Four pieces by Emily Strauss
Meet Me at Sunset
utter silence for days
air— burned grasses
even the birds silent
at night the sky
sank, I waited
timberline dappled in snow
my vision filled, cradled
in its lap, beneath its brow
wrapped in ridges of firs
waiting for the fog to clear
galaxy within a mango
sweet juicy tangle
cool dripping sugared
juices, flesh like
heavy breasts, squeeze
gently, hands full
of promise, sugared lips
women gathering eat
silence, the cat low
slung, with a bell
around her neck
ignores us all,
hears crows outside
the window, hisses
Emily Strauss has an M.A. in English, but is self-taught in poetry. Over 160 of her poems appear in dozens of online venues and in anthologies. She is a semi-retired teacher living in California, and never uses nail polish, except on the floor.
Gray Area by Sarah Vernetti They met in a group session, shared lunch in the cafeteria. Never broke the rule: no overnight guests. They married in the hospital’s serenity garden.
Sarah Vernetti is a freelance writer and mom. She lives in Las Vegas.
Two pieces by Emily DeFreitas
Make Him Mine It won’t be hard to do. She paints her talons to glitter, her beak to shine, plucks all but her most attractive feathers, and poses.
Navigate Her A woman is a ship a man steers with his hand at the small of her back. A captain commands but one, an admiral two.
Emily DeFreitas is an English and Creative Writing double major at Widener University who wishes she had more time to paint her nails. She works as a tour guide, does community service, plays violin, sings soprano, and is a reader for two literary magazines at her school: Widener Ink, and The Blue Route.
Overnight by Haley Dziuk In the dark hallway, I collide with my husband. “Sorry.” I yawn. “mmmhmm.” In the bathroom, his absent toothbrush reminds me he’s away until Friday.
Haley Dziuk lives in Phoenix Arizona, and believes dry heat is just a myth. Her writing has also appeared in The Hoot Review.
Three pieces by Eric Skinner
Hide & Go Chic Greg never marches arms locked No rainbow sticker or equal sign Doesn’t ask; never tells Waits to hear, “Come out! Come out, wherever you are!”
Trophy Wife Ann, strong at 50. Washes, dresses, hoists him Into his wheelchair today, Yesterday and tomorrow. On their next anniversary, she at least deserves a ribbon.
Frankly Scarlet Speeding, 65 through Atlanta, pickups blaze past my red Nissan, New York plates. “Officer, I’m the slowest on the road.” “I don’t give a damn.”
Eric Skinner is a self-professed, practicing Southerner. A freelance editor and former marketing director, Eric has been churning out his how-to “Overcoming Procrastination in Seven Easy Steps.” Begun in 1998, he is certain “Step Two: Quit Browsing and Focus” will be completed any day now. Eric was recently turned on to flash fiction but has been a consumer and producer of short fiction since reading Flannery O’Connor’s “A Good Man Is Hard to Find” in eighth grade.
Two pieces by Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy
No.7 He painted me a rainbow. I fell for him. Against all odds, we married, had a daughter. After fifteen years, I’m still chasing that rainbow.
Art Deco New India Assurance building, Mumbai- still a rage when India gained independence. With the passing years, thanks to politicians, India is neither new, nor assuring.
Shrikaanth Krishnamurthy is a psychiatrist living in Birmingham, UK. Hailing from Bengaluru, India he is an amateur writer and poet, and a trained vocalist in Karnataka music (South Indian Classical music). Well versed in several languages, he writes poetry in four languages- Kannada, Sanketi, Tamil and English. He is also a songster-lyricist-composer (Vaggeyakara) of Karnataka Music and has 2 CDs to his credit.
Persian Melon by E. Suzin Odlen My summer camp counselor was eighteen years ripe. Pop’s eyes caught fire when she plaited my braids and became too burnt to watch me swim.
E. Suzin Odlen is a retired cocktail waitress who lives, writes and gardens in South Jersey. Her most recent publication is in the 2014 summer issue of the Boston Literary Magazine.
I’m Not Really a Waitress by Sylvia Heike The interview came out. He ripped the magazine apart. Made a phone call. Swore a lot. I’m a writer, not a waiter! Editor was fried.
Sylvia Heike lives in Finland, Scandinavia. She did not always know she was going to be a writer, but it matched her lifestyle and she gave in. It was either that or become a vampire.
Two pieces by Beverly C. Lucey
Melon Crush Hattie keeps wrapped garbage in the fridge until pick-up day in Pompano. In her bra, there’s jewelry in her prosthesis for safe-keeping. Secrets.
Milky Way Nana lives alone with a dying dianthus Her icebox holds Velveeta, sardines, One Milky Way and four wizened pomelos. She forgets my late grampa’s name.
Beverly C. Lucey writes when she’s not laughing at her poodles. Email email@example.com if you want to read longer pieces that have been published.
Little Brown Dress by Autumn Heisler My wife holds the fabric to her nose, sniffing in its scent. I stand in the door frame knowing it will never be filled again.
Autumn Heisler is an undergraduate student at Widener University, where she is studying creative writing. She enjoys dancing, running, and appreciates a good cry. Her ultimate wish is to write young adult fiction.
Firey Island by Lisa Nielsen Edgy pigeons circle my lonely picnic, filling with expectation, trying to be casual, like seagulls, but their eagerness changes the air from sultry to oppressive
Lisa Nielsen is a single mother who has adopted Staten Island as her home and muse.