Lessons by Sean Kilpatrick

You’re born, someone sticks an unfolded paperclip into the meat of your eye, / you adjust to your condition, your conditions adjust you, you die horribly. / Like stubbing a cigarette out on your cheek when what you need is to be bathed in napalm... Read More

Excerpts from In This Room by Roberta Allen

Lea is his age now, the age he was when he took his own life on this day fifty years ago. As she sits at the white table, drinking coffee, she sees his death in the half-filled cup. His death lives in this room. His death lives in this silence... Read More

Pear of Anguish by Bridget Brewer

Into your body you clambered once more. The old wounds reopened. The old skin stretched tight. You barely fit into this form anymore. You closed your eyes. You held your breath. You counted to ten... Read More

Hi, I’m Carter by Chelsea Hogue

During the day our fathers lived in the woods where there was plenty to eat: grubs, clay-carrying water dripped from oak. Our fathers relaxed in shawls of dead leaves; there was proof in the pine straw, whorled by their bodies. While we slept in our warm beds, they collected leaves from our yards in black... Read More

Brenda by Johannah Rodgers

She stops to consider herself. Nor I. Could she just pretend it wasn’t happening? In Prospect Heights. Troops fighting for their own land. The neighbors. She won’t find the right word. No revelation per se. You can’t eat flowers she’ll say to the troops, when they’re stationed... Read More

Nature vs. Fertility, God vs. Science by Philippe Sollers, translated from French by Armine Kotin Mortimer

I have no choice but to think that I have been desired by the Dealer in Death, just as the very ugliest of the least of the believers can always tell herself, with satisfaction, that God so wished it. Death, as a result, becomes my natural and social contract, instead of being a tragedy... Read More

WINTERHATE by Greg Mulcahy

Ice cutting as an industry was dead. The ancient sledges had vanished decades ago, and if any draft horses survived, no one saw or heard them. There were other activities, but the general view, after years of accelerating decline, was stated in the last clergyman’s suicide note: Nothing works now... Read More

Metro by Tony Duvert, translated from French by S. C. Delaney and Agnès Potier

You sit down on a bench. It’s not a seat, but rather a sign suggesting a position of rest: half crouched, thigh-bones level, back squared or hunched toward the knees, pelvis crushed between both weights—a scale’s balance beyond all use. Migraine. The head gone, migraine within its space... Read More

A Senile Lucifer by Forrest Roth

I am spoken by having. I am kept by saying. I am laughing. A thing less by one witness, no longer keeping my company. Who has moved on far from without, without a cause to take with. I keep the thing. I wit the thingness, as in now, should one take offense to my laughing... Read More

Two Texts by Katy Mongeau

I fell asleep with our innards like a long sentimental rope. The white pillar holding all of this up has a halo. You can be ruined but not empty. You can be a temple but not empty. You can be a ruin but not nothing, no... Read More

Two Stories by Laurie Stone

We did not communicate again. Now he is the age I was when we met, and I am the age Gardner was when he died. Sometimes it comes into my thoughts that I will die this year, too. There is something we feel we are supposed to give back, like feeding a body to the... Read More

A Missing Suspiria de Profundis by Matt Schumacher

DEAR ______________, I hereby bequeath you the most frustrating case of my career, the baffling phantom, absurd goblin, and born wanderer of alleyways known as Thomas De Quincey. This De Quincey, famously laudanum-laced poet, is almost impossible to track, a slithering enigma, whose escape routes multiply everywhere he turns... Read More