Catawba, Virginia         nearest hospital: 20 miles   My mother clings to the passenger side door of my father’s baby blue pick-up– to be traded for a minivan two years later– watches the golden headlight hit dirt and gravel. My speeding father asks, one last time, if my name could be Samantha. She whips towards him, owl in angry flashlight: “She is not coming out of me With that name.” In my mother’s first year of teaching Samantha kept lice for the entire year. She…Continue Reading “Catawba, Virginia by Allie Hoback”

we used to lay beneath each Sunday, hungry, hands like mouths on our answers, like tarnish on silver: didn’t we know   the roots would remain—rely on the shade— permanence and god and love? Gentle wind, didn’t we know invincible? And what do we know now? Her father owned guns.   My father was one. Watch her walk away, steadying the ark of herself on the bark of Chinaberry Trees when the wind blows. Always, see the brilliance falling out of   her, falling out…Continue Reading “What happened to the Chinaberry Trees by Clarissa Kendall”

in the back of my Mazda Minivan, steaming like, Hot Worms wriggling up, drowning like, Indiana Jones in some pit, slowly gurgling out the last slips of air.   my lungs can heave, however, cleaved in two they will operate independently, and hot worms will fill up both spaces, little balloons of flesh, ready to pop with one simple instrument – and so –   fucking like a maimed dog i will whimper. ad carve in my stomach a new slit, an inch above my…Continue Reading “SkinWalker by Max Torti”

“Are you sure you want to do this child? Once we start there is no turning back, you’ll be bound forever.” An elderly woman asked the young boy. The two stood alone in the middle of an eerily silent forest, in front of an altar. The dense set of trees that surrounded them a wall from the outside world.The night sky above was shrouded by a veil of dark clouds. The altar, a circle made of bones with a pentagram painted in blood in the…Continue Reading “Happy Birthday by Marlon Mckay”