203 lede

The Family Cemetery by Mark Russo

THE SCREECH of a fisher cat, like the scream of a woman alone in the night, startles Sara out of her sleep. She sits up. Tremors shake her body as she struggles to forget the sound. It had been a hard-fought sleep. She had not gotten to bed until about midnight. And, it seems like only minutes ago that she wound the down comforter around her to warm the cold dampness in her joints.
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20220124

Canvas. by Emma Wells

A long time tilted
perpendicularly askew
with frayed, peeling edges
like grandmother’s fingers;
yet buoyancy lives
as silicone cheapness,
floating on empty tides
and waveless seas.

Daggerfaced Lunatic by Heavy Chew

I spend my days working with fish. If you do this, you’ll start to learn a lot about them, especially the way they think. I'm employed by a Whole Foods in Williamsburg, New York, where I serve happy trophy-wives arm-in-arm with happy trophy-husbands. No one knows whose trophy is whose. Perhaps they’re happy not knowing, perhaps happy because they don’t know that they don’t know. I suppose the distinction is a bit fine, but if you know anything about the way fish think, and the way they move, then the distinction becomes as marked as that of two remote sandbars divided by a chasm of underwater movement and thought. Working in this particular place, it seems, you learn less about the people close to you. Like the person I'm going to tell you about first: Bouncy Herbal Jaybird. I could give some manner of description of the man, but I doubt I'd be confident for very long in anything I said.

2 By Lena Drake


After Sundown
I saw the sun gulp
its final light, just after
4pm. The day hardly
had a moment to
breathe before it was
gone–like the birds
before machines, owners
of the sky. If the Lord God
Bird could not survive, why
should we?

Nothing flies here
that knows the swift
slap of fear when the
sky falls low. I watched
the poinsettias wither
faster than you, how you
wake (remain) on a machine
long after you’ve slept. How
machines keep you when
I can’t.