SHOOTER by Kristin LaFollette

I was walking next to Maureen at a slower pace than usual. She was always walking slowly, mostly because she was usually talking too much. I was actually surprised to hear from her when she had called me the day before. It had been months since I’d heard from her. I knew it was because of the incident, but if I was truly being honest, I wasn’t sorry for what I’d done. Maureen had always been a subpar friend, even if we did claim to be “best friends.” Every time I had a crisis situation going on in my life,…

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BUBBLEGUM by Tara Isabel Zambrano

The girl has created a bubble with 1/3 cup of glycerin, 1/3 cup water and 1/3 cup dishwashing soap after her third psychiatrist visit. Years ago she was a perfect baby― a head full of black curls, big eyes and a wide smile. After she turned five, something went wonky with her neurotransmitters. The doctor wrote a new prescription, and the girl didn’t want to pop any pills. The bubble’s supposed to last at least for a month because of all that glycerin. The girl lives inside the bubble. It wobbles when the girl floats like a butterfly, like cotton…

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TRIAL by Zarah Butcher-McGunnigle

The mystery shopper is ambitious, athletic, with a big dick. It looks good on you. I’ve been here for a while. I ask him what his Myers-Briggs type is and he says he is an INFP. What, INFP, but I’m an INFP. You don’t seem like an INFP, I don’t know if you are actually one. I am, he says, that’s what I got when I did the test. Ok, I say, I’m going to the test right now and pretend I’m you while I’m doing it. I walk the perimeter of the mall. I really want to buy something…

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ART NAZIS by Marc Olmsted

Spainhammer’s gone, of course.   Flattop blond muscleman Viking male stripper and street hustler who wrote for Curtains’ ReSurface, grumbling about not getting paid, and mad at Crazy House Press publisher Enoch Poorboy (whom he threatened with a syringe of his own AIDS blood ) – that was the event of Floyd Lice’s “ironic” Hitlerian performance rant at the Bijou, where my Japanese friend Tony Amida ran into the famous Satanist’s daughter “who was surprised they let Asians in.”)   I liked Mick Spainhammer and sat on Tony’s back porch 1988, both of us smoking cigarettes, as he discussed the…

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BANGKOK by Isabella Esser-Munera

He begins to paint. Frescos. No. But layers. Layers. There are faces. Clouds. He paints feverishly. Time is obsolete. His hand is limitless; it isn’t his. His body; not his. He makes love to himself in paint. ~ It is July 4th and he takes the four pieces that are left from the box in his drawer.  He eats them quickly and quickly lays down on his bed. It is a mat, long and thin. The room is bare and feels like it is opening. Like a box, as though the walls were slowly falling away by a pulled string. The…

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CRAWL ON ME by Shane Kowalski

A lot of times, after having disgusting sex at her slow nephew’s cabin, we’d just get very sick of each other and begin volleying hurt back and forth. Don’t call my nephew slow, she’d say. I have a cousin who’s slow, I’d say. It’s okay. My nephew’s not slow though, she’d say. Have you met him? I’d say. She’d put her silver hair up, spit in my shoe. I’d tell her not to do that. Oh what are you going to do, she’d say. And I wouldn’t do anything. Why am I thinking of this now? …I think it’s because…

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UBERLIFTER OR MY BUM HEART OR WOMEN WHO REJECTED ME OR THE RAIN TREE IN THE GOLDEN VALLEY by Joel Tomfohr

Which brings me to this afternoon, like many others this summer I hope. How I was out by Lake Merritt, out next to the giant Children’s Fairyland sign and the fountain, out on that hill right there in the sun trying to you know, like, melt into the earth. That’s my goal. To melt into the earth. And, if I can’t do that, then raise my vitamin D levels as much as I can. And nothing really in particular happened; I guess this: An older man pushed his bike up next to my head to get my attention while I…

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BEACHY COVE BEACH by Sofia Banzhaf

My father looks up the wet steps illuminated by the beaming headlights at the top of our driveway. He opens the door for me. Thanks, I say. But what I’m really saying is: thanks for not asking about who is picking me up. Thanks, in fact, for never asking me anything. Thanks. The car door is heavy because it’s a truck. I imagine myself as a tiny monkey, swinging the door open and hanging on the handle, feet off the ground. I close the door with a slam. Hi, I say. How was your evening, he says, deviating from his…

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