Domestic Goddess by Antonia Alexandra Klimenko

He kicked the catout the windowCarved her goldfishup like sushiDinner wasn’t ready on time He wanted it nowAnd I do mean NOW ! Ordered her uppink as rare beef—one tender homemakersimmered in silenceSwallowed her wholeone day at a time The day he beat herbeyond definitionshe navigated commandsin her state-of-the-art kitchenin her gingham apronher cellophane smile She had binge-cleaned                  and purgedthe entire apartment–worshipping at the altarin bulimic … Continue reading Domestic Goddess by Antonia Alexandra Klimenko

Barbie Suffers from Insomnia by Dale Champlin

O Mother                  I love you                  despite                                    everything. —Erica Jong To be deprived of sight and sound—exhausted as a lobster in a trap—unblinking—plunged to a depthwhere everything goes black. Here my desires seem flimsy—even water has lost its transparency. Threads of bubbles syphon up from my bed of leaf mold. Dear Mother, are you on your third Manhattan of the evening? Is my little girl lost in fitful sleep?Is your son under arrest … Continue reading Barbie Suffers from Insomnia by Dale Champlin

A Cat Named Quilty Lives Up to His Shifty Child Molester Namesake (Minus the Child Molesting)

Of course, it’s not completely unusual for a domesticated animal to be named after a literary character or titan. It’s the sort of thing one remembers happening in New York almost as late as 2005, when fresh transplants would name their dogs something like Salinger as an ode to their recent transference to the city and the self-assurance that they were literary enough not only … Continue reading A Cat Named Quilty Lives Up to His Shifty Child Molester Namesake (Minus the Child Molesting)

Things I’ve Heard While Growing Up Italian by Alise Versella

“You don’t look I-talian.”“Do you get dark in the summer?”“Do you know anyone in the mob?”“Of course she’s Italian, she’s from Staten Island.”“And look at her nose…” Yes, let’s address my Romanesque NoseThat hooked beakFor so many years I loathedMy profileLearned the perfect head tilt, the proper way to smile Do you know my great-grandparents came outta Harlem?Yes, 110th Do you know I can’tSay anything nice in … Continue reading Things I’ve Heard While Growing Up Italian by Alise Versella

Spartan by Zeke Greenwald

In Annie’s apartment there is some stuffFrom which thin things she’s made decorAs if she didn’t just move in there,And life worked out for her before.  Luke rearranged the furnitureIn the room where he’s been living. He uses his space better nowThan he did in the beginning.  I invite you now, look at my room:There’s not much by way of showing.I’ve kept it sparse, not confidentThat … Continue reading Spartan by Zeke Greenwald