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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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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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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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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