Jennifer Niesslein

HOW TO BUY A CAR My dad didn’t set out to be in the car-selling business, but when the steel industry in western Pennsylvania died, that’s where he found himself at thirty-four years old. He’d been working as a machinist, a job that supported the steel industry, which in turn supported the car manufacturing industry….

David Franklin

STRINGBEAN, ROOK AND HITLER His name was Ed, but nobody called him that, except maybe his wife, Trudell. To all who knew him his name was “Stringbean” although he was mostly called “Strang,” the southern Middle Tennessee derivative of “String.” He was a sharecropper and worked the fields and milked the cows of Billy O’Neal,…

Lexi Covalsen

Notes from the Free Clinic In Kentucky, I was blue and selfish like a child. We had lost our gloves on the river bank; along with the money and the meth, the memory: a brick house and a basement, must and lights and crying, cars and chairs and very nice ladies. I know we were…

Juanita Rey

A COMEDY I am the pregnant womansitting alonein the cinema. The screen crackles awake.A light ray shines above me. Real life ends,thank God.Vicarious begins.I emerge fromthe swill of my day to dayinto another’s script.No wonder my face glowswith expectation. But behind me,some guy is talking on his cellphone. A couple in front get all close and sultry.And…

Mickey Dubrow

Cult of Nancy “Nolan Smiles. We make it precious,” read the words painted on the glass front door. “Maybe if they weren’t so busy making it precious, they wouldn’t have screwed up,” Nancy said under her breath as she propelled herself through the door and into the lobby of the photo studio. On the walls…

Judy Ryan Hall

Glücklich Danny walked along the dirt path up to the guard shack, his red box under one arm and a tattered copy of Paradise Lost under the other. A small notebook with a pencil through the spiral stuck out of the back pocket of his fatigues which hung loosely on his thin hips.  At nineteen,…

DS Maolalai

A working class suburb. in kilbarrack it’s a strangecombination – flowers like stonesin gardens, blue silencesurrounded by brown warmth. it’s a working classsuburb, but it’s been sofor sixty years – most of the workersare retired. I live herequietly, sitting in my grandmother’s house,paying rent while she molders in a nursing home. the day collapses inward, mossyas cement…

Kara Goughnour

My Father Shares His Photo Library in the Family iCloud Among many things, my father takes photos of a Michelob Classic Dark tap handle, filmy renditions of sand and sea (maybe Tampa, maybe some place I don’t yet know), selfies taken seemingly by accident— my father looking down at us, down through us, down at…

Suzanne Paola Antonetta

The Small Psychoses: Erasure My mother, as her dementia grew, never forgot me, but she did erase me. She recognized my physical presence until the end. She erased me from her memories, with a conviction that was far-reaching and unshakeable, though her long-ago was otherwise intact. I disappeared from trips, from events, from holidays. She…

Salvatore Difalco

THE FOREST The new forest had just opened to the public. As had been the case with prior such installations, reactions were mixed. Some people said they found it relaxing or stimulating, an excellent locus to hone or pacify the thoughts, or simply a good place to open up the lungs and breathe. Others complained…