The element that runs the tail of the dog

Sue Spiers   It’s sulphur inside a yolk when you’re shaving; a mirror image that’s slightly misbehaving. It’s feeling calcium grow when bones curl in fingers, ghosts of malleable digits, reptilian harbingers. It’s coppicing trees when their leaves turn to copper...

Breast Autopsy

Michael L. Ruffin   Someone left a message on the church’s prayer line: “Pray for my friend; she’s having a breast autopsy tomorrow.” My first thought: “What good will that do?” My second thought: “If it’s dead, why not just cut it off?” My third thought: “Back...

Dearest Brandy

Richard Porter   You worry. Rest assured, I’m fine. If my verse chills from time to time, seems colder still between the lines, and ices over in harsh rhyme, it does not indicate my state. Beneath the frost my warmth remains, but in my absence you conflate my...

Born Again

Carrie Penrod   Sometimes, I wish I could be born again. Not like a born-again Christian, or a born-again virgin. Because this isn’t living, this thing that I’m doing. It’s surviving–– or, trying to survive, trying to put the pieces back together so I don’t...

villanelle: when the phone dies mid panic attack

Abby Leigh Mangel   oh no oh god i can’t breathe i think it’s a heart attack mom don’t leave don’t leave it hurts so bad you can’t believe now it’s all flooding back oh no oh god i can’t breathe i can’t see anything above or beneath it’s like everything is black...