Doe Dose

by Sharon Stephenson

A plastic fawn, palm-sized, lives on my office desk. He gazes at my open office door. His right front hoof is raised, poised for haste. The deer of my Mississippi childhood were the Virginia whitetail, Odocoileus virginianus virginianus. As a … Continue reading

from Black Preacher at the Family Reunion

by Greg Bottoms

New Shoes You’re on your hands and knees, looking side to side beneath the tattered bus seats.  In front of you are new white tennis shoes, size three or four, and above them frayed and yellowed socks, and above the … Continue reading

A Brief History of Execution

by Jonathan Fink

1.  Written in 1772 BC, Hammurabi’s Code contains the earliest known laws for justifiable execution. 2.  For example, if a man accuses another man of an injustice, the accused man will be plunged into a river, and, if innocent, he … Continue reading

How to Skin a Bird

by Chelsea Biondolillo

Your first and only incision will be right over the sternum. All birds have a bald patch there. Blow lightly on the breast until the feathers begin to part and you can see the pale skin beneath. Rest your finger … Continue reading

Talking White

by Monic Ductan

When I was born in 1981, my daddy wanted to give me the French name “Monique,” but he didn’t know how to spell it, and when he consulted with a nurse at the hospital there in our little town of … Continue reading

The Critics

by Katie Ellison

A Way In, 2012 I’m not ready to watch my father’s first movie alone. In it, a boy regularly burned by his sadistic mother grows up and finds her dead in the house they still share, freeing him to indulge … Continue reading

The Dead Cities of Syria

by Nancy Penrose

They are living in the Dead Cities of Syria. In Serjilla, amid the abandoned ruins of ancient Roman villas, refugees now shelter from war. I saw this in a news video, recognized the place where, a few years ago, I … Continue reading