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Girl in Perfume

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by Carol Guess

 

The fear had to be taught. It wasn’t something women were born with. Kirstin birthed the fear in them, not like giving birth, but like controlling a robot. 

It was Kirstin’s job to make women think their body odors were bad. To scare them at the signature of their own scent, sour them on sweat, breath, sticky under the arms, wet between the...

The Color Inside a Melon

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A novel excerpt by John Domini

[Risto—Aristofano Al’Kair—is a rarity in contemporary Italy, an immigrant success story. Out of Mogadishu, he’s earned citizenship and lives now in Naples, with a wife who’s a native. Here, the two take advantage of a rare quiet moment.]

“The kids,” he found himself saying. “Such a, a wonder.”

Amore, yes...

Gun Safe

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by Carol Guess

Every Monday, Mock City. You get up at five am, but instead of driving north to the airport, you drive south through strip malls and suburbs. You drive to the police academy where you were trained and now work one morning a week. Mock City interrupts the parking lot of the academy, a rectangular building with vinyl siding, handwritten signage, and...

Three Flash Fictions by Aimee Parkison

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I File His Fangs

I’m afraid of my son. I’ve known a terror beyond terror because of my beautiful boy. He’s beloved by other children, his teachers, and my husband, his father. I never tell anyone what’s really going on, especially his father. Not only would he not want to hear it, he wouldn’t believe it and might consider it a betrayal. Besides, even if I could...

Four Poems by Rebecca Doverspike

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Contemplative Prayer
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In a cemetery, the same darkness as that between stars grows moss.  Time unlocks tunnels and tunnels behind those rocks.

water lily : flames inside a telephone

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An excerpt from My Red Heaven

by Lance Olsen

In a warm pasture overlooking the Austrian village of Stockerau, six-year-old Ernst Herbeck nibbles a long blade of grass, back against an oak, inhaling the loamy moistness of cow patties, daydreaming of Berlin.

He has never been there.

He will never go.

He has seen photographs.

He was too...

Nine Poems by Hannah Grady

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The Fog   The fog came unpredictably as a gift (after the sticky sleep and awkward, stoic morning). I smelled toast but never saw it. The door closed and I cried a little in the bathtub.   Right, the fog - Hanging over the hole where the Nets will play someday, sliding down Dean Street as a happy hour pickleback might at half-time of Germany vs. Austria.   It came...

Curfew

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by Joseph Salvatore

“Gonna tonight go kill us a boy,” Elzira said, rising to full height. “Gonna tonight go make it right for Dodie.” But the candle-lit circle of cross-legged girls sitting around Elzira looked away from her, to the dark corner under the rafters, to the bottle and hammer that’d been laid atop a stack of cinderblocks, strewn with strings of holiday lights and dried...

Three poems by David Dephy

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The Lilac Shadow of a Tree

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I am you and who I see is me, if anything

happens it happens in me, it happens in you,

I see the lilac shadow of a tree and it seems

to me...

Ghost Story

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by Laura Freudenthaler

Novel excerpt translated by Tess Lewis on behalf of the Austrian Cultural Forum, New York. Published in the original (Geistergeschichte) by Literaturverlag Droschl, 2019.

Anne closes the apartment door from inside. She sets her purse on the stool, looks at her phone, and puts it back in the side pocket. She has...

The Bee Kingdom

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Joy Garnett

For years I tried to put together a picture of my grandfather. He was an Egyptian Romantic poet of some notoriety. All around me were his books and photographs from my mother’s childhood. His portrait, painted at the turn of the century, hung framed in the hallway along with a portrait of my grandmother by the same artist. Legend has it they met on a London bus when...

Like Lips, Like Skins

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by Andrea Scrima

Like cans with expired shelf lives, stored away at the bottom of a box of old books, I happened upon my father’s journals after moving to a smaller apartment with my son. I took them into my hands, hesitated, then placed them gently aside. The next morning I began to leaf through this strange shorthand of lived life written in a “Top Scholar” composition...

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