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What You Don’t Hear, Marie Baleo
“Ariana and I had been best friends for thirteen years on the day that she became a box. She and I had been closer than the Earth and the Moon, for a long time. I was summoned to her room by none other than her wailing mother, who hoped I’d identify her. The box smelled like Ariana’s damp hair on wash day.”

An Invitation, and Virgil, Mark Bonica
“Virgil gestures to a gaping hole, / a gash filled with darkness / where the leaves and rocks / have been pushed aside”

The Silverware Club, Carly Brown
“He had told me how he was about to start law school but he wanted to be an artist (he didn’t say what kind), how he had a pet gecko called Franz Kafka, how he bulk ordered coffee from Sweden because the Swedes knew how to properly roast coffee. But he hadn’t mentioned that this was a costume party. And everybody was meant to dress as a spoon.”

Whitechapel, Megan Mealor
“Mary Jane rang an Irish refrain, / drunk on Ten Bells whiskey. / Her unpolluted apron ablaze, / she surrendered a scarlet shawl / and her weary wildgrass heart”

The Day the Circus Died, Kristen Rybandt
“After the very last performance, Blaze Stevens took Miss Dorrie for a spin inside the Globe of Death, an act strictly forbidden by management. Miss Dorrie’s blond curls fanned out from the bottom of her helmet and spilled up and down as Blaze’s bike circled the steel sphere. Dorrie couldn’t tell if they were upside down or rightside up and clung to Blaze like he was the edge of a cliff.”

Cover art: Unity, Skyler Darshini Freimann