Beholder by Erika Raskin

Photo of shards of broken blue dish
 

I went on a museum field trip not too long ago and had a revelation. I’m sure I’m not the first person to have pondered the following—but isn’t it wild to think that all sorts of currently priceless artifacts may well have started off as gee gaws shoved in the junk drawers of days of yore? I mean the pottery fragment on display could have come from a set of unregistered-for-salad plates some caveman’s new bride couldn’t put in the give-away bag fast enough. Or you know, accidentally dropped. In other words, it’s entirely possible … Continue reading Beholder by Erika Raskin

Abortion Decision Life-or-Death for Some by Celia Rivenbark

Photo of protest, sign says "March Like Your Future Depends on It"
 

We had been married a little over a year when I had an abortion. Put down your rocks and torches. If I had not had the abortion, I might well have died. Not so simple now, is it? If I had been your wife, your daughter, your sister, your friend. I had an abortion because I had a molar pregnancy in which a tumor forms in place of a normal placenta. Your body, and your blood work, doesn’t know that yet. You have a positive pregnancy test; you celebrate; you even buy a couple of … Continue reading Abortion Decision Life-or-Death for Some by Celia Rivenbark

Stories by Sharon Ackerman

Mother holding a baby next to a mountain
 

I Like the Story Of the watch my father gave my mother How it stopped whenever they fought, except that is not the full story, the whole one. In the beginning there was a hard-earned dollar then another and another in a jar. And a jeweler in Hazard on a bull hot summer noon, the boy charging in, a gold chain paid to his keeping, and his face, which glowed but did not show yet that love is a stop-start thing unwound and lapsed into the silence of a drawer. Collecting years of bitter dust, … Continue reading Stories by Sharon Ackerman

Innocence Abroad by Miles Fowler

Photo of cloth napkins
 

I spent a month in Europe in 1998, doing research for a novel I was planning to write (and still plan to finish). The trip brings back memories, some delightful and others regretful. Often, both had to do with language. I really only speak one language. Even then, I often meet English words I do not know, and it humbles me. So, before I set off, I memorized a few set phrases in French and German, some having to do with negotiating food and lodging, and others to get a sense of where things were … Continue reading Innocence Abroad by Miles Fowler

Ode to Wonder Woman by Akhim Yuseff Cabey

wonder woman crossing wrists
 

back then on that Bronx block few of us stood a chance against reruns of Lynda Carter’s Bracelets of Submission…..truth lasso or pale décolletage rendering erotic doses of televised justice on a daily basis. but we all know it wasn’t just her alone. so many of the finest neighborhood girls played defense with both their hearts and breasts—and rightfully so— because we’d wetted our tongues too often just to get a chance to one day lick the closest thing we could find to a cinematic Caucasian nipple. and into the Internet and collegiate suburbs we … Continue reading Ode to Wonder Woman by Akhim Yuseff Cabey

Photographs by Peter Filene


 

  Two “aha!” moments have erupted during my career as a fine arts photographer. But rather than lightning bolts from on-high, they arrived as a voice—my voice—exclaiming, “why not!” At each moment, my photography swerved in a new direction. I began shooting seriously in the 1970s, alongside my career as a U.S. history professor at UNC, Chapel Hill. I was teaching an undergraduate seminar on “American Photography and American Culture.” Inspired by the work of Alfred Stieglitz, Walker Evans, and Robert Frank, I bought a Nikon FM, took workshops at Maine and RISD, and prowled … Continue reading Photographs by Peter Filene

Journey by Billie Hinton

dark figure on a boat at night
 

…………Perhaps when the boy built the elaborate scaffolding between sand trays in his first therapy session he was building bridges from me to him. …………Perhaps the melting down of crayons in aluminum foil was alchemy, testing the boundaries of the place he would heal. …………Perhaps the Playmobil medical worker locked in a tiny building while opposing armies fought was for her safety, or for his own. …………Perhaps, in a much later sand tray, the same Playmobil medical worker holding a light at the prow of the boat in dangerous waters was lighting the darkness. …………Perhaps … Continue reading Journey by Billie Hinton

How To Survive The Buffet by Jessica Mendoza

Photo of party guest's hand holding food
 

  You’re twenty. Fresh-faced. Everyone else in this writing cohort is watching you, rubbernecking, wide-eyed, pale. They can smell the blood in the water. They know you are going to say something, you must say something. Silence is not an option. The woman who submitted the piece is proud of it. Proud. Admittedly, her prose is clean, precise, purposeful. She has her MFA. She’s earned it. She uses it to write about people whose suffering she could never begin to comprehend. Her little scrap of prose chronicles the murder of a fictional anonymous boy in … Continue reading How To Survive The Buffet by Jessica Mendoza

Bookends by Elizabeth Dudley Wilbur


 

As a very small child I learned language just like all small children. Only in my case there were some mysterious words that took me years to sort out their true meaning. There were words like Amtrak, lugao, Santo Tomás, Los Baños, Baguio, paratroopers. These words were part of my family life and lore. They were the words of World War II internees (another one of those words!). I played with my mother’s crutches, pretending to walk on them by putting my arms where her hands went. I watched my brother put on his leg … Continue reading Bookends by Elizabeth Dudley Wilbur

Meeting Myself on My Morning Walk and Cheney’s Cafe, 2 poems by Rodney Torreson

sidewalk cafe with red, white, blue table
 

Meeting Myself on My Morning Walk …..a long look up into branches I’ll see him, ………………his blond hair in a butch I wore more than fifty years ago. ………..Where wind currents swell every which way, ……………..a tree where limbs are bustling, ………….his arms around a pair of branches, ………………he’ll thrust them away and draw them back in, ………………somehow getting the whole tree …………heaving in his sway, ………………anything for my attention, …..his face filled with sun, ……………his eyes alive, his jaws wrangling ………………with a wad, while below, on the sidewalk ……………….the sweet scent of Bazooka as … Continue reading Meeting Myself on My Morning Walk and Cheney’s Cafe, 2 poems by Rodney Torreson

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