Issue Eighty-five, December 2016/January 2017

Read MagazineDownload the .pdf

Gonzo Feline Dream, Heather Lee Rogers
“The cat will only / eat ballerinas now / I brought home / just one tutu / and her blood lust / laid it down”

And a Time to Die, Emily Weber
“The girl in the yellow bonnet followed me for days. She darted in and out of the shadows cast by the fading summer sun. She sat under the willow trees near the cabins, played Cat’s Cradle with her bony fingers by the back shed, followed me with her heavy-lidded eyes as I walked up the front driveway after school. We did not speak.”

Mary Worth, Martha McCollough
“At poolside we enjoy the array of pastel rectangles and ellipses representing “picnic.” I sense your trouble and draw close.”

The Bowls, the Buttons, and the Baskets, C. B. Auder
“At dawn the button slid into an ocean of new shoe buckles and shiny party balloons and plastic chandeliers and polyester jock straps and bald tires and used condoms and cracked sauce jars and stained pillowcases and unused twist ties and unwanted silverware and limp vegetables and empty wart medications and cheap toilet seats and gobs of cat fur and soggy cigarette butts and a raft of crunching water bottles filled with sparkling emerald slime. The button was overwhelmed. It wept from all four of its eyes.”

Mutually Agreed Upon, Josh Epperly
“Yes, if it weren’t for Gaia’s Bounty, the last bastion of business on the strip, coroners could officially sign Main Street’s death certificate. Here, in this successful anomaly of a diner run by one tattooed and trust-funded Owen Kelly, all vegans within a hundred mile radius congregate, finding respite from the prevailing beef culture.”

Georgie, Isha Ro
“She’ll tell you she’s a mango picker, if you ask her what she does, but she lives in London where no mangoes grow. Instead, she liberates the imported fruit from various stands around the city and makes herself lashings of fresh mango juice. She drinks these on high park benches where she can swing her feet through the dirt. There’s always dried mango strings stuck in Georgie’s teeth.”

Cover art: Dead Reclining, Darin Forrest