Sunflower Stems/Notes From the Reckoning

By Noelle Barrera On the first day, we were surprised when the moths started raining down from the sky. We were standing on sidewalks, drinking coffee in dimly-lit rooms, walking with friends on the streets when they started dropping down from trees — with vivid punctured red-green bodies, dead moths the size of dogs, the […]

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The Real HarMar Superstar

By Zach Murphy Semisonic’s melancholy anthem “Closing Time” plays while Steve finishes up his last night as a security guard at HarMar Mall. This is almost too good to be true, he thinks to himself. The unsung hero gazes at his reflection in the Famous Footwear window. He’s kept in great shape, he’s clean-shaven, and […]

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Rock-n-Roll Hearts and Trains

By Angela Carlton Music saved her. While her father was strung-out, sleeping the days away, it was music that saved her, sharp melodies, those catchy little lyrics that landed inside a song. It lifted her. Sometimes he’d take five pills, six, as many as ten a day for the pain. Her father, Daddy Ted, was […]

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A Brother’s Responsibility

By Joy Umoekpo It all started a few months ago on a normal day. Trent had just finished some biology homework from his college and was preparing to pick up his younger brother Edwin from his classes when he received the phone call. His mouth fell open. His car keys fell from his hands and […]

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Dust

By Natalie Rogers I was just a speck of dust on the wall. I’ve lived here for 1,752 days, but what did I really know? I had no central nervous system. I had no brain. I didn’t even have a body. I was a mass of tangled long hairs and dead skin cells; so very […]

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Shorebound

Cora stands at the edge of a cliff and stares through wind-narrowed eyes at the hidden ocean. Somewhere far below her feet, white waves seethe and foam onto the black-rock beach, a destructive dance to which she is a precarious observer. She can taste the water on her skin, too, bitterly cold and salty, burrowing […]

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Some Distant Music

Courtney Justus My House This house I live in is not my own. Two stories, colonial style, in northwest Houston, wooden floors like my dance studio, plus a wide, metallic gate and a garden through which I rarely walk, because Mr. Martínez, the owner, a balding man in round glasses, told me there were snakes. […]

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Georgia on My Mind

Charles “Chuck” Taylor This is before he met Georgia, this is back in the late 1960’s when Georgia is married to Al and they live in El Paso, this is when Georgia quit working her legal secretary job and let go of the Mexican maid to stay home with her kids while her husband Al […]

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A Trick Of The Shadows

Eve Kerrigan Dot woke to the sound of the phonograph. She sat up in bed for along moment, blinking her eyes, trying to make sense of the sound.It was incongruous with the long shadows that the moonlight castas it poured through the narrow opening of her bedroom curtains.She shivered a little in the dark. Her […]

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La Tua Mama

Loretta Rodriguez I keep thinking about this one time in Florence with your mom. The three of us were walking home from the little grocery store across the street where you bought my brown leather notebook. We were heading to the first apartment, the one with the pretty curtains. I remember we had to push […]

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The Year-Round Season

Casper Smith It starts on a day so hazy you can hardly see your backyard. It’s as though you live in a void of toxic smog where tall shadowy figures move just beyond the artificial horizon. You can hear murmurs of an unknown language, but never intelligible. Your home—house—looks to be in order, but something […]

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Headlights

T. Mesnick | Her boyfriend smelled like gasoline. This wasn’t normal—he usually smelled like warm bread, and it was the most attractive thing about him—but in this moment she tried to breathe shallowly to avoid the bitter stinging of the odor in her throat as she rested her head on his shoulder.

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John/John

Ariana Fletcher-Bai | My high school senior English class acted out every play we read, as a rule. In the second semester, we read Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. I somehow made it to the end of the fourth act
without being called on. It was a miracle.

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Eyes On Me

Kelly Carroll | The first time I saw Ben Ruck across the quad, my eyes swept right over him. Just another college kid heading for class. I didn’t even remember his face until he showed up next to me in Intro to Microeconomics, looking like death warmed over.

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