Clutch

Megan Gallagher

2010 Runner Up In the spring, my father had a black thumb and too many blisters. Pear blossoms and new tomato worms kept him busy. He cared for the land like a newborn, rising early each morning to make coffee…

Buoys

CJ Hauser

I have two lobsters in my bathtub and I’m not sure I can kill them. New England will know if I don’t. New England will strip away my stripes and scissor my membership card if I cannot kill these lobsters.…

about face

Stefi Weisburd

it is possible to infer character from features —Aristotle rubber cheek anvil brow what does a face mean hucksters & physiognomists’ claim to decipher moles like tea leaves read the ticker-tape of intent behind a stoic gaze which pinched nose…

Bird

Sejal Shah

I have not been to Cobbs Hill since last summer, when I returned to Rochester for a wedding. I was with A. We had each flown in from the larger cities where we lived and we were restless in our…

Essay on Collective Paranoia

Charlotte Pence

Metaphors, like epitaphs, must be fitting. —Bion Theophilus I. The Incident: A New Method for Death and Metaphori Waiter carries a tray across the hotel lobby to three men clustered in fat arm chairs. Litvinenkoii dunks in his tea bag.…

When It Hits, It Hits Us Good.

Randi Beck

They all agreed it sounded like a train when it hit. Like a train howling across a track of human bodies, all laid out in a row, screaming. Except one woman, who’d grown up near a tree farm. She said…

The Show Goes On.

Cheyenne Nimes

It’s night & the wolves have begun to circle. When the flashlight shines on something with yellow eyes, the children scream & run from the house. Drop miniature planes, precisely sculpted in stainless steel and brass. For both hands reach…

Interview with the Taster

Stephen Marche

Mason Withers has tasted the seeds of every species of tree found in Europe and North America. He has tasted arsenic. He has tasted every part of a Mexican rattle used in Precolumbian rituals used during human sacrifice. Like the…

Crossing The Square at Dusk

Austin Woerner

Translated from Chinese by Austin Woerner Where does a square of a bygone era begin? Where does it end? Some cross in an hour, others spend a life in the crossing: children in the morning, at evening old men. How…

Review of Room by Emma Donoghue

Elliott Holt

Little, Brown and Company: New York, NY, 2010. 336 pages. $24.99 There is a risk in telling a story from the point of view of a five-year-old: such a limited narrative perspective can limit a novel’s scope, and its ability…

The Crickets’ Prayer

Norman Ellis

The door is ajar, and I can see Nonie on the table, just her middle. Her belly is almost flat. McCabe’s spidery hand smoothes her skirt underneath the straps. I hear Nurse Stein and McCabe talking in muffled tones. Usually…

Distance: a definition

Alice Baumgartner

a. The fact or condition of being apart or far off in space; remoteness. I have often been told that I look like my mother: pale-skinned, tight-lipped, small-breasted, with legs as long as the Mississippi. Our looks are unremarkable, except…

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