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Fighting Fish

By Samuel Thomas Martin Short Story

FRED, THEIR BETTA FISH, IS DEAD. Christopher tips scummy water into the wilted tomato on the fire escape and gazes at the red body in his hand. He thinks about tossing Fred into the alley for the neighbor’s tabby before Damien wakes up from his nap, but decides against it. Ruth always strolls up the…

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Death Seat

By Jillian Barnet Poetry

Night before last I hit a deer as I sped meteor-like down a dark road—the thud of meeting bone beneath flesh. Last night it was a man, only he made no sound flying from the car’s bumper into blackness. Maybe it wasn’t me, but that shadowy figure behind the wheel, with me in the death…

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Start with the Trouble

By Daniel Donaghy Poetry

Huge hunks of the silver maple we’d just cut down killing the grass, trunk pieces split into quarters a good hundred pounds each, and my father’s start with the trouble in my head again as I loaded the biggest ones into the wheelbarrow, metal scrape and sawdust, tightrope balance to the woods’ edge, then back…

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The Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help

By Nicole Miller Short Story

IT HAD BEEN a church once, no, had been a home for the Sisters of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, which is the name she finds stamped on the inside of the missal. In the vestry, off the small chapel in back, she finds a pair of candlesticks inside of a drawer, along with the…

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Portrait of the Psalmist as Ultra-Singer

By Michael Symmons Roberts Poetry

I sing for fear I’ll hear the still small voice and not like what it says. I croon to make my skull full as a squat hive and the honey is my cracked song, my sting in the throat. O I know a bee is not a melody but I must come to terms with…

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You Couldn’t Believe as I Did

By Judith Sornberger Poetry

What became of the nice pagan girl I married? you complained one morning after I’d found my way to the church down the street and kept walking back every Sabbath. Over dinner you’d quiz me on the sermon, argue with the absent preacher, and me if I defended his BS. Maybe you resented any other…

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The Rage of Peter De Vries: Reckoning with a Brokenhearted Humorist

By Jonathan Hiskes Essay

IT WAS AN ORDINARY autumn night in suburban Chicago when I received the most disturbing book I have ever read. I was seventeen, slouching in my bedroom making a half-hearted attempt at homework, my sweaty cross-country clothes festering on the floor. My father appeared at the doorway and handed me a yellowed paperback that looked…

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