The Fisherman and His Wife by James B. Nicola

My heart’s the fisherman who casts lines still in quest of some great catch that will feed him and his wife for a season, a year, a life.   My head’s the fisher wife, loyal to the love that braves every storming sea, waits, and meanwhile prays in a brightly painted house   that he should recognize the door, should he come home drunk. Everyone whom we might love, are the fish who become a nightly dish.   The years keep coming, wrinkled as the o- cean, in and... Read More

Rancid Flesh by James B. Nicola

An organism that has died soon shows the natural process of life and death and cannot help but start to decompose. If buried with ceremony, beneath the surface of the ground and in a sealed container like a coffin, as the dead should be, the rotting process does not yield displeasing odors. If instead   the creature lives, unloved but staying true, some drops of oils judiciously applied might keep you from suspecting that she’s died or that in the verse she has read to... Read More

To Be a Coat Rack by Grace Hertenstein

I only wish, for just one day, to experience the life of a coat rack. To be a coat rack would be perfection. To stand in the hall, arms outstretched, charming – yet humble – would be magnificent. To wear coats of many colours and fabrics, to show off the furs and buttons that grace the slender body of a coat rack would be most outstanding. You must understand, I have never wanted much. I simply want to see the wondrous displays a long corridor, or perhaps a foyer, could provide.... Read More

Physical Therapy by Jacqueline Jules

She massages my arm with the story, relayed in a clinician’s calm voice, of her brief marriage— dissolved in the blink of his roving eye. I wince as her fingers knead a tender spot, and nod my sympathy. After the divorce, she tells me, rubbing more salve in white circles, she went back to school to study the human body; how injured limbs can be restored, if surrounding tissue is strengthened. And that’s how she came to be touching my arm in this cubicle, both of... Read More

Memories by Valentina Cano

A used desk is stationed in my room. Its shadow, long on the floor, dark and smelling of wipes. I bump against it every time I walk in, bruises becoming sores turning to festering gapes. Nothing moves it from its place, not pushing, not pulling, not kicking. Maybe a bonfire, violent and toothy, will eat it whole.   Valentina Cano is a student of classical singing who spends whatever free time she has either reading or writing. She also watches over a veritable army of pets.  Read More

The Widow of Charroux by Lyndsay Wheble

‘In my little village, I am the grand fromage, the nay-sayer, la patronne. Charroux, mon village, has always been the prettiest town in Provence, not that it can be seen for the people nowadays. We’re over-run with tourists and pilgrims, comme beaucoup de souris, from Mardi Gras right through to Noël. You came last November? I’m surprised you didn’t hear the story then, there are so many people dying to tell it. I suppose the current frenzy is preferable to the time when... Read More