Micro

DIVORCED by Amy Barnes

A car the size of a house rams our house that’s the size of a house. Thunder from a 1986 Thunderbird shakes me out of my canopy bed to the window to the street. It’s the moment I know my mother is a liar, a big one. She lays there lazy for too long or maybe not long enough, in her satin-sheeted bed and satin-matching lingerie with a man who isn’t her husband or my father. Her lipstick is smeared and our house is too, a brick mouth opened up on one side. When the red lights encircle our house

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BABY ON BOARD by Natalie Warther

It’s not a lie. It’s just a sticker. A sticker that says there’s a baby on board, when technically there is not. Can you blame me? You’ve seen how careful people are around a new mother. Otherwise, they are reckless. Besides, people lie about much worse. And there is no sticker that says “Be careful, please, I have a lot of student debt.” Plus, it’s not like there aren’t important things in my backseat. The screenplay I’m writing about a boy who wants to play major league baseball, for example, and a pile of towels from my mother’s garage. Why

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GREGOR MENDEL NEVER KNEW MY FATHER by Kristin Tenor

Mr. Chavez stands in front of the classroom and talks about peas. Green peas, yellow peas, wrinkled peas, smooth-as-Mr. Chavez’s-bald head peas. He says when two different varieties are sown together under a blanket of dark, loamy soil, they sometimes yield plants with pods containing green and wrinkled peas or yellow and smooth or maybe they’ll come out the same shade of chartreuse as the faded bridesmaid’s dress hidden in the back of your mother’s closet, the one she wore the night she met your father and got drunk on wild dandelion wine for the first time and conceived you,

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THREE MICROS by Evan Jerome Williams

Carl Carl is a cobra with nine eyes. Carl has seven too many eyes, and none of them see well. He has difficulty finding eyeglasses that work for him on account of his extra eyes. Carl needs eyeglasses to read. He is a scholar studying applied reptilian physics, a discipline primarily concerned with asteroid-detection and trajectory-disruption techniques. Carl needs eyeglasses so he can protect us. Carl found an eye doctor who used to be a pirate. The eye doctor poked out seven of Carl’s eyes with precise stabbing motions, then made as many eyepatches with equal precision. Carl looks like

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THREE MICROS by Carolyn Oliver

Sunrise House In the sunrise house walking on stilts, the snake-filled water rises. It’s Sunday morning. I am old, very old, my joints as conspicuous among my limbs as the lead strips between stained glass. I’ve lost my glasses. It’s not my house, but the house of a friend. You are not so concerned about what kind of friend he is to me because you are fixed on the snakes. They are not venomous, not large, not hungry, and though I have lost my glasses I can see the lovely bands of red and black and gold roiling through the

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THREE TRIPTYCHS WITHIN A TRIPTYCH, OR: SPINACH PIE by Benjamin Niespodziany

a multi-level triptych   [1] Woodsman’s Lint-Licked Pockets after Leśnik, the Slavik forest deity   [a] Woodsman protects the forest by writing messages into the rocks. Messages in clock talk Woodsman doesn’t understand. Messages in dirt. In fur. In bark. Important forest, he writes. Formative forest. Former corner, cornered form.   [b] With beard of grass and vine, Woodsman wears skin of reed and tree and string. His stomach is a lake of fish. The torch he carries bares a blue flame. It assists in guiding his moon, in practicing the magic of being alone. Silence hangs like a stranger

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NOAH’S MILLENNIUM SOLILOQUY by Maggie Nye

I am building a space ark. I have the raw materials to begin. Many can be salvaged from the junkyard, which is the humble throne room of heaven’s inheritors. Not that I believe in metaphors. We are all best served speaking simply, plainly, and with a cube of bullion under our tongues. I have collected 130,000 pounds of aluminum rather easily. It took the better part of a century, but I am blessed with dreamless sleep all nights except Sunday, when I drown myself again and again in my indoor jacuzzi until my wife prepares the coffee. To make a

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SMALL SMALL GOAT OR 羊鬼泡面 by Emily Lu

I was the most vocal opponent of article 94.1, a new hospital by-law permitting employees to outsource labour to ghosts. I wrote to the department head an ostentatious but sincere email defending the sanctity of patient care. They referred me to another committee, started a new subcommittee, requested further submissions of appendices, etc. The next day, I went to find the ghosts. When I remembered the small small goat, it was a month later. I opened the fridge expecting death. It was standing on a side dish where I last saw it, unaffected by the cold. Its eyes unblinking. My

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SONATA by Daisuke Shen

For a long time now, all sound has been damp. Wrapped in mildew, white-fleeced, everyone’s voices turned to mist. I am the only one not contained within this quiet—me, who has always wished to be, more so than anyone else; me, the girl who could never stop singing. I had tried all of the tricks, of course: stuffed my mouth with lagan scrounged from sea beds, weaned off of proteins and greens, hoping to become weaker. Yet the avalanche of notes poured out of my mouth like sludge; my crazed melodies frenetic and pinched as sand fleas. The silence started

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SOMETHING IS KNOCKING by Sean Ennis

Grace and Gabe, after saying something very cutting—Grace, not Gabe—have gone to visit her parents and I am home with the dogs, in the shower, flooded with the memory of a woman I once slept with who kept demanding, “Look at me! Look at me!” It’s not, like, eudaemonic.  Then the dogs are going crazy. Something is knocking. They get very protective of the house when I’m in the shower. I don’t hurry. And let’s be real clear: the dogs we rescued from the shelter? Did not rescue us. We do the nice, expensive things, and they basically hang out

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