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The Main Reason I Didn’t Leave a Forwarding Address

Brad Rose

Since I got an ‘A’ on my Turing test, it doesn’t bother me that I can’t hear my hair growing at night. Of course, I enjoyed the helicopter ride and the dog sledding, but the problem with my dead relatives is that they are still alive. There’s something je ne sais quoi about their persistent yodeling, but, like a phantom limb, I can’t quite put my finger on it. My physician says as soon as I get better, it’ll be OK to pawn my invisibility cloak. He says I shouldn’t be bashful; everyone has a body beneath their clothes. I wanted to ask him, What use is a fire escape without a fire? but, I can tell you, naked or nude, he’s not the kind of person who likes to take turns missing the boat. Of course, like Pa always said, it’s not polite to scratch your itchy trigger finger in public. Don’t bother coming back till you’re dead.


Alicia Cole

The turtles are mudded down,
The air dank with leaf rot.
The new house that faces the bluff
Is all timber, everything
Bare-limbed this November.
I have three layers on.
The trees are one.

Rothko Before the Color Fields

Joshua Gottlieb-Miller

Lord God of Monochrome Beauty,
forgive semi-abstraction.
Who cares for a single ear

rotting among ripe fruits?
Slow the art and speed
the lie, sliding

your foot closely,
close enough,
see a mosquito eat

at that plum. Blood meals
nourish diseased beasts.
Trompe l’oeil:

Spend long enough
with black canvas
in a chapel

by a dead man,
it purples, reddens.

Donut Man

Meg Eden

The man outside 7-11
sells hot fresh chromosomes
for 10 cents. X
chromosomes only.

Men eat them, wanting
to become women.
Women eat
them because
they taste like America.

On Maggie

Jennifer Wortman

Egg me on, magi.
I’m a man, see?

A golem on lease.

Slam me,
name me,
son me,
age me.

Am I loam? Glass?
A seasonal song?

Missile me gone.
I’m a lass, see?

As no one, I’ll gleam.

Mimosa Pudica

Michelle Chen

 plant apoplectic
in the river of time what I thought
 sweet water and thread
lifting clear pink satellites
 field risen, rippling
in tune the blue coast
 if a drift face I hope you get
how to lead someone to water
 there’s no other paper
that sleeps like me
 dipping as if
to fit into bottles
 in the dark heat rolling
thin sleeves of green
 when touched the fold
I found sway not shy
 if I close when touched
move move then drink
 half-full, the waiting
 evaporated spaces
 guess attack or death-play
the sleep’s root in reflection
 if the best example of holding
 is a moon and a barrel


Megan Collins

Other registers were open, but I got in line behind the bride. I hadn’t expected to need these purchases again, but when I saw her—buying two six-packs, hair uncurling, gaze hauntingly hollow—I was almost okay with having started bleeding. It was possible, I thought, that the two of us were meant to stand in line together.

Clearly something terrible had happened, some unbearable disappointment, her wedding canceled at the very last minute. She’d probably cry for the rest of the day, her white dress like a second skin she wanted to burn right off.

“I’m so sorry,” I said.

“Hmm?” She blinked at me as the cashier handed her a receipt. I gestured towards her dress.

“Oh… No—you’re so sweet! No, my daughter’s at a princess party, and—ugh—the parents have to wear costumes, too.” She rolled her eyes. “This was all I had. But—” She raised her six-packs as if making a toast. “I have these now too! One of the mothers sent me out to get them.”

She whispered the next part. “We’re gonna sneak them during cake.”

Smiling wide, she turned to leave, and I saw that her dress didn’t zip all the way.

“I’m sorry,” the cashier said to me.

“Hmm?” I blinked at her, and she nodded towards my purchases. Tampons. Ovulation tests. Tissues. I noticed for the first time that her hand rested on her belly.

“Oh… No,” I said. “You’re so sweet. No. I’m okay. Thanks. No.”

The Prop is Not an Apple

Katy Chrisler

It is not too late to meld splendor with the
Bodies that grow from instruction. Her outlaw,
Common sense. He, underground. “They got it
Wrong, the gods we have.” I can feel your steps
Unravel with the clarity of youth. A blossoming
Of raw beginnings. There is no ordinary along with
All their other oblivions. He doesn’t get a full house.
The statues will recover with menace, forecast:
“We can try again to want less heraldic colors.”

Tips from the pioneers

Mark Young

In their pristine state
even the most benign-
looking lithium-ion-
battery is based on a
predatory concept. Its
diet is composed of
elements such as salt-
bush, grass, plants; its

mires sequester large a-
mounts of atmospheric
carbon dioxide; it has
always been in a con-
stant state of flux. Tie
dying a t-shirt can be a
scary idea. Carnivory
increases the fuel load.

Beginning at the Golden Panda

Ashley Kunsa

this skin traded for fortunes
unknown   a nice cake
awaits you   the morning
after, an envelope steamed open
by disbelief   you are the only
flower of meditation
in the wilderness   a fire
that tastes like knowing   we want
to have a testimony but don’t
want the test  laps up
desire with the urgency
of fate   you are about to become
$8.95 poorer, $10.95
if you had the buffet