57 lede

Untitled by Jessica Gramc

DEAD. I start out as dead as the ice around me. I feel cold and brittle, yet slowly the cold starts to fade. Warmth starts to take its place. It grows stronger. It feels safe. The warmth starts to tingle a little, and I like it, but it’s starting to get too warm. Too hot. Burning. I start to squirm. It burns so badly. I have to escape. It’s getting hotter and hotter, when finally I burst out. Air rushes through me. I am born.
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He's a Nice Old Man by Eric Nelson

1. The landlord lived on the first floor. In warm weather, he sat in a plastic folding chair on the stoop of his brownstone, a beautiful duplex that he'd renovated by hand. From what I could tell, he made small talk with neighbors he knew, read the newspaper and occasionally napped. Mostly, though, he talked to my sister-in-law.

Tall Tales by Kayla O'Connell

“What have we got today, Shirley?”

“I’m serious, and stop calling me Shirley”

For a moment he stared at her.

Connection Fading by Evan Coleman

Two squirrels were mating on the first day of classes. Three people stopped to watch them; I was one of the privileged few and was five minutes late to class but I made someone laugh by adding the squirrels’ voices in.
I’m behind in the study of existence.
And someone asked me why I study philosophy the other day?
And another body asked me why I write?

“The Perks of Listening” by Michael Patrick McSweeney

To understand the movements of this party, to know
why lovers switch hands like loose change,
why broken eyes linger across the room,
why a torn-open box of wine reminds you of a screaming mouth,
why so many fingers rush to scrape the wrinkles out of jeans
until their owners resign to clutch their empty phones,