Translations by Rick McElhany

We are blue moon shadows,moving in a soft, improvised dance —a bit clumsy, at times, but sincere,and grateful for this special timein a place that is not ours.A meadowlark’s alarmhas been the only signof any indignation from our hosts. Dances of mice and insects,in rustling leaves and grasses,are not lost on us —proof of the…

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Off the Menu by Jeffrey Hantover

Tell Gerardo he makes one fine salad.  I don’t care if he gets it out of a jar, it’s the best creamy Italian in San Francisco.  You’re new, aren’t you?  I’ve been coming to Pinecrest for twenty-odd years.  Nowadays you gals come and go.  Always looking for something better.  Don’t blame you.  But it’s nice…

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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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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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