Tag: spring 2023

| By Lee Ann Roripaugh

[ Issue Issue #16 ]

Sundowning with Fat Juice

You try to make sure and leave the assisted living center before 7:00 p.m., otherwise your Japanese mother has a mood crash and initiates a hostile litany of grievances against your stroke-addled father, which—even though she occasionally makes a good point—is still difficult for you to stomach. Nonetheless, you sometimes don’t manage to make it …

| By Lori Ostlund

[ Issue Issue #16 ]

The Bus Driver

There were thirty-two of us that first day, standing in a sloppy circle as Miss Lindskoog spoke of cubby holes and taking turns, none of us doubting that we would soon become friends. We were children after all. Children like other children. Over the next thirteen years, Jane and I became—and remained—best friends, unlikely best …

| By Brenna McPeek

[ Issue Issue #16 ]

There’s a Hill Out Back Behind the Grade School

On the other side, the hill descends into a thick patch of woods. The adults warn us not to go down there for reasons they can’t or won’t—and don’t—explain. We can but won’t—and don’t—listen. After the last bell rings, we evade teachers and security guards and sprint across the teeming playground. We stutter-run (try not …

| By Louise Marburg

[ Issue Issue #16 ]


I get a call on my work phone from a girl named Lyra who claims she’s my goddaughter. She might be, it’s not impossible. I have a couple of godchildren to whom I pay no attention: I’ve forgotten their names and I am long out of touch with their parents, and I don’t know how …

| By Peter Kispert

[ Issue Issue #16 ]


The day after Austin gets promoted to manager, he asks me to visit him at the store, late. He lands on the word late, as if I could come to the mall in the afternoon while a few customers pore over an array of cubic zirconia on the flashy tiara heads of wedding rings. I’ve …

| By Allegra Hyde

[ Issue Issue #16 ]


We were multitudes, we were millions. We lived within dimensions up to fifty feet long, fourteen feet high, but never more than nine feet wide. We were drivers, asphalt-lickers, road-runners, gearheads: the denizens of motorhomes who rolled across the country en masse, a fleet of rubber-soled seekers. We were a city on wheels. A city …

| By Carolyn Ferrell

[ Issue Issue #16 ]

You Little Me

God please forgive please. Athena was a lot slimmer than me in those days but still could pack a punch. At first I thought she took out my left front tooth but when I put my hand there to feel, it was only blood. Reasons for needing my tooth included Shanelle’s Big Homecoming Party where …

| By Joel Hans

[ Issue Issue #16 ]

Two Decorated Skulls in the Miramonte Swamp

Mom and I ran to the end of a just-built trail around a lake that formed when the river flowed for a hundred days straight and flooded a basin that was once 800 single-family homes. No, flood is the wrong name for the rains, which came and came and came until we accepted that we …

| By Josh Bell

[ Issue Issue #16 ]

Meet Cute 1989

She was a senior at Eastview and her name was Tally Wright and he was this younger left-handed kid called Dinsmore. She was a Libra and she didn’t believe in ghosts and she was thinking seriously of Hollywood and he was an inch taller than she and he’d read fewer books and they’d never spoken …

| By Geoffrey Becker

[ Issue Issue #16 ]

Six Haircuts

1. They never remembered me, even after I’d been going there for two years, which meant I got asked the same questions each visit. Did I have the day off from work? Did I live nearby? Both had hearing loss, so I had to shout all my answers, often twice. Both smoked, and their hands …