A Catalog of Lies

Jen Grow

A guy named Fabian tells you you’re beautiful. He says he hasn’t dated for a while and wants to know all about you. You haven’t dated for years either, but after the end of a long relationship, you’ve been trading messages with men through an online dating site. Fabian is handsome and eight years younger than you. He says he ... Read More

Bark Like Skin

Jennifer Fliss

The craggy striated bark of the western red cedar felt like her mother’s arms, coated in eczema so rough, the little girl had always thought her mother might be part tree.

Her mother wasn’t there with her in the forest. Her mother was in bed, her immune system ensuring no young child with fingers sticky coated in the residue of ... Read More


Kim Magowan
I used to have terrible nightmares about a giant named Jodi who had green skin and a blond bowl cut. Once, when I was four and we were living in Houston, I heard a noise, woke up, opened the curtain, and saw him. Jodi was sitting in a red convertible that he was much too big for, so he looked ... Read More

Blue Jew

Eleanor Levine
I am Louis Farrakhan’s favorite Jew—a lesbian intellectual with a purple Izod sweatshirt. * I am a bilious girl on my birthday with food poisoning from ribs like Momma made. * I go to the ER. A pipe in my throat connects to Moses. All Jews connect to Moses or Freud or Einstein or Rothschild. * Me the Hebe rests ... Read More

Civility in the Parking Lot

Eleanor Levine
New Jersey tar lines deconstruct one’s brain in a Volvo; the calm of an arc; your ass on a leather chair heated; a mobile phone next to you squeaking hyphens and periods. God is in relaxed mode and you do yoga or gyrate to the Ramones or phone John Hinckley Jr and ask if he has recovered from Jodie Foster ... Read More

Chicago Saturdays, 1969

Sarah Browning
My mother in the crappy kitchen, before the renovation, boiling berries for jam. The kitchen is crappy so she’s painted it royal blue and it shimmers in the Chicago heat, strawberries popping on the ancient stove. On the ceiling she’s painted giant petals springing out from the one bare bulb. Oh, cast-iron sink so deep, narrow metal cabinet, counter tacked ... Read More

Do I call them the lonely years

Sarah Browning 
nights alone in dive bars watching baseball, sipping cheap gin? I was relieved to be alone, to loose the vigilance I’d kept over the man I’d lately left – would he uncoil his impatience, his anger: not at me / at me / later, when I thought an evening a success, we’d relaxed a bit, but no, he’d tell me, ... Read More
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