Alessio Zanelli
You wonder what else can happen, now that snowdrops spangle the high pastures in the Merla days and you can wade the Great River in mid-Lent. Now that the winter spirits have vanished, fled without notice, to end up annulled in the absolute freeze of outer space. What will the May hay bring along? As you wonder this, and more, ... Read More

All That’s Fit for Letting Go

Heather Rounds
I don’t take up too many pandemic hobbies but one of my distractions from the many kinds of grieving is reading physics books. I fail to understand them for the most part, the content too dense, the words mostly impenetrable. But I like how small it makes me feel. I don’t mind how unsurmountable the sentences are. It reminds me ... Read More

The Zipper

Caroline Bock 
You switch on cable news at lunch, a peanut butter and honey sandwich. You’re watching as much to see what the Anchor is wearing— today, a structured designer A-line white dress. A zipper down the front, a sense of professionalism hinted with sex (the zipper) and then the news—an ex-President, a future President, a war, more candidates, the election is ... Read More

The Witnesses

Edward Belfar
David Mellin was his real name, but we all called him Melon Head.  Junior had hung that cartoonish moniker upon him on the very first day of camp for good reason, in our view.  With a massive ovular head resting uneasily atop a chubby little torso, Melon Head looked like a cartoon character.  He had pale, almost translucent skin, with ... Read More

The Spider in the Funeral Parlor

Holly Day
The spider does not recognize the woman as human as it crawls across her stiff, starched collar en route

Donut Shop

Terence Culleten 
In the dream you’re an off-duty cop at a counter holding up a cruller as the waitress pours your coffee.

My Date with Red Shorts

J.D. Isip
1989 Unlock your body’s potential the voiceover tells you to look at the sculpted man arched across the Soloflex bench,


John G. Rodwan, Jr.
“Ain’t got no, don’t need ambition.” –U.K. Subs, “Ambition”


Might be a peculiar thing to confess: a lack of

Mother’s Day

CL Bledsoe
1 I remind my daughter to make her mother a card for Mother’s Day. Something nice, I say, make it

My Brother

CL Bledsoe
A giant bed. A giant man, lying. A plate on his chest. Life to be devoured. Record player bumping across

Judge rules bees are fish

J. Alan Nelson
The California Supreme Court left in place a lower-court decision holding that bees are fish—at least for the purpose of

Plastic Vision

Mac Carey 
For seven years of my childhood, age three until fifth grade, it has been scientifically confirmed that I had a

Remembering Charles

Jean P. Moore
My brother Charles comes to me in a recurring dream. Adult me enters the infirmary through a window and like

Egg and Expectation

Linda Fuller-Smith

The carton is where old poem fragments go

lines and rhymes lacking aplomb now paper pulp

formed into function and

How To Feel Better About Your Death

Ken Mootz
So…what do you remember about being in the womb before you were born?  Do you remember the fluid?  The umbilical

Interview with CL Bledsoe

Nathan Leslie
MLR: Greetings, Cort. Thanks so much for chatting with me. This interview is “asynchronous,” as it were, but this is

Independence Day

Franz Jørgen Neumann
I met Christine on my flight back from Berlin while helping her restrain an unruly passenger. In her crisp flight

Autumn Saudade 

W. Luther Jett
Weight on my chest — afternoons empty of light. Sullen processions clog this street of days. Even my pen refuses