by Judith Shapiro
Otters sleep holding hands lest they float away and lose one another.
After our argument, we turned and faced the other way, feigning sleep that eluded us, keenly aware that we’d both still be here in the morning.
Elephants are like ballerinas. You think they have these big, flat feet but underneath it all, they’re walking on their tiptoes, as if in toe shoes.
I wanted to ask you if you’d rather be an otter or an elephant in your next life.
Crown of Rain
by Matthew McEwan
Rain fell and drowned in curbside rivers.
The man in the grey suit waited under a drumming umbrella.
He used to love standing out in the downpours. His mother would yell at him for getting wet. But when the streets were empty, the city was his. He could walk anywhere. He was a king.
The man stuck his hand out, catching cool raindrops.
The taxi’s brakes whined.
‘Uh-‘ the man stammered, wiping his hand on his suit.
by Gail Tyson
On this frigid night, I’m famished. Linda and I order at the bar, but my entrée doesn’t come. She kindly shares her salad. So far in life, I’ve avoided kale, but tonight my fork spears a blue-green leaf curled around a wedge of butter-soaked toast. Salty-sweet tang explodes in my mouth. Bite after bite, kale and toast remind me what I’ve been missing: how what is good for you and what is not can come together, spark hunger I never knew was there, every mouthful making me want more until only the taste lingers on my tongue.
Please Dispose Of Your Heart Properly
by Elad Haber
“I gave him everything!” I sobbed to the screen. “Six years!”
The matronly woman on the other side of the screen had wire-rimmed glasses and calm, understanding eyes. She pressed a button and a slot opened in front of me. A proffered tissue. I wiped my eyes with it.
“It seems to me,” said the therapist, “that your heart is broken and you will need a replacement.”
Another slot opened with a ticket.
“Please take this to the next screen for further assistance.”
In the surgical room, warnings papered the walls.
I sighed and attempted to follow the on-screen directions.