Golden Garden

When Dmitry was little, he counted stones. He imagined they were assets, like shiny diamonds he saw on TV. He fought a lot and his victories and losses were more or less balanced. His mother shouted when she saw his torn trousers and dirty knees.Continue Reading

Momma’s Broom

When Shug found out Vandale had already enlisted, he’d walked into town to sign up, himself. He’d almost made it, even though he was lying about his age, but Judge Foreman caught him.Continue Reading

These Days

Today my eyes are filled with drywall dust. The gypsum fire deterrent bonded by thin cardboard breaks easily with the prying crowbar. The new house gutted and needing more work than expected; holes in the sheathing from pests and soggy with water damage. I just wanted something to go our way, for once, Amy says.Continue Reading

Fabulous Freddy’s Last Gig

I walk to the bar, scanning the crowd for off-duty cops and ex-soldiers, trying to spot thick necks, short hair, dick eyes. No one looks like they’d get involved. There’s no heroes in this audience. I’m the only one wearing a sport coat, but that’s okay. It’s not an Armani or Calvin Klein, something people might notice, just a cheap jacket I bought off the rack at AMVETS for a couple bucks. The fabric is shiny in places, the cuffs frayed, but it’s comfortable and keeps everything covered when I’m strapped.Continue Reading

Two Stories

These days, your dad’s attention is on gas prices, grain prices, and something called inflation that the new President—who I voted for, damned straight I did—is working hard to get back under control. Your mom sits in her chair, rubs her feet that she always says are dog tired, and even though you think she doesn’t pay him any more mind than you do, she’s the one who nods and says Mm-hmm every so often.Continue Reading

Slush

Walls of tin that someone convinced people were homes fade behind me, blurred by the fogged mirror and the frozen window I didn’t bother to scrape. It’s ice beneath me, not slush like it was this morning. My car isn’t equipped for it, especially in the pitch black, but it hasn’t been for the lastContinue Reading

Brunophant: An Ode to Bruno Schulz

Some boys clasped arms behind their heads and smirked. Humans, en masse, don’t exist without a hunt. My class was two-dimensional cut-outs steeped with the steamed vapor of their odious neighbors. Rabid blood in their eyes waited to stretch my carcass into the abyss.Continue Reading

Jesse Salvo

One of the best parts of running a lit mag is that you get to talk to about a million different writers and (unlike most readings and AWP conventions), they actually want to talk to you and not run fleeing from the fat loud crazed man with the mohawk. Once upon a time I readContinue Reading

Pain

It’s 2006 or 2007. George W. Bush is our president. I am eight or nine years old. Uncle Dave, my mother’s younger brother by a handful of years, is my official introduction to pain, because Dave is in a great deal of pain. Some accomplishments. He’s not drinking anymore. He’s not wetting the bed anymore.Continue Reading

Tombstone Blues

I got it but my sister did not. Did something konk out from a fever I got? I’ve never known for sure, just that one day when I was eight and my grandparents and cousins were all over to our house for my uncle’s famous Taco Nights I got really really thirsty, I even thoughtContinue Reading