Issue #32: Animal Life
Youth in Asia (a mondegreen) by L. Acadia

“You can’t have a dog while you still suck your thumb,” Ma debated, after the last brand of chili-flavored nail polish failed to break Amy’s habit but trained her to forever love spicy food.

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Rosetta Post-its by Guy Biederman

Los Gatos Tienen Hambre, says the post-it on the fridge. Since when did the cats learn Spanish, since when did they learn to write? The same could be asked of you, says another post-it.

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Portals by Brandon Haffner

Cat sits at the kitchen table eating all the cookies. Her father is here, too, scrolling his phone. He’s running for mayor, and he’s losing. Even she knows that.

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Carry On by Lucinda Kempe

Once there was a man who loved his donkey, but his donkey didn’t love him back. The donkey loved an eggshell, but the eggshell didn’t love it back.

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Jailbird by Jay Kenny

In high school, Jailbird keeps a cut-throat under his wing, tucked in with the leaves and twigs for the nest in his room.

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Poi Dog by Georgie Morvis

He’s never walked this street before. Normally he turns right at the sign of the banana trees but today he blazes right by them, walking downhill, leaning like a weatherman in a hurricane.

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The Bronze Medal by Vincent James Perrone

She wants to meet the pig—snout down, paraded through the town square of sodden earth and
stump dimples, now trailed by serpentine line of freshly showered farmer with tomato noses and
breath prematurely soured from all that auctioneer talk.

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Attachment Theory by Sidney Tilghman

In a basement hallway, in graduate school, a classmate lectures me on attachment theory. Based on his prior experience as a sex therapist, he’d guess only 5% of Americans display healthy attachment relationships

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Fulfilling by Fiona McKay

Kate is not ‘imagining it’. There are small tufts of pale fluff on her neck, and no, it’s not ‘just a tissue in the washing machine’ as John suggests. There’s nothing drifting off his shirts, nothing clinging to Ella’s favourite black top, Josh’s Minecraft t-shirts. It’s more solid than tissue, just on her clothes. And only she can see it.

Get Your Authentic Stardust Here by JP Relph

The night the sky cracked, I was sprawled on the hood of my car beside that good-for-nothing boy, naming constellations, ignoring his fingers on my neck.

I’ll Show You Mine If You Show Me Yours by Eliot Li

I tell you I’ve only ever shown it to a girl who I met on a tour bus in Moscow, where I was traveling with my parents. She had bad acne, and she really liked Duran Duran.

The Storyteller of Aleppo by Donna Obeid

In the barren cold camp, you wear a dusty cape and top hat, wave my cane as if it were a wand and tell me your dream-stories, one after the next, your words spun and tossed like tethers into the air.

Morse Code by Elizabeth Cabrera

The old man fell asleep in his car, his nostrils pressed softly against the steering wheel, but the car kept going, because the old man’s foot was not asleep, was still pressing down hard, and later they would say, it’s not really his fault, he’s such an old man.