143 lede

Black Shrunken Blemish
by Kyra Baldwin

WHEN FRANCES had to speak publicly, her legs shook. As a kid, she had grown faster up than she had out, and it felt like two wooden stilts extended from her hipbones. “Growing like a weed!” her mother would laugh into the phone. “Our Frances, the weed.” She had never wanted to be a weed and she didn’t much care for dandelions.
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“In the Boat” w/ another three by Russell Bennetts and Rauan Klassnik

The Messiah cringed in blood. The same old waves. Same seagulls. The same old atheist-gusts of void. The same old unlit star guides the rapids around our boat of thieves.

That wile-old, all-eater connived into bone. It was a palace. And he thrilled to the hate. Thrilled at the marble voids

——(meanwhile, the getaway driver rasped of everywhen your dreams fold )

That rained upon the grass

On Chubby Animals. and 1 more called If I Had Had a Husband. by Tiegan Dakin

Sugar plum fairies,
she says for laughs.

She was always
an eloquent hippopotamus
darling.

Her juvenile puppy fat
inflamed
by the words.

Wounded cauliflower,
no one
wants to be seen.

Horn of Plenty by Alison Rae Mauro

Under the filthiest, stinkingest socks dwelt a terrified, mortified person of questionable species. He might have been an insect, but perhaps not, since the exoskeleton was a soft and plush little cushion, like a tiny upholstered footstool capable of locomotion.

I found him for the purpose of this interview as he was combing chalky dust through his hair, which I seized on as the point of my lead question: “What was he doing with his hair and how could it be improved?” He confessed to never having watched the Learning Channel and to never reading a how-to article on the subject of hair maintenance, so I was flabbergasted to say the least. His face was slathered in burgundy grease that seemed like molasses but on closer examination proved to be a form of mold.