BLUE MASSACHUSETTS
by EILEEN MYLES

“I’m a little
embarrassed.
& I don’t
want to see how
many people
like that thought”

EXCERPTS FROM BLACK WAVE
by MICHELLE TEA

“The rumor on Fernando was that he used to work for the government, the FBI or the CIA, and was so hooked up with the most corrupt corners of the system that he was immune from being busted. Everyone felt very safe buying drugs from Fernando in the women’s restroom at the Albion.”

THE SPOT
by NAIMA COSTER

“The agency had told me he had a dead wife too, and I could tell they had lived in the house together for a long time. He had her watercolors framed on the wall, and fancy dishes he never used with gold trim in the cabinets.”

TWO POEMS
by ABA MICAH COLLINS-SIBLEY

“I’ve only known you since the pause
carrying two white mans’ names
An X through what is (will be)”

PREDICTIVE TEXTS
by CHARLES THEONIA

“the best thing about the future is that
it is a good one if it’s us and the rest
of my friends in it and even if you
don’t all love each other and i am not”

TWO STORIES
by MEREDITH ALLING

“I stand on the ledge of the building and sway. Nothing between me and the ground is untrue. Stacks of breath.”

TWO STORIES
by PAUL LISICKY

“Now when the screen summons up Politician X, I do a start. Not because I’m dreading your elation at his latest surge, but because you’re dead, and I will never holler at another human like I did with you.”


MALIGNANT
by NATALIE EILBERT

“She should stop drinking. Every time she got drunk around artists, she lied about her life. The lies were less irresistible than they were impossible to avoid, like an addict’s taste for whiskey which isn’t as much about the taste than the solution to life’s inexhaustible disappointments.”


THREE POEMS
by MONET P. THOMAS

“I can still hear your sisterly hissings
from a perch at 45 degrees,
about the centuries I’ve given up
and for what, a man?”


TWO POEMS
by ASA DRAKE

“The bees came, and they visited us. They stayed,
and they left. House hunting, the bees buy nothing.
When we are gone out of the earth, I will also resist
the urge to buy something.”

HISTORY
by DARA CERV

“The soft eyelids of the baby
Fluid rolling beneath the fingers
A current gets grounded.”

THE SUICIDE SURVIVOR’S GUIDE TO WHAT’S NEXT
by OSCAR MANCINAS

You looked at her hand and then her face, smiling between nerves and urgency. You grabbed it and your heartbeats synced with the beeps of the passing floors and your breaths flowed like the purr of the ascending car and you smiled and introduced yourself in Spanish—like you hadn’t done since leaving home.”

SIT DOWN BESIDE MEGAN
by KATHRYN MOCKLER

I’m getting the feeling my boyfriend is just in the band so the band can have a place to practice. He wasn’t in the band before. He’s the newest member.”

TWO POEMS
by RUSHING PITTMAN

“not my father, my father
would never choose this
or my mother, no one
would think to choose this”

MICHELLE
by KATHERINE FUSTICH

“Everyone was stuck in tar somewhere, or lingering outside of coffee shops with open doors and air conditioning that blew into the street and created small patches of frozen land for the taking. No one bothered speaking—the mouth was a cool dry place that needed to be preserved.”


THE BOTANIST
by MIKA TAYLOR

“She planted a single seed in each of his ears while he slept, tweezing in the first, then waiting patiently for him to turn. They weren’t seeds she could readily identify, mustard or melon, maple or rye. They were small and oblong, smooth at the edges, promising.”


TWO POEMS
by JON RUSESKI

“Midnight karaokes some phase you had. Tomorrow has its lift. Waking up in a liked photo.
The world yells at you with lovesick outcomes, badly drawn hexagrams.”

FACE
by STEPHANIE WONG KEN

“Blepharoplasty,” the surgeon says, “to see better.”“Yes please,” Pam says, though her mother always tells her she came into this world in the year of the blessed fire tiger and possesses delicate Chinese features passed down through the generations.”


THREE POEMS
by SENNAH YEE

“Sarah and I always played The Sims with versions of us, our sk8er boi crushes, our celeb crushes (Brad Pitt and Edward Norton circa Fight Club), and our enemies. “

THE ALIEN ASKS FOR DIVORCE
by M.V. FIERCE

“Slide down to the floor, crouching against the bottom cupboards like you’re playing hide-and-seek. Chrome dishwasher opposite reflects a vague mucilaginous shape that you don’t recognize as human, much less as yourself.”


KETCHUP
by EMILY SIEGENTHALER

“On the phone we decide to check out the mansion of the condiments empire heiress—the intricate brickwork and the midnight guards who sleep outside for $10 an hour. I always say yes to a new set of dark, expensive streets. I’ve only just moved to LA, I like to walk, and every lawn is its own universe. My eyes go wild for shadows.”


CONSTANT MANICURE
by COLETTE ARRAND

“My hands aren’t good
for fine work. I have
things to cut. I have more
things than I can manage
to care for.”


TWO POEMS
by AJISE VINCENT

“a black Sudanese kid drowning
in the largeness of his pants
weaves a basket of history”


“Damian I bought four candles from bath and body works and a box of matches from the dollar”

WEST
by ANDREW COTHREN
“Almost the end of our first day out and no one’s looking for us, far as we know. If we ever went to school or went into town more than once a month or were allowed past The Fence, someone may have noticed.”

ROYAL JELLY
by T.J. KURITA

“Margot sat next to Paul and watched him dismantle the little pistol down to its tiniest parts that looked like little black bones on top of the oiled leather wrap that he laid flat on the kitchen table.”


LESSONS FROM THE SEA
by SARAH BROWN”An anonymous girl in low-cut leggings, no makeup, nipples nearly visible. This was a big deal for Mount Pearl, Newfoundland. Andrew Rand’s grandmother died of a stroke and they blamed the American Apparel advertisement for inducing it.”


THREE POEMS
by TERRELL JAMAL TERRY

“In spite of mine
I know an oblique faith
& the dark brightness of wonder”


bees sip pollen secretly, behind petals
by KERRIE MCNAIR

“We have a deal, you and me.
We talked for 29 seconds
because that’s all we needed.”


THE CROWS
by SABA WAHEED

“Pamir roared from the bottom of his stomach, clapped loudly, pounded his feet on the ground and screeched, ‘Keeeeeeek! Keeeeeeek!’ But the crows lined up on the power line didn’t budge.”


FOR CONTEXT
by ILANA MASAD

“Charlie really wasn’t stalking her. Really. It took daily talking-to-self to convince Charlie of that, but Charlie knew. This wasn’t stalking.”