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What Child is This, Rachel Cassidy
“The salon glows richly, firelight reflecting off precious objects and luxurious fabrics. Madison’s mother is draped on a chaise lounge. She examines a flute of lukewarm champagne in the firelight | taps the ash off the glowing tip of a long brown cigarette | trails several tentacles elegantly across the oriental carpet. The ashtray is overflowing and the carpet is pocked with circular burns.”

Two Poems, Julie Bloss Kelsey
“late to work / the transporter / broken”

Thought Fox, Rob McClure Smith
“She said the thought foxes ate Ted Hughes and how it was poetic justice and it was, except it wasn’t true. She gets things backwards and pronounces it sgniht, which is also the Slovak word for sweet pastry and has led to more misunderstandings than you can shake a stick at.”

The Air Conditioner, Todd Zack
“The cool air was blowing now and the soft steady drone of the air conditioner moved behind the walls like a turbine lullaby. ‘Move quickly’ Billy thought. ‘Go to sleep!’ If the air conditioner ended its present spell, Billy would have to wait all over again for the next cycle to begin. The waiting was the hardest part, the scary part.”

Cover art: The Incident Above Delta Vega, Frank Casey