by Andrew Stancek
I am not in denial any more.
I spend my time on the couch, a blanket up to my ears. Monster has opened the box of Chablis, brings a glass, pops a pepperoni pizza in the oven.
I’ve mentioned him to the shrink but he always lets it slide. Hallucinations are not on the list of side effects of my pills.
Monster farts, burps, eats sausages and granola – he can’t be just a figment.
Can I love her more than before, since she died?
The pizza box said it serves six, so why is it all gone already?
by Alan James Beard
Aaahh, goes the singer, spaceships landing between the voice and the lights. He melted over to his future wife sat in the corner bored and talked down to her so he could see her face upturned, the body beneath, full display of legs in jeans. Dropped to his haunches, face bobbing in front of hers now. The music came up around her face as he looked popping colours around the rather long nose and chin, and drew them reluctantly together.
The Secrets of Lipstick
by Angela Joynes
Except for my Aunt Charlotte, everyone in this family lies. But she speaks truth as bold as the Avon lipstick she sells from a case that trigger-clicks open, containing dozens of samples the size of .22 bullets. With her jam-glossy lips–pomegranate, heirloom tomato, or maraschino–she exposes lying uncles, cheating grandfathers, and deer-jacking cousins.
And when I’m thirteen she offers to teach me her secrets. Makeup, she means. But all I want are her lips, the color and courage and power to dispatch my own secret cloaked by the night.
Honeymoon: St. Lucia
by Susan Morehouse
“It’s an island,” he said. “Flat. You’ll be fine.”
She knew about islands rising hot and stinking from the depths of the sea. How they were not habitable for centuries. How they weren’t flat.
On the back of the van, the wheels of her bike spun easily next to his. He sang “My Girl” with the radio. She changed the station.
It rained all week. She pushed her bike up mountains. She fell, rose, and pedaled on. Rainbows shimmered in the spray from his tires.
At night, her heated body exploded, like song, like something feral, like fire inside water.