Flash

ALBTRAUM by Corey Miller

I coax Mother’s wheelchair through Newark terminal to our United gate. I pray she knows where she is—where she is going. I can’t understand her anymore; sensing death she no longer speaks in English. She dreams of her hometown, Essen, Germany. Unaccustomed mother tongue, I download Duolingo on my iPhone to learn Deutsche. To decipher her code. Returning Mother to her homeland, I use all of my sick days from work, expecting to catch a bug at some point throughout the year. I’ve never traveled outside of America. My passport on the verge of expiring. Mother’s lips are as tight

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THE CROW CAME ONE MORNING AND WHAT’S LEFT TO WONDER? by Derek Maine

He takes his shoes off by the door. A solemn peek in the hotel mirror suggests pleated pants, starched shirt, taut tie, he’s running out of matching letters to describe his appearance which is always, and only, just that. To himself he appears as an apparition. Do others see him, he wonders often. The meetings today went well. He sold himself. Passed himself off as one of them. Someone they could trust. Someone they could have a beer with. At a baseball game. A hot dog too. He is not that someone. He hasn’t had a beer in some very

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OTTERS AT THE ZOO by Christopher Allen

My imaginary son is learning about otters in imaginary third grade. He has to write a report. I think he’s a bit young for reports, but his imaginary teacher, Mrs. Florida, thinks otherwise. Two hundred words. Due Monday. So I plan a trip to the imaginary zoo though my imaginary son says the fastest way to learn about otters is the Internet. He spends all his internet time reading about sea otters. He’s an official member of the Otter Appreciation Society.  Did you know, he says, that otters can talk? He whistles, growls, says he’s learning Otterish, says he doesn’t

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ALT TEXT FOR A CANDID AUDIENCE PHOTO by Taylor Alexandra Duffy

<img src=“201704WomanInAudience.png” alt=“This is one of several candid photos of me, gaze upturned and listening intently at a museum lecture, the sharp worry on my face readily apparent, though I laugh self-consciously at the thoughtfully placed jokes. It’s night, and we’re gathered in the formerly Koch-funded planetarium, and we’re here thanks to some shared sense of scientific inquiry or the open bar. On stage is a prominent researcher in her field, and her lecture is titled Stress and Human Evolution. She’s patiently describing how our grandchildren’s genes will be irreversibly warped by our suffering, calmly listing the collective atrocities she

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EXPERIENCERS by Emily Costa

Your girlfriend believes that at some point during the last year or so her father has been abducted by aliens and replaced with a human-like shell. She believes visits still happen, routinely and systematically, that they must pull him up there with that classic tractor beam, or else he meets them somewhere in the woods, and they do tests and probe him and check on his progress. Progress with what, you wonder, but she’s still talking. She says they return him dead-eyed. She’s got it all laid out. She keeps a little journal by her bed to jot down the

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“I’M TELLING YOU YOU’RE GONNA LOVE IT” by Eros Livieratos

“I’m telling you, you’re gonna love it.” “There is absolutely no way I’m going to like it.” “Come on, it won’t be that bad.” “It sounds awful.” “So?” James was always trying to get me to do shit. The first time I ate glass, they were there, egging me on. They posted a clip of it on their story while I was picking at my gums. I remember them saying,  “If Lucas Abela¹ can do it, why can’t you?” So, I swallowed some. We kept on hanging out. What else would I do? Their suggestions kept getting a little riskier,

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TECHNO SHOW by Lucy Zhou

In a post-Covid world, we joke, the first thing we’ll do is go to a techno show. Yeah, like the kind in someone’s basement that smells of bathwater or underneath a freeway pass for better acoustics—remember that last show we went to? Where we had to slink ungracefully through a doggy door in the fence and squish through ferns that tickled our palms before we came across the path, illuminated by Carla’s bright-pink hair. There will be a Halloween-store fog machine, a drumline of clanging pots and pans, and those little umbrellas in everyone’s red Solo cup. Most people are

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SECOND HONEYMOON by Michael Czyzniejewski

I met my wife on our honeymoons, the ones we were taking with other people. Both of us went parasailing when our newlywed spouses were too afraid. A storm came in just as we lifted into the air and we were caught in its path. Our lines got detached, sending us parasailing into the horizon. We woke up on a deserted island.  Two months later, firmly in love, we were found by crab photographers. Coincidentally, our spouses back home fell in love, too, assuming we were dead. At the press conference after our rescue, the four of us laughed about

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BEAN HEADS by Mila Jaroniec

In the little free library was a hand-sewn chapbook with poems from all the poets who had read at Bean Heads. The open mic was every Friday and gray men would shuffle in to crinkle coffee-stained pages at the microphone. It was an Event. There were gasps and snaps and silence. I didn’t understand it. Here I was, fifteen years old and crafting big papers about The Count of Monte Cristo, and someone had written this: Amoral Amnesty A parliament of stalking butlers Deafening silence over the telephone The Pope flows like running water Calligraphy makes the Queen go blind.

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OGOPOGO LIVES by Sheldon Birnie

It was Canada Day by the big lake and everyone was right fucked up.  After the fireworks show on the beach wrapped up, the crowd took to the streets. Things were getting messy. Drunk girls held on to each other, hiking miniskirts up around hips to piss off the wharf into the black waters below, howling. One fell in, came up splashing, laughing. Muscle dummies squared off in the road, blocking traffic, letting the blood out of each other. Strip clubs up and down the lakeshore were packed, dancers raking in the money hand over fist. A police helicopter circled

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