her network of family and friends. In truth, the last few [Read more]
Readers: This coming month, we’ve got quite a lot of poetry we really liked. A lot. At least a couple suitcases’ worth. Stay tuned. Writers: Apologies, but we’ve got a TON (metric, not English) of stories and poems we’re still considering for future issues. We’re still working through the first week of July as we speak, as far as submissions go. If you submitted in July and haven’t heard from us, that’s good news: we’re still considering many pieces. If you submitted before July, feel free to contact us and we’ll give you a response. Thanks! -ALR Crew