175 lede

Goat Mathematics. by Nick Alti

I’m horrified of myself. To even open this window is an incalculable risk, considering the mice. / How they desire escape. / When the rodents disappear what will interrupt this silence? God? Myself with // an armory of apologies? / Put on me that / white robe divine & forlorn / I’ll crush open the window. // Notice all this night, / how when examined intensely enough every glimmering star is a cosmic anus / people decide to pray to.
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Inside the Next Day by Lotte Lee Lewis

I dare you to drink it / see if it gets you fucked, he goes, pointing to the blood blushing the floor of Aisle 7. Some kids had accidentally knocked over a bottle of vodka crated in the half price display and got down on their knees the second after it split, slinging their swollen tongues along the floor. One had cut themself on some of the broken glass and the ambulance was on its way. Bet he did it justa get offa class. Wasn’t even blarin’. Nearby cars were busy crashing. Customers had been warned to keep to the other aisles, but the translucent red river ran all the way down to the tills, so’s the outside became a squelch of scarlet footsteps leading from door to car.

Hillbilly Heroin. by Ryan Quinn Flanagan

I remember
being at that jock party
out in Innisfil
with some girls from
a different school
and wondering what the hell
I was doing there
watching rednecks pump the keg
and take turns jumping through
the fire pit
until one of them caught fire,
all in their football jerseys even though
there was no game
and the way they stared at me
wanting to beat me up,
but I came with the girls

The Edge of Daylight by Patrick Brennan

I wake from a dream, gripped with terror and confusion. Slowly, the room comes into focus. Black and white photos of wedding days. Pale green wallpaper decorated with fading roses. A framed painting of Jesus Christ with a glowing red bulb in front like a fire's dying embers. My grandmother's sitting room. I sleep on the flattened out leather sofa when we stay with her. My mother must be in the upper room and my brother in the room beside me, where our grandfather used to sleep.

The curtains are open. The sun is barely up, the edge of daylight dim through the thick grey clouds. I untangle myself from the sheets and sit up on the hard sofa, springs poking into me, and smell something acrid, like plastic burning. I get up without dressing and run to the kitchen, ready for the sight of flickering flames, but the curtains are closed and the stove is dark and there is no smoke smell here at all. I go back to the sitting room and realise the smell is coming from outside. A grey haze has fallen.