Ed Hopper Train Painting

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As Solid As an Ashtray and Emits More Smoke

By Edie Meade

It is a cast-iron frying pan filled with cigarette butts. The handle is just the right size for my hand and just out of reach on the freezer. It is an ashtray. That’s all it is, and I don’t want it. “You don’t want that,” Momma has told me many times, so I try not…

If this were Tracy Island

By Marissa Hoffmann

I’d use a soda siphon at cocktail hour, and you’d only know I’m speaking when my chin quivers. And it wouldn’t feel like I was playing a solo eternal game of, ‘would I rather’. I wouldn’t need to pass the days until I see you again—until I lift you sleepy from our Thunderbirds-marathon—asking myself, would…

Night Vision

By Anna Gates Ha

During a commercial, I ask you to tell me about nights in the jungle. We are blue and then white and then green—the quick, flickering light of television on bare skin. Rain forest, you say. I like jungle better. I mouth it into the lip of my beer. The way it digs like a shovel…

We Don’t Boil Babies

By Alicia Dekker

You don’t remember Grammy saying the words, although you were there. You were the baby. You’ve heard the story a million times, if you heard it once. “We don’t boil babies,” is the punch line—at least the way your mother tells it. Your mother is a great storyteller. She backs that tale all the way…

In Andromeda

By Jonathan Cardew

There were aliens in What Cheer, Iowa, aliens with platinum skin and tentacles adept at probing populations, aliens opening up minds and internal organs, flaying off skin and sinew with minimal host damage, aliens who knew their work was little more than basic administration, data entry if you will, the sexier aliens flying off to…

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