The shadow fell across the lit doorway with a gentle chiming of coins.
"You!" I cried.
It was Pelforth, the butler! He undulated towards me, the golden coins on his hip scarf jangling like punctuation.
"You're the murderer?" I struggled to comprehend, unwillingly admiring his excellent foot placement.
Pelforth snaked to the left. "No!" He shimmied dramatically. "The murderer... WAS SOCIETY."
by Audrey of Lebanon
151 fueled. Emotion drained. Petal condensed.
The needle hits 120 and my world turns to blurs. Sound melts to nothing but a dull hum. Adrenaline is all I know, save a memory of ________.
I lose vision behind eyelids. Hands free of friction.
by Joe Jablonski of Waxhaw
Memories converted to scrap iron. The strain of familiarity caught in glimpses of crowd-moments on a stranger’s face. Whispers of first-time conversations. Can we raise that by a dollar? I got one, can I get one seventy five? Rotted karma dusts the cycle of human use. Going low, going high. The best frames contain shattered glass, the rustiest nails in the grandfather clock. Take it away. Take it away.
by AJ Pearson-VanderBroek of Nebraska City
A perversion of Ireland-green lawns, pot-bellied monoliths to dadhood grunting, pushing lawnmowers like workdays, bald spots, ruddy, brick-red skin, plaid shorts, hairy, yellow legs, moccasins with veined feet squeezed in, straining like chronic arthritis, back and forth, listening to the Cubs lose another one, while wives, old china tucked away behind glass, run around in housesacks, dusting away years of silence.
by Meg Tuite of Santa Fe
Afterwards he stays on top, anointing my stomach with mingled sweat, and I tell him my plans for the apocalypse. I'll kill myself, of course; I wouldn't last ten minutes. He carries a gun everywhere but lets me read him contemporary poetry. "Don't do that. I'll find you," he says. New bruises pool purple on the backs of my thighs. When the apocalypse comes, maybe I'll dive to the bottom of one and live there instead.
by Kat Lewin of Irvine
to crack a bat
with stealthy precision
shattering both his kneecaps
by Marguerite Maria Rivas of Staten Island
There was sweet mango dripping from your chin. I wanted to lick it. I knew the precise colours of the bruise beneath, could feel the shades of your pain and how they were dulled by that sticky warmth. I wanted to scream and bang my fists on the glass of the restaurant window, but I had no stomach for the consequences.
You looked in my direction as you wiped your chin. But I was too far gone for you to see. Wiped out.
by Cath Barton of Abergavenny
sirens loud as clouds of asteroid heat. shrouded sheets mark a secular space. needles white as uniforms breathe cigarette breaks. corridor floors dripping dreams permeate. the souls have gone out through the roof. inside the cold boxes. soft as fur mittens. hold bones old as the First World War. black crepe will not shake or stifle expression. dig the ditch deep. lower the bodies down.
by J. Darrow of Rochester