Issue #9
Canon by Lynn Pattison

Nicole’s doctor says she has a portion of intestine that’s twisted in over itself, a knot that needs fixing. No inkling of what he’ll find.

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Images by Diane Simmons

They are pencil drawings mostly – seven or eight of them hanging on the wall above Helen’s bed. Some are intricate, drawn with a care that must have required several sittings.

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Saturday Night at the BK Lot by Danielle Holmes

The pickup bounces with the weight of our bodies, radio bass buzzing along the rusted metal bed where we stand and shake against each other, their knees against our thighs, their hard denim crotches at our bubblegum, cheerleader backsides.

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What to Keep by Jay Merill

Sian sits at a table in the cafeteria studying the snapshot of him. Byrne as he was. He himself is absent but the image is right here:

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No Coming Back by Dzvinia Orlowsky

Like a strong wind, Frank took to knocking nests out of trees. They were always empty, and he was damned if he’d let them forewarn the day he’d find himself living alone.

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Minnows by Stephen V. Ramey

We used to squat by the tub and scoop minnows from our bathwater by the dozens. Shelly liked to eat them whole, but I was strictly catch and release. She called it a cruel kindness to submit them to such treatment.

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Bog Iron by Shane Larkin

We make stops on the way to our bog plot to look at the little skeletons. Dad tells me about them. Curlews and skylarks in dancing poses. Tiny skulls.

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.

Amelia Earhart Knew Seven Latin Words for Fire by Joe Kapitan

Ignis, the flaming wreckage, bubbling rubber, liquified cloth, her skin charred and blistering, acrid smoke, the tiny thunders of survival’s kicks

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.

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.