Better Off Friends by Rich McFarlin

Verse:A fairy-tale romanceStars in our eyesLives all entangledHearts all entwined We knew that our loveWas destined to beMy heart for youAnd your heart for me But life has a wayOf bursting balloonsReal life is realAnd not some cartoon Chorus:The long road you travelOften comes to an endAnd lovers they findsometimesThat they’re just better off friends Verse:Packing up boxesFilled with regretsTryin’ to find outIf there’s hope … Continue reading Better Off Friends by Rich McFarlin

The Striped Marlin We Set Free by Cynthia Good

Looking for dorados in the gulf we trolled fastFrom harbor toward Chileno Bay, and landedA baby striped marlin under fifty pounds,Her satin skin a negligee of streaming indigo,Yellow and green, her elegant bill, sharpAs a sword but useless in the struggle. SheFlailed hard, drumming the hallowed fiberglass,Heaving her slim self into a corner, torso arching,Hammering with all she had. Imagine her surpriseAs ocean flooded her … Continue reading The Striped Marlin We Set Free by Cynthia Good

Briefly Rapturous by Dale Champlin

I admit I love beauty—is there anything more splendidthan an open casket? See how the corpse is laid out in finery—all pink satin and serenity. Noticethe carefully applied makeup, ladylike— unlike anything that went before.The departed soul might flit—moth-delicate in candlelight. Bouquets burgeon down either sideof the aisle—trumpet-shaped vasesgleam lustered, golden and glossy at the end of each pew—a dusting of roses, lilies and baby’s-breaththe … Continue reading Briefly Rapturous by Dale Champlin

How It Feels to Float No. 2 by Andrew Hudson Barter

I went to the grocery store for milk, and bought limestoo. The cashier asked me if they were lemons. The drive home was uneventful, people walked their dogs,cars sat on the side of the street, some with smashed-in windows. I clocked the price of gas as I passed by the station,but realized I had no reference. I buy gas so rarely now. The person in … Continue reading How It Feels to Float No. 2 by Andrew Hudson Barter

True, For the Most Part by Steve Denehan

I’m not racist but…he droned onI listenednoddingat what I guessedwere the right times he told me about his promotionhis new carrecent and upcoming holidaysbefore askingif I could lend him some money he fed me old jokesintellectual psychobabblepretentiousnesspeppered with obscure references we had known each otherfor a long timehe had talked and I had listenedfor a long time I had not expectednot even consideredthat I might … Continue reading True, For the Most Part by Steve Denehan

Alternatives by Susie Gharib

Give alternatives for the following, the teacher commands, with a grin,the twelve-year-old who is eager to pass his test.Moonlight, the teacher states with a grimace:A neon tube, the boy promptly replies.A canopy of trees for shelter:A bus stop.A proper bath:A free drizzle.A candle-lit dinner:Chips without fish.Sailing the ocean:Paper boats.A holiday abroad:A book from the public library.Doting parents:Street busking.A pair of pajamas:Old, tattered clothes.Attending church:Text messaging … Continue reading Alternatives by Susie Gharib