by Ege Gurdeniz
A linden tree watched over our house when I was a kid. Honey. A hint of citrus. A bouquet so sweet you could taste it on humid days. It paired well with Mom’s mint lemonade. The Beatles on Dad’s radio. My sister splashing around in the pool. Daisy barking at some cardinals conspiring on a branch.
That’s the thing about smells – they turn into memories if you’re not careful.
30 years later. I am back to say goodbye. This time to Dad.
It’s a humid one. The house is quiet, but I can hear Paul singing it’s alright, little darling.
by Kris Faatz
One morning, your skin is the color of peacock feathers. It glitters in sunlight, diamond-dusted.
You’ve always folded your soul up small and tucked it away. Now you tug your shirtsleeves over your hands. Smother your face with makeup. You needn’t: your husband only sees your shape. He kisses you goodbye, not noticing when your blue fingertips pluck lint from his collar.
In the empty house, silence coils around your feet and legs, your chest and face.
You strip off your clothes. Flick on the lamps. When he comes home, that’s how he finds you: naked, breathtaking, covered in light.
Old Man River
by David Henson
He becomes a river to provide respite from job and family but, enjoying wandering, loses track of time.
After years of silt and drought reduce him to a trickle, he seeks human reconciliation, returns to find his wife has died. His daughter, now adult, damns him from her family’s life.
Can one stalk with love? Grandson to school at eight. His daughter to work by nine. Lights out at ten p.m. One Saturday the father takes the boy fishing. When his grandson whoops with glee, the man who was once a river feels the hook set in his heart.