CITIZEN by Tariq al Haydar

Enter the ministry through the main gate (not the women’s entrance), on Olaya Street: Memorize the number on your ID card (#1072049285). Vote in the municipal elections, , so that the world may see you and celebrate the act

RAINY RIVER by Eric Lloyd Blix

They park fifty feet from shore, Nichols and his daughter, despite her quiet protests. “The river hasn’t changed,” he says, sipping Hamm’s, the last can of four he brought for the road. “It looks the god damn same.” He rolls the can between his thigh and palm, up and down, up and down. He clears […]

FIVE STORIES by Karen Brennan


A man told me there was nothing he would rather keep noticing—and he pointed to the spaces between palm fronds, chinks of turquoise and a few clouds. Just now, into this recollection, wanders an egg on a green dish.


The 1970’s were full of firsts for many people. Richard Nixon became the first president to resign from office. Raul Castro became the first Latino to hold the office of Governor in the great State of Arizona. My mother, Anita Ortiz, became the first in her proud, Hispanic family to marry an Anglo. Thomas Gordon, my father, became the first in his Anglo family to marry a divorced, single mother of non-European descent, although they were fond of describing her as “Spanish.”

Lipochrome by Nathan Poole

It did not go away—as everyone said it would. At nine months Ida was diagnosed with an obscure disorder. It was thought to be caused by an infection in the eyes at birth…

FAILURE by Glen Pourciau

I’d been holed up with a new project, and it seemed time to get out and breathe some fresh air and talk to people, an outcome that the solitary nature of my work sometimes led me to desire…

STEPHANIE SAYS by Alain Douglas Park

A woman stands alone in the surf. She’s up to her mid-thighs in the water, warm Gulf of Mexico water, and she can feel the strong undertow of the sea. It pulls her legs and sucks the sand from under her feet. It’s tremendous—this undertow—a force of nature—powerful. But, she’s determined to stand in it. So, she does.

The Burning by Peace Adzo Medie

The potholes in the road were filled with muddy water because it had rained the night before. Some of the holes, jagged around the edges, were the size of mini craters and every time we reached one, we stomped our feet in it and sloshed the brown water on each other. We roared in excitement…

The Landlord by Peace Adzo Medie

Asanka,” sneered Emma’s landlord, his bony frame planted in front of the staircase that led to her apartment. It was dawn and she had just returned from walking with her friend, Martin, to the bus stop. He had tutored her throughout the night, in preparation for the entrance exam that she would take in a week’s time, and she had felt obligated to see him off afterward. But now as she stared into her landlord’s rheumy eyes, she wished she had stayed indoors.

Singing Backup by Jason Kapcala

“Drinks,” Muzzie says. “You, me, and Chen—a celebration in Dizzy’s memory. Not a drinking party.” He won’t go that far with it—but Kev knows that though he never went to college, never set foot in a frat house, Muzzie holds a pretty clear definition of what a drinking party entails: keg stands and beer pong and at least twenty women. Though it’s his first night back in Pennsylvania after almost ten years, he knows every note Muzzie’s going to play before he ever plays them.

Maps by Patrick Lawler

“Who was it who decided on where Tallahassee should be?” Toby asks questions, and we laugh a lot. Stupid things really. But it makes you think, and it helps to pass the time. He takes the money when people pump their gas, and I do most of the other things, like brake jobs, tires, and shocks. Mostly minor repairs, quick jobs that get a good price for the boss.

KIRTI by Shruti Swamy

When I pick Kirti up from the bus station, I don’t want to look at her all at once. It’s been years since I’ve seen her last and I want to take her in piece by piece. I look at her brown arms that hug her dirty yellow backpack to her chest, a pose too childish for her twenty-three years. Her elbows are so dark they’re nearly purple, from the bunching of her skin. Her right ear has a ring pierced through the top of it, like a goat’s.