Choke Talk by Mary Shanley

Frankie smokes on the flyoutside the Duane Reade store,where she works as a cashier.Every break and lunch hour,Frankie pulls on a Camelnon-filter; her head lowered,as if shame accompaniedevery inhale. I tried to figure Frankie’s age.with her slight black figureand defeat etched into the lines on her face, Frankie looks older than language. When I stop for a quick, “Hello,”Frankie attempts to speak. Shebarely has enough oxygen to … Continue reading Choke Talk by Mary Shanley

Aisne-Marne American Cemetery/Cimetière Américain, Belleau, France by Michael Catherwood

For P.J. Catherwood, MIA, July 21, 1918 A universe sinks into the hills,a vacuum of sunlight spreads like hair.Words form in mouths and suspendin mist. Trees shiver beyond the stonewalls where empty worlds are loud as thunder.            What years these,a decade ending with a paper savior ablaze? The sky’s flak crawls like clouds across the countryside.A rain falls and dry earth swallows the dimples left there. Continue reading Aisne-Marne American Cemetery/Cimetière Américain, Belleau, France by Michael Catherwood

The Salami Asylum by Rufo Quintavalle

In the salami asylum it’s electrodes a go-go and Château d’Yquem; it’s Thorazine spritzers, Betelgeuse, and a cardboard kidney dish of phlegm. In the salami asylumthere’s a stick thinAustrian nurse who spends her time reminding you that things can always get worse. She takes away your powerand keeps it safewith your will at the top of a crystalline toweron a five-and-a-halfinch window sill. In the salami asylumthe inmates are alldoing life; there’s a donor who’s friendswith … Continue reading The Salami Asylum by Rufo Quintavalle

On falling in love with right-wing Latinx butterflies by Francisco Orozco

Lisbon, Portugal They say that the most beautiful women in the world are from Venezuela, from Latin America; according to Miss Universe. Throughout my life, I came to the realization that Mexicans are not seen as beautiful, since I am a Mexican. Mexicans did not do the thing that beautiful people (white middle class people) do.  By the way, what makes a woman beautiful?  The … Continue reading On falling in love with right-wing Latinx butterflies by Francisco Orozco

The English Make A Hard Job Of Being Happy by Nick Ingram

The English make a hard job of being happy, a lot of the time it just seems it’s too much hard work – they find it easier to be mawkish and miserable. Regardless of the pain we still have the necessity to celebrate this messy thing we call  life: this is the essence of living. I have this sense of having pushed this abstract experiment … Continue reading The English Make A Hard Job Of Being Happy by Nick Ingram

Loud Fading Clocks by O’ar Pali

I heard the clocks Chime in A new year, As candles Burning bright Faded out past Sights.  I felt my body Shake, as Memories came Back,And bones standing Still Held tight,At the new dawn’s Foreshadowing light. While warm embracesOf past kisses Bathed away bygone Loves, and miseries: And I like Wendy Danced in My mind’s eye – With Happy,DwindlingFairy dust, There rising, Flying, To new Neverlands, New homes, New birthsNew unruly Seas, Of what is yet –To be. Melting away Sad thoughts As Peter Pan Flew with me,  And I heard theDear young soul Cry … Continue reading Loud Fading Clocks by O’ar Pali