That Same Game
by Ronit Plank
He’s been here all of thirty minutes and my sister is telling our dad again about that night when we were little and still living with him, when he set her on top of the fridge and left her there. She thinks it’s a good story, like he was playing a game. She doesn’t understand. She puts the inside of herself outside for anyone, especially him, to hurt. She laughs once more and keeps watching him in case he decides to look at her or crack a smile. As if that will make the difference this time.
by Marcy Dilworth
Drifts of ashes gray-blanket the farmhouse, the fallen cattle, the land they’d labored into life.
Colleen loads a knapsack with little to leave the nothing.
“How will Jed find me?”
No breadcrumbs; bread crumbled to memory long ago.
She tips in a tumble of treasured tubes—acrylics, oils, watercolors—and marks the miles of her pointillist path, a misery of blues, a yearning of yellows, a startle of oranges, more.
Only Colleen Red remains.
She slows. Dispenses dwindling drops. Contemplates beginnings and ends. And spies Jed, hobbling across the cinder-filled creek. Drips from his finger complete their abstract masterpiece.
by David M Wallace
One hundred billion stars in the universe will die this year. One hundred billion lamps burned dry. And in my breathing body, as many cells will offer up their lives by Tuesday. Enough for a galaxy. But you, scattered on this sea? Too many and too long ago to count those griefs.