Tag Archives: December 2023

Autumn Landscape by Elizabeth Mercurio

woman in white leotard mid-air beneath autumn tree

How do you bear the middle-aged body, all its longing— ……    a body grown round. It doesn’t curve with the same sweetness it did on days when they snapped your bra in the hallway or nights when they whispered, You’re perfect, though you never believed it. The body gives up its wounds too, all the times you said no without words. It’s yours now. You stretch out your arms, turn in scarlet-yellow leaves your heart still hungry in its cage. —In the lowering autumn dark you are here, astonishingly, here. Elizabeth Mercurio is the … Continue reading Autumn Landscape by Elizabeth Mercurio

Outside Whole Foods by Eliot Wilson

Photo of bus in front of tree with green and red leaves

We always seem to get the red light here, just close enough to Whole Foods to see in while the bus kneels to unfold the ramp that allows the ex-marine and his dog to board and position themselves to go. Across from me, a woman eats frosting from a container with a plastic spoon. And this early, the Whole Foods is aglow. These are the wives of software engineers or they are software engineers themselves, orchid-stem skinny, flushed from hot yoga, selecting whatever appeals to them under a hanging wave of kombucha Then a new … Continue reading Outside Whole Foods by Eliot Wilson

In Memoriam of Henry G. Shirley by Brannon O’Brennan

Time lapse photo of lights of cars driving on road

A sky god laments unintended consequences, observing the artery that injects the city with Virginia. Suburban sanguines resigned to short trip long lines. Mr. Shirley never lived to see the six figure thousands daily realize his vision atop his slitherslow namesnake. Farther below, heads sway back and forth in unison like temporary bulrushes whose rhythms are enforced by trafical breezes dancing over an asphalted current. Only liars want the river today. Downhill currents defy gravity, speed slows as two fifths of the Defense Department drifts by, and the tourist landmarks peek out the tops of … Continue reading In Memoriam of Henry G. Shirley by Brannon O’Brennan

Missive From the Snow Globe by Charlotte Matthews

Photo of snow globe

Not sure how we got here. But here is where we are. My next-door neighbor, Sarah, and her little sister Pearl, and me. We were eating cereal at their red kitchen table, the light of January moving across the wall where their parakeets, Peet and Repeat, lunge sporadically around their cage. We were at the kitchen table one moment. And the next we were inside this snow globe. On the floor is a circular rug, red and pink with miniature roses, probably wool, like the rugs at the store where Mom works. To the left … Continue reading Missive From the Snow Globe by Charlotte Matthews

Second Marriage by E. K. Riley

Black and white photo of picture on ground

    She kept track of what belonged to her and what belonged to him. She felt guilty, but also compelled. The silver coffee spoons were hers, a family heirloom and dormant in a back drawer since she didn’t throw those kinds of parties anymore. The spinning top collection that reminded him of a similar basket from his childhood were his. The vintage bomber jacket mixed in among the coats, the one that still smelled faintly of club cigarettes and highway exhaust, that was hers. The white plates, chipped with use, and the ceramic mugs … Continue reading Second Marriage by E. K. Riley

An Ending by Adam Day

Photo of a galaxy

                                   after Mark Bibbins Rays burrowing in sand like hearing someone typing an endless suicide note in a room at the end of a carpeted hall, we go on believing that nothing can touch us here, though loss is like wearing a blouse made of a thousand needles, remembering the weight of the phone in your hand when the call came in, the body a snowshoe hare   curled like a closed hand. Adam Day is the author of Left-Handed Wolf (LSU Press, … Continue reading An Ending by Adam Day