38 lede

No Censure by Tracy R. Franklin 

I KILLED a MAN last night, intentionally and after careful planning. I thought it would be harder to do, but I came home and washed off every icky sentiment with a simple long, hot, soapy shower; then I brushed my teeth, made a steaming mug of mint tea, put my feet up on the coffee table, and watched a romantic comedy.
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meat market in this manse world! by Matthew Harris

     Prior to shifting gears to second (among the gritty streets of this urban area known as the city of angels), an automatic reflex found me to rev the engine full throttle in reverse (nearly jamming the gear shift in the process), and steer the wheel (of my old battered 1995 Subaru Legacy) while peering backward all the while toward a waif like woman advertising sex in this most dangerous, rundown gruesome alleyway in a Los Angeles ghetto!

“I Don’t Wanna Get Married” by Jonas Kyle-Sidell

Who thought of this gauntlet? Feel the hot

But I’d marry you, tomorrow, in Atlantic City, ‘cause then

sun come down on me, mark every satellite

King by Nick Mwaluko

I take the basket outside to her front door. Knock. No answer though I think I saw the curtain move ever so slightly so someone has to be home, right? I knock again. Maybe she’s in. Nothing. Next time I ring the doorbell. Someone, a man I’ve never seen before, says “Who?” His voice is clipped, deep with nearly zero warmth compared to Paule’s but could be it’s because he’s speaking from behind the door and hasn’t opened yet for me to hear him clearly. “May I see Paule?” Silence. I wait.