Tag Archives: loss

Room For Grace by Daniel Kenner

person standing in middle of water
 

You Held My Hand And Walked Me Out Of The Water     Sometimes I look at the photos of my parents before they were sick to try and find clues of the diseases to come. There’s one of them courtside at a Providence Friars basketball game, three days after Valentine’s Day. It’s a Thursday, a school night, timestamped 9:25 p.m. Mom must have skipped Survivor. It’s almost a year to the day before Dad’s official diagnosis. They look bold and bright. They belong together, they’re soulmates. And I cry. Mom chose “Grace” as her … Continue reading Room For Grace by Daniel Kenner

Vanilla Music for Sinister Women Coming of Age by Mark Galarrita

Vanilla soft serve cone
 

California Girls was the lyric that bumped the bass held together by a woman’s sweet, altered, voice that tasted like vanilla but left a burn like bottom shelf vodka; and Elsie Malabago loved to hear this sort of tune on 93.5 POP! Radio, cruising with the windows down in her Mother’s old ’99 Corolla—before her Mother’s heart gave out and she died in that car cursing Papa in Tagalog and staring Elsie in the eye to say “putang ina,” whore, with her dying breath—but Elsie forgot that morning because it wasn’t Mother’s car anymore, it … Continue reading Vanilla Music for Sinister Women Coming of Age by Mark Galarrita

How to Grow Wild by Kathy Davis

photo of Fleabane flower
 

How to Grow Wild   Vision failing, she feels the leaves looking for butterfly weed, a seedling from her greenhouse for me to take, add to my efforts to flower a field. Cup plant, sweet goldenrod. Stratify the seeds six weeks then scratch them in—instructions on the packets she presses in my hands, stressing the importance of natives. On this street of manicured lawns, her home, its yard not mown, could be mistaken for abandoned. Fleabane, milkweed. But no monarchs this summer so far—a hint of loss that worries her. “Invasive,” she says about the … Continue reading How to Grow Wild by Kathy Davis

Neglect by Julie Gesin

Lamp on bedside table, next to bed
 

Julie Gesin is the 2nd place winner of Streetlight’s 2018 Flash Fiction Contest It’s dark when he reaches home and opens the garden gate, shoulders vulnerable to the pulse of crickets that rattles the garden. Above, the streetlight buzzes, as it always did when they returned home from a play or dinner, sometimes talking, sometimes silent, but always in a state of satiated ease, knowing that all that’s left of the day is the comfort of their bed, the familiarity of each other’s body. He feels her hand in his like a phantom limb. After … Continue reading Neglect by Julie Gesin

Side Door by Amy Kenyon

Doorknob hit by light
 

1 “The houses that were lost forever continue to live on in us…they insist in us in order to live again, as though they expected us to give them a supplement of living.”*   I liked to throw a baseball against the house, aiming as close to the side door as I dared and catching the ball as it ricocheted back to me. It was how I honed my pitching and fielding. Mom said, “You’d better not hit the door.” My little sister liked the regular pop of hardball striking yellow brick, but soon after … Continue reading Side Door by Amy Kenyon

Drive-Thru Angel by Lynne T. Pickett


 

Bonnie took a toothpick and dug at her fire-eaten scalp. Fifteen more minutes. Her mama always loved Bonnie’s red curls. “Just as sweet as the bluebirds singing in the oaks,” Mama would whisper to her. “God spun those curls out of fire with his little finger just for you, precious.” Maybe that’s why the perm solution and the hair dye burned so bad: Bonnie was trying her best to take on God’s job. In the past few years, her perfects curls had turned into frizzy wires and her flame-red hair diluted into a muddy rust. … Continue reading Drive-Thru Angel by Lynne T. Pickett

Ernestine Goes to Heaven by Susan Heeger


 

“Old age ain’t no place for sissies,” the actress Bette Davis famously said, and these words reeled through Muffin’s head as she crammed a pill pocket down the throat of her ancient basset hound. Ernestine was no sissy. Overweight, asthmatic, maybe a little depressed, the dog had the droopy-eyed mournfulness of Davis during the late “Baby Jane” phase of her career. Some of her teeth had fallen out. Her swaybacked body was knobbed with benign tumors the vet said were “evidence of her aging immune system.” She smelled musty, cheesy, like a Brooklyn deli on … Continue reading Ernestine Goes to Heaven by Susan Heeger

“The Fish”, A Love Story by Mary Esselman

Pink row boat in water
 

I first read Elizabeth Bishop’s “The Fish” when I was in college. Five American Poets was the course, taught by a ruddy-faced Midwestern professor who began class by reading aloud a poem, often reciting it from memory. We were to sit and listen, book closed, before discussing anything. His sonorous voice hung in the air, like a small plane flying low over crops on a hot summer afternoon, his words trailing like a lazy line of smoke across the sky. The physical pleasure surprised me, the low hum of language a warm breeze on my … Continue reading “The Fish”, A Love Story by Mary Esselman

When Words Fail


 

By Stefanie Newman I spent most of my life at a loss for words. On job interviews I could never describe my good points or my bad. As an art professor I would get student evaluations that said She was nice but I didn’t understand what she was talking about. Life’s important moments found me rooting around for words with the dogged persistence of somebody looking for their car keys I had a reverence for language that only a visual artist could have. Color and form were slippery and vague, but I was sure that … Continue reading When Words Fail