118 lede

Billy Sees Red by H. D. Loughrey

UNTIDY ripples of movement across the pub signalled Nate’s arrival. Heads began to swivel and bob back and forth; whispers ebbed and flowed from the sofas to the bar. Billy lifted his chin from the damp, sticky table and followed the flickering of girls tossing back their hair and men turning out their pockets. “There he is.” Billy nodded in Nate’s direction.
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Nominative Absolute. by Chris Campanioni

Death is in the restroom
staring at my reflection
in the mirror.

I see myself in the future
tense, imperfect past,
or simply participle

“Misses Chow” by Joseph D. Reich

I've gotten so lonely recently
i've started to respond to my
spam mail my dear m'am i'll
meet you under the polawski
bridge with my social security
number and demographics and
all other identifying information
i'll show you mine if you show
me yours and that $1,000,007
and what are you wearing

Carnival Pigeons. by Craig Kurtz

SAWDUST. Come along and revel, I’ve got a tale for you;
(Excuse the carny humor; what can a tent mouse do?);
A sentimental story, fit for kids and grown-ups too;
I’ll ringmaster this lyric (and, for now, louche rhymes eschew).

Guilt Trip by rl goldberg

Our preacher says, “We are the salt of the earth.” We pick up take-out on the way home. Our driveway is mottled with oil stains from our daughter’s car. Our son won’t come to the table when we call for him. He is cutting T-shirts into long strips. He says he is going to tie them together and hang himself in the garage tonight because we won’t buy him a car, which speaks not to his wants but his resentment for being the unfavored child. He tells us to save his dessert in the refrigerator for tomorrow. My husband texts his mistress with one hand and squeezes my nipple with his other. I am certain that, like every night, his mistress is at home tending to her husband, a supposed paraplegic. My husband reads her response out loud. The mistress messages back that she wants to smother her husband in his sleep. She writes that he won’t even be able to fight back, not like a real man would. She wants to know if this makes my husband randy. She wants to know the dirty perverted things he will do to her. Our dinner is too hot to eat yet. Our son calls, “How much weight can the pipes hold?”