Contents 10.2




Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell

by Daniel Aristi

In the movie, the scientists wish

They’d be in uniform, and the US Marines actually

Dream of kissing the eggheads, but no one says nothing.


There’s a nuclear device with blood red numbers that

They all fathered in a Manhattan orgy—and R-Mann would say

‘It’s queer’.(More …)

Honey Ant

by Daniel Aristi

A hopemonger comes he sells

hope, in Spanish


Abuela used to say

They were so poor in Zacatecas they

Ate ant honey—

Miel de hormiga

Bees, hah, way too expensive, muy caro

mijo, carísimo, ja! (More …)


by Daniel Aristi

Everything the State says is a lie, and everything it has it has stolen.

(Friedrich Nietzsche)

On the map, the capital city black spot

isn’t there, like a hole in a golf course for God, like

an empty plate of frijoles big enough for the nation, like

the victory of some Ulysses campesinos that dared gouge the military government’s Cyclops—

(More …)


by Emily Banks

Before a snake sheds skin, she goes half blind

for just a week or two. The fluid she excretes,

a grey-white lubricant to ease the slide,

pools under the scale of each eye

like warm milk filling up a metal spoon.

When the world blurs,

she searches out a rough surface

to rub against, loosening first

the old skin from her head, where it will split,

then working down. If done correctly,

the skin should come off in one easy piece,

a hollow tube of flimsy wax paper, a shroud of self

like the seat of jeans you’ve worn all week,

that absence so distinct.(More …)

She Had a Name, It Was Saint Catherine of Siena

by Raisa Imogen

Once I did not eat

I grew a fine coat of hair. loved my bright collarbone

more than I loved any boy—

hip bones, knives, apple seeds, dust,

I left a trail of paper behind me

personal confetti of tallied calories

oh, reader, you’ve heard this story before?

have you heard the sound a body makes as it absorbs itself?

like clocks ticking backwards.(More …)

I’m About As Sorry For Killing Myself As You Are For Telling Me To

by Khalypso

come to my wake

dressed sharp as a lemon rind

the trimmings of a hollow season’s harvest

scattered on the floorboards and

crackling like the heartbeat

you’re wailing to hear,

cauterizing your tear ducts and setting

whatever dance-crazed soul upon you

that will bend your toes in the way of

the light. praise my coffin. praise your

gilded sorrow. praise the burn i swallowed

and offered you, generous, like the good

blood brother and spook i am. those who

merely pretended to know me will say

do not weep.(More …)


by Stacy Boe Miller

Muzzles gone white on old dogs church,

quadriceps screaming uphill

on gravel bike church, garbanzos dancing

in their dry rattles church, his finger finally

finding your clitoris church, alone

on the toilet birthing

a dead baby church, church of the first time

you kissed a girl, Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

fiddled poorly in a park at

night church, tomatoes

ripe in a garden you planted

with your mother church, jukebox

that still takes quarters church,(More …)


by Lynne Thompson

Give in to your inner goat. Do not say I am not a goat.

Do not say I have only two legs. You give milk, run with

herds, graze. Remove the latch on your mind. Baaa

in moonlight even though you will be shorn or stuffed

at a time you have not chosen. (More …)

Notes on a Day Job, or, How to Be an Adjunct Professor

by Sayantani Dasgupta

1. When I was eighteen, the most boring professor in the world taught me American history. She was a scholar, yes, laden with more degrees than the earth has tectonic plates, but an inspiring teacher, that she was not. At the designated hour every day, she entered our classroom, sheathed in yet another handwoven sari, in colors as vibrant as fire and cinnamon. She glanced around the room giving us all the benefit of her gaze, and I suspect, the time to admire her exquisite taste in wardrobe and hand-forged silver jewelry. She set down her purse, seated herself and took attendance. And then she opened her notebook and began to read. For fifty minutes, thrice a week, our classroom saturated with the sing-song quality of her voice, interspersed with the furious scratching from pens that truly cared and those that only pretended. Our hands got a reprieve when one of the front benchers asked her a question. But the moment she delivered the answer, she returned to her notebook—drawn by some umbilical attachment that only she understood—and the space between our ears plugged up again with the droning static of her voice. I glanced at my watch, at the clock above her head, at the pages of my own notebook, where lived the newest doodle of her face with a foghorn for a mouth. The window next to my seat shimmered the pristine lawn outside and whispered enticing words such as “freedom” and “independence,” and I vowed, for the millionth time, to never become a college professor.(More …)

Last Time in Bangkok

by Grace Loh Prasad

The immediate family members were invited into the small, doorless room, covered floor-to-ceiling in bright blue tiles. The only decoration was a high, small alcove displaying a crucifix and a simple bouquet. This was not how I expected to see my brother, lying on a platform covered up to his chest in a white sheet, wearing a dark blue suit. His arms were straight by his side and his hands looked dark and unnaturally big. Makeup disguised his yellowed skin, and he was clean-shaven. He was still wearing his glasses, and his eyes were shut in peaceful repose. His face had been gaunt in the photos my uncle took in the hospital the previous week, and my husband had commented on how handsome Ted looked with more chiseled features. But today his cheeks were plumped up again, and I wondered if that was the embalmer’s craft, trying to make the deceased look as much as possible like his portrait, like the stocky, muscular man everyone remembered.

(More …)

Bela Karolyi

by Anne Rasmussen

It was, we told ourselves, a matter of being in the right place at the right time. Nadia hadn’t even noticed the man watching through the schoolyard fence as she turned cartwheels with her kindergarten pals. She hadn’t known he would go from class to class afterward looking for her, take her away to train with him, to change her life forever. We knew it was only a matter of time before one of us would be discovered by someone in the know. Bela Karolyi lived in America now, which seemed auspicious. Readiness was all.

We knew all about stranger danger, of course—creeps and weird guys who offered candy, coaxed children into cars or knocked on doors posing as salesmen or Jehovah’s Witnesses. Men like Bela Karolyi took little girls and made them stars; other men made them disappear like volunteers in a half-finished magic trick. At the supermarket, under the harsh fluorescence of the dairy aisle, rows upon rows of missing children peered at us from the sides of milk cartons. At the breakfast table those milk carton kids provided a doleful, grainy counterpoint to Mary Lou Retton’s triumphant, hi-res, Wheaties-box grin. We knew there were certain risks involved in seeking glory. You couldn’t flinch. You had to be able to hurtle your body through space and nail the dismount. You had to know which magician to trust so you didn’t end up sawn in half. We were pretty sure we’d be able to tell the difference. The real challenge was getting noticed.

(More …)

Rebel Airplanes

by Renee Simms


Joyce swatted at the pine dust settling in her hair. She was sanding The Etta, a remote-controlled aircraft that would fly fifty miles above sea level. Once there, it would glide to the edges of outer space to record a clear view of the earth. Steve had shown Joyce a YouTube video of a plane with a similar mission that had failed to keep its video connection. “Shoot,” Joyce told Steve when she watched the video. “That’s my next project. I want one of my planes to travel to outer space and back.”

(More …)

Contributors 10.2

Daniel Aristi

Featured Work

Daniel was born in Spain. He studied French Literature as an undergrad (French Lycée in San Sebastian). He now lives and writes in Switzerland with his wife and two children. Daniel’s work is forthcoming or has been recently featured in Queen’s Ferry Press anthology The Best of Small Fictions 2016, LA Review, Superstition Review, Dewpoint, and Berkeley Poetry Review. Daniel was a Pushcart nominee (2015). His chapbook ‘Familya’ is coming up in late 2018 thanks to BPL Press.

Emily Banks

Featured Work

Emily Banks lives in Atlanta, where she is a doctoral candidate and poetry lecturer at Emory University. She holds an MFA from the University of Maryland and a BA from UNC-Chapel Hill. Her poems have appeared in numerous journals including Superstition Review, Cimarron Review, Free State Review, and Yemassee. Her first collection, Mother Water, is forthcoming from Lynx House Press.

Sayantani Dasgupta

Featured Work

Sayantani Dasgupta is the author of Fire Girl: Essays on India, America, & the In-Between—a Finalist for the 2016 Foreword Indies Awards—and the chapbook The House of Nails: Memories of a New Delhi Childhood. Her essays and stories have appeared in The Rumpus, Phoebe, and Gulf Stream, among other magazines and literary journals. Honors include a Pushcart Prize Special Mention and a Centrum Fellowship. Sayantani is an Assistant Professor of Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, and she has also taught in India, Italy, and Mexico.

Raisa Imogen

Featured Work

Raisa Imogen was born in Portland, OR, grew up in Chicago, and currently lives in Queens. She is the co-founder of SIREN Magazine.


Featured Work

Khalypso is a Sacramento-based activist, actor, and poet. They are fat, black, neurodivergent, queer, and badass. Their work can be found in Calamus Journal, Drunk in a Midnight Choir, Rigorous Journal, Wusgood Magazine, and Shade Journal, as well as a few others. Their chapbook, THE HOTTENTOT LIGHTS THE GAS HERSELF, was a runner up for the Two Sylvias Chapbook Prize. They are a Leo-Virgo cusp, they want to be your friend, and you can find them on Twitter at KhalypsoThePoet.

Stacy Boe Miller

Featured Work

Stacy Boe Miller is a mother, writing consultant, and third year MFA Creative Writing candidate at the University of Idaho. Her work can be found in Frontier Poetry, Driftwood Press, and Midwestern Gothic, as well as other journals.

Grace Loh Prasad

Featured Work

Grace Loh Prasad was born in Taiwan and raised in New Jersey and Hong Kong before settling in the San Francisco Bay Area. Grace received her MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College, and is an alumna of the VONA workshop for writers of color along with residencies at Hedgebrook and the Ragdale Foundation. Her essays have appeared in Catapult, Jellyfish Review, Ninth Letter, The Manifest-Station, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, and Hedgebrook Journal. She is a contributor to the anthology Six Words Fresh Off the Boat: Stories of Immigration, Identity and Coming to America, and her memoir-in-progress is entitled “The Translator’s Daughter.”

Anne Rasmussen

Featured Work

Anne Rasmussen lives in Portland, Oregon. She has taught writing in jail, advised graduate students, and constructed giant bear costumes worn by Rockettes. Her writing appears in or is forthcoming from Split Lip Magazine, Jellyfish Review, Sundog Lit, Cosmonauts Avenue and The Southeast Review. She edited Late Night Library’s Late Night Interview column from 2014-2017 and her interview with author Jim Grimsley is included in the paperback edition of How I Shed My Skin (Algonquin Books, 2016). She sympathizes with unreliable narrators.

Veronica Sandoval

Featured Work

Veronica Sandoval is a doctoral candidate of American Studies in the School of Languages, Cultures and Race, at Washington State University. She is Lady Mariposa, a spoken word artist from the Texas Rio Grande Valley, who has been writing and performing for over 18 years. Her poetry has appeared in several anthologies and online publications including: Aunt Lute Press, University of Delaware, Lamar University Press and Texas A&M University Press. Her research includes the Chola Pinup Network, the Ovarian Psycos, Adelitas, Pachucas, homegirl aesthetics, chola agency, and an emphasis on Chicana feminist epistemology that centers community knowledges and Chicana legacies of resistance.

Renee Simms

Featured Work

Renee Simms’ writing appears in Callaloo, Oxford American, Ecotone, Literary Hub, Southwest Review, North American Review, The Rumpus, Salon and elsewhere. She is a 2018 National Endowment for the Arts creative writing fellow, a 2018 John Gardner fiction fellow with BreadLoaf, and has received support from Kimbilio Fiction, Ragdale, Vermont Studio Center, Cave Canem, and PEN Center. Her debut story collection is Meet Behind Mars (Wayne State University Press, 2018).

Lynne Thompson

Featured Work

Lynne Thompson was awarded the 2018 Marsh Hawk Poetry Prize for her manuscript Fretwork, which will be published in 2019. Her previous collections were Start With a Small Guitar (2013) and Beg No Pardon, winner of the Perugia Book Award and the Great Lakes Colleges Association’s New Writers Award in 2007 and 2008, respectively. Recent work appears or is forthcoming in Ecotone, New England Review, Barrow Street, Salamander, Poetry, as well as the anthology Nasty Women Poets: An Unapologetic Anthology of Subversive Verse. Thompson is Reviews and Essays Editor for the literary journal, Spillway.