171 lede

doors without doorways. by Michael Kaplan

me and my girlfriend addie laid down in spoons.
i asked her if she’d heard about my new ride at universal. she said no but in a soft trailing away that meant i shouldn’t speak. a memory had gripped her. she told me there was an experience she’d had at universal studios that is to date “the most unsettling thing she’s ever seen.”
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Hug God by Connie Bedgood

One Wednesday night I was feeling kind of low and setting on the couch when my youngest son, wife, and my eighteen month granddaughter stopped by on their way to church.

As Nina was setting on the couch, I asked, “Where are you going Nina?”

“To the heavens,” she answered. I was amazed at the answer and so were her parents.

One more question, “What will you do at the heavens, Nina?”

Her reply made me feel great:

As she hugged herself she said, “Hug God!”

Joseph S. Pete's Hot Chow ended after a suicide bomb blast

ripped through the roof of the canvas tent,
after the slaughter of the third-world nationals
imported from Sri Lanka

Does God Really Open a Window? by Amy Carlberg

i grind whispers between my palms.
left, mortar; right, pestle.
i think that’s just nifty.

Fiddlesticks! by Amanda Tumminaro

I will concede she had the upper hand
at first (or always), but pronounce my
last name like a crackling fire or that degree is wasted.

A line from Jane Fonda. by Mark Young

There's no need for old-
fashioned graces. You don't
have to be a doctor or a
charity worker to carry out

an online search to find
clinical-looking devices
sold by medical supply
companies in really trad-

itional & ultra-feminine lace.

An offering on the altar of commerce. by Sam Bloom

Fetid air slinks between spine parcels
grafting face pristine
calcutta concrete
oiled black wings iron
office hands bulging
down the bare spine