Immediate Family OnlyBy Laurie Ann Doyle
The very least he owes me is a body. A thumb, a wrist bone, the big barrel of his chest. But there my father sits: gray soot in a gold cube.
The Fish RoomBy Jennifer Anderson
I snuck down there evenings he worked at the sawmill, to the lath and concrete room where he gutted perch, tossing tails to the cat.
Required Summer ReadingBy Kimberly Tolson
My grandma kept her pocket paperback romance novels in the scary spare room on the second floor, directly to the right of the J-shaped staircase, the one we’d ride down on the old dishwasher box.
Calling Mom HomeBy Elizabeth Boquet
I call my mom once a year, on the day she died. Five times I have pulled up “Mom Home” in my contacts. Five times I have pressed the phone icon.
You Couldn’t Wait to Leave This TownBy Jennifer Handley
Concrete steps rise from pebbly cracked sidewalks, but go, absurdly, nowhere. Into the boards of a fence, or the sunless dirt beneath a low tree limb.
Backyard AristotleBy Leonard Kress
In this morning’s backyard drama the tiny green bird has crashed into the glass of the sliding door and lies feet up and claw-splayed on the brick patio.
LilBy Stephen D. Gutierrez
Our neighbor Lil looked like a TV Indian, all sunbaked and leathery. She wandered the streets brokenly, ill dressed, barely attuned.
Cornflakes of CompassionBy Janet Hommel Mangas
Head buried between cradled knees, I sobbed rhythmically with the clacking India railway train.
The PostmanBy Elisa Jay
I’m surprised to see the postman’s face at last. The wrinkles parenthesizing his lips and eyes are soft...
The Size of MemoryBy Merrill Sunderland
Once upon a time, you loved being big. Your bone-smuggling classmates reminded you daily...
AGUR Is the Last Way I Learned to Say GoodbyeBy Clare Boerigter
Javi cuts the morcilla, flipping it into the pan. It is de casa, the pig. Homegrown.
I Was FurnitureBy James McCready
I can’t recall much from my childhood. For all I know, I was a piece of furniture—an inanimate object. A cactus in its pot.
What Might Not HappenBy Nicholas A. White
Blood-red eyes, a forearm against the light, meetings and deadlines to attend. Mouths to feed, cars to buy, doctors to pay. And politics.
Beer Pong at Tiffany’sBy Misty Ellingburg
Last night, a girl asked about my name—why it's Misty; are my parents hippies? I said no, they're Native American.
What I Am Not SayingBy Emma Bogdonoff
Once you knew a boy and you loved him though you never said. Through so many years, you never said. It made you irreplaceable; who else could say so much with so few words?
Three Flash MetafictionsBy Pamela Painter
They want to know why some characters get long stories while they get Micro, Sudden, Flash. Why some characters get cities or towns, streets, homes with dog houses and dogs that howl in the night.
Danny BoyBy Dinty W. Moore
My father was known throughout our neighborhood for his honey-rich tenor, his mastery of Irish-American songs, and Sinatra standards.
NostalgiaBy Deborah Rocheleau
Why does everyone patronize mice? They’re always “unwanted guests,” or “the new resident.” Never “the prisoner on death row” or “the vessel for deadly diseases you would rather avoid.”
Skin flâneurBy Joseph Heathcott
In our wanderings about the city, we pass through each other. What is a human being, after all? Nine of every ten cells in our bodies are not human: bacteria, fungi, viruses, yeasts and symbiants.
TucsonBy Andrea Spofford
When my mother calls she talks about the succulents in her backyard, how she overflowed the pool because she forgot to turn off the water, my father's new job at Rainbird, how she's worried, at 57, she's too old for this.
Immediate Family Only
The very least he owes me is a body. A thumb, a wrist bone, the big barrel of his chest. But there
my father sits: gray soot in a gold cube. Astro turf covers the hole in the earth that’s not big enough to fit his calloused foot. People stand, talk about my father as if he’s still whole: an efficient, frugal man with thick white hair and green eyes. A lover of conglomerate rocks and geometry. Incinerated now, he’s ready to be lowered. The earth sinks under my chair legs, tipping me forward and I feel myself falling, falling
Laurie Ann Doyle is the author of World Gone Missing, from Regal House Publishing in October 2017. She teaches writing at UC Berkeley.
Photo Credit: infra-leve
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