Online Issues

This is Not Your Country

Zvezdana Rashkovich

In Leila’s Balkan country most people cowered in permanent unease. Anxious about the propuh, an ill-meaning air draft apparently possessed of ambiguously mystical but lethal powers, their wet hair after bathing, or sitting on cold stairs because if you did – your bladder would catch the ‘bladder flu’. Or, you could get brain inflammation from that un-dried wet hair and die. Or pneumonia. And die …

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Dumb Blonde

Rachel Hartley-Smith


“A blonde walks into a library—” The man starts then stops.

He is a man with a big belly in a dark, baggy sweatsuit, only slightly taller than me, and he has parked his half-sized cart in my path. Surrounded by a rainbow of grocery-store produce, we stand in a band of green, between bunches of cut asparagus upright in stagnant water and mounds of round …

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The Contact Imperative

Wendy Oleson

She emerges wearing a welder’s mask (I try
not to stare) because the blood will splatter
under her electric drill—a Black &
Decker used to filter flesh and bone from
infection, keening into the body, uninvited.

She is a dyke, short and mean. Tuesdays,
I file records until nine. She stays late without
ever looking at me. Leaning over the charts,
pen in sinister hand, she scrawls T-cell counts,
viral loads, whether Edwin or …

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4 Poems

Ali Beemsterboer

The kind of thing I see in movies/memories

when there are dark basements involved. He sat on the small of her back, cupped her chin with one palm, her forehead with the other, forced her to watch the video. Consider the narrative of flatness. To be flat is to be walked on. Pillows covered half-sized windows. Whether she tried to close her eyes or not, he …

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