by Michael Estabrook

I bring Gertrude Stein along each summer when                                                          

we vacation on The Cape but after                                                                                  

one or two of her poems                                                                                                    

her poems her poems                                                                                                           

I get distracted                                                                                                                                 

by the waves and the gulls                                                                                          

leave her alone                                                                                                              

in the beach bag beneath                                                                                                 

the big blue umbrella                                                                                                          

blue umbrella blue umbrella

"War Story"

by Howie Good


Hitler was dead. But nothing fundamental changed. The magician, after all, doesn’t act-ually make the card disappear. On the birthing table, the red queen, her feet in the stirrups, her mind  full of animal fables, pushes and pants and pushes again. Then, calmly and coldly, petals fall. Tyrants clink glasses.

Our FiveNominations forThis Year's Best Small Fictions, Best Microfiction & Pushcart Prize Recognition

Choosing was

"In My Play"

by Kim Lozano

I act all the parts in my play. I light the lights, throw a blue sheet on the floor and call it a pool of cool water. Curtain up. The story is that of an ordinary woman. A fiction. An autobiography. I’ve named the year she couldn’t stop crying: intermission. Center stage. The woman sits at a table beneath a dim lamp. She is looking at the shadow on the floor that is her own. It is a scene of great love and beauty. I’ve scripted silence, a dramatic pause, never-theless, offstage, the steady creak of rope on a pulley.

"Celestial Body"

by Melanie Maggard

On a lazy Saturday in July, you use a star chart to discover all eighty-eight con-stellations on her body. You recognize a universe in her skin like a sea captain observes a galaxy in ocean waves. You trace patterns with your finger, follow invi-sible lines connecting freckles and moles as stars and planets. You identify distant galaxies of the southern hemisphere in speckles on her left thigh, the Andromeda constellation sprinkled on her right shoul-der blade. You kiss the heavens in the Milky Way of her neck, taste her stardust on your tongue. She becomes your map to the cosmos.

"Radio Stutter"

by Francine Witte

Yellow morning and the bathroom mirror is clouded with doubt. Shower steam and breakup words sitting on your tongue. Later, in the kitchen, you take spoony stabs at your cereal. Crackle and pop and all.  Your sandalwood aftershave spices the air. You splashed it on like it is raw meat marinade. Like you are tendering yourself for another woman. All around us radio stutter. You blame it on low power in an old building. You insist it’s not the radio’s fault. I listen for the words that are missing. All around us, flecks of us are falling to the floor.