Micro

THREE MICROS

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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TWO-IN-ONE by Genta Nishku

That summer, the water in that city ruined my hair. After every wash, the same refrain: clumping and matting. A whole bottle of hair conditioner later, and I was at the dim-lit bar. A man gestured something at me with his eyes, while outside, the awkward artist typed his number in my phone. We’ll meet for lunch, he promised. The warm air made disassociation easier, even if the drinks were weak and the conversation hard to follow. I’d get drunk at home, I decided. Then the traces of the day would fade, present and future melting together, like the sky

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SINK by Elane Kim

When my brother was young, I fed him fruit that fell from the trees in our backyard. What I fed him wasn’t really fruit, but the buds of what would be sweet in the spring, and the not-fruit didn’t really fall from trees in our backyard, because there was no backyard. Back then, we lived in an apartment complex with studded walls and a pool that yawned and stretched past the pale sun. The children all thought the pool was haunted, including me, because somebody’s son drowned in it in the 60s or the 80s or some other era we

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WHEN WILL MY RAPIST’S CLOSET BE CLEANED? by Meg Tuite

“Hysteria comes from the Greek root hystera, meaning ‘uterus’. Originally, it was believed that hysteria and hysterical symptoms were caused by a defect in the womb, and thus, only women could become hysterical.” –Shalome Sine Vivid and startled, blood spits out a song, a sigh, signals a stale rustle of corruption. A pulse rouses itself from the uterus. And those subterranean tubes palpate the last fumes of incessant weather before swirling the rays of dusk down the toilet. I am a girl of fugitive parts. Cut with a straight knife. Glue fists the slit where loot, diced and unkempt, is

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TWO MICROS by Caleb Lyons

  It Was Clouds On my way to his house in Malibu, a song about life and death in Los Angeles played on the radio. At the house, the artist carefully signed his work and handed it to me. I wrapped it in glassine and told him his show in New York looked good in the pictures. He gave me a bag to gather avocados from his trees. We talked about how great Chicago is and why we left. 3 years later, when the artist died, I went back to the house in Malibu to pick up his final piece.

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