Smoke and Ashes by Stephen Spotte

My father’s cigar-smoking, or rather its imminent threat, had caused our banishment to the porch. After supper, Dad had taken a cigar from his shirt pocket with the practiced deliberation of an actor. Mom, recognizing the cue as hers, stood and began clearing the dishes.             “Marcel,” she said, “you’re not going to smoke that…

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Dogeared By Basil Humphrey

I am well worn, thumbed through, creased at the edgesAlways stuck on the same page, always mid-sentence,I can neither avert my eyes, turn thoughts, nor paperFor it is my life’s work, knowing something of what’s gone beforeBut no clarity as to what comes nextI live in the now of uncertaintyNo future, beyond skittish dreamsMy imprint…

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Kaleidoscope By Susan Cornford

           “I’m going to throw up. I’m going to throw up. I’m going to throw up all over my wedding dress!” I said.           “Breathe,” my friend, Monica, replied.           I breathed. I didn’t throw up. It was past the time of morning sickness so something else was wrong. The woman in the mirror in front of me reapplied the…

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Life By Eva Wal

Smiling into the morning’s faceI lie under a tree Listening to birds With my eyesI kiss the crooked treefull of rounded fruits A happy crowd held in friendly arms I can do what I wantI watch the river flow Don’t be a slave, don’t be a foolshe speaks to mewhile I cry tears of joy…

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The King’s Pirouette By Jaden Fong

Just to the left of the dying lavender,there is a castle of a web, fit fornothing short of a king. That’sjust what I expect the spider is, too: a king.His galt is royal, regal, intentional.He spins crystalline twine day after nightafter day, laying each ivory wing to his thronecarefully, one after another. I suspectthat he…

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This Is Within Me By Jack M. Freedman

Inspired by the TV series, This Is Us It startswith anervousbreakdownand endswith across countryroad trip. Do I remain drivento the point ofachieving anunreachableperfection… Or do I gorgeon my defenses? Do I holdmyself responsiblefor my lack of security? One that is:lostcharredexhausted. Could I findthat soulconnection? Addictionsmay one dayconsume me,but I willbe strong enoughto pull openthe lidsof…

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Landscape By Rock Martinez

Soft, lazy afternoons in quiet neighborhoods, where childrenPlay innocent games.Mothers watch, contented, idyllic lifeScenic pictures of another day in paradise. Large, comfortable homes perched on lofty hillsidesSit majestically, overlooking a sea of lightsAs late evening sneaks past crystal lakes.Soft light glows from bedroomsWhere children are tucked in to sleep, safe and secure. Street scenes, a…

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Happy New Year By Ashley Wilson

Twenty-six. Twenty-seven.Twenty Twenty. Twenty Twenty-One.You’ve crossed the river Styxand have entered hell. Oh, how uneventful. How sad.Did you expect fireworks?With all that has happened,did you think it was over? A year older, you feel the same,only to realize it’s been over half a decadesince you’ve graduated (college that is).It’s getting harder to lose weight. Thankfully,…

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