• “A Letter to My Past and Present Self” by Sarah Phillips

    Some relationships are haunting, like perfume in a scarf. You can’t quite remember when the fabric absorbed the scent, but it has soaked in—reminding you of a memory that you forgot.  I imagine this feeling is true of almost any semi-remarkable relationship that exist during a period of growth or transition. Those relationships that I had with people and places, remind me of an “older” and imagined version of myself, who had unlimited possibilities…before much of life was decided. At a time when the air was fresh with opportunities, and my skin was softer. I fantasize about the person who I want myself to remember.  I suppose I’m experiencing the…

  • “At Your Service” by Stephen Haines

    We mix martinis and Manhattans. We serve peanuts and pretzels and cold slices of pizza out of tepid, yellow, rotating containers. We take the month of January off for vacation when business slows to doldrum; business is never slow, and we haven’t had a vacation in years. We walk out of work—sweaty, pensive, and smiling at 4 a.m.—with our money buried deep in our boots, just in case someone tries to rob us at gunpoint. We cut off people older than our grandparents well before noon and watch them search their pockets as they struggle to stand. We observe carefully to see if the girl on her own likes the…

  • “It All Comes Down To…” by Bill Fay

    Whirling. How can intelligence be artificial? How can facts be alternative? Everyone’s placing bets on the Cyclotron — will it be a Neutrino? My Money’s on the God particle. WhirlingWhirling. A silicon starred galaxy held in my hand Learning everything useful and useless simultaneously Portrait of a painting of a portrait. Let the eyes mix them A Mardi Gras dance of color. WhirlingWhirling. How can algorithms be pantomimed? Avatarish analogs to evolutionary allegories! WhirlingWhirling. Phage therapy for Superbugs. How can biotics come from antibiotics? Antidotes from antigens? Homeopathy for AIDS,                       for SARS,                       for SIDS, My Brother should have asked me before he died! STOP Whirling His name is Bill Fay.…

  • Death Notices by Troy Kehm-Goins

    I have seen death             amniotic night          blue-black membrane       stretched from dusk into twilight witch of Endor, medium to Sheol while you attempt             to stand          upon spindly bones       awaiting the Divine breath shade of the prophet Samuel, dead and wishing to remain so       (Here I am! Here I am!) I have tasted your life             brisk     beautiful     wild     unkempt       even as it unravels my bowels Saul, first king, anointed of the Lord my fingers smell of tamarisk             burning bush ash and earth       knotted and gnarled umbilical cord the Lord your God, the Lord your God Troy Kehm-Goins is a Puyallup poet and artist…

  • “Seeking Princess Jasmine” by Paula Davidson

    Seeking Princess Jasmine: A rainy Tuesday at Alma Matter, nearly 5:30 p.m. in early February. I was on the couch and I felt it when you walked in. In that moment, Epiphany! What I heard was clear. It’s all love that moves us here. I couldn’t have planned it. Sitting there savoring the first moments. Surprised to behold the love lost flowing through you. I want to see you again. In any capacity. You are a gorgeous energy, held together with synergy. Boiled down what I felt and it was chemistry. Jasmine, will you find me? I’d like to be on the road that leads to the likes of you.…

  • “Help Wanted: Code Gray” by Tyrean Martinson

    Dave felt a headache coming on as soon as he opened the first of the virtual classifieds. He needed a job. Everyone wanted experience. The best jobs were taken by the time he clicked through and the worst ones wouldn’t even hire him because he didn’t have “expertise” in their particular field of horse manure. A sip of his coffee eased the ache in his sore throat but did nothing for his stuffed nasal passages. In addition to being out of work, he was sick. Even if the perfect job opening landed in his lap, he’d probably sneeze all over his future employers. Definitely not a good idea these days.…

  • “Poached Egg” by Carl “Papa” Palmer

    Part of Larry’s 200 hours of community service was to help relocate the Henry County Museum. On his third trip he helped himself by relocating a fossilized egg from the dinosaur exhibit. He planned to sell the artifact at his brother Matt’s yard sale that weekend at the Kitty Ranch on Old Mill Road. What didn’t sell on Matt’s table of garage and attic clutter, to include Larry’s egg, was advertised on eBay. The egg sold immediately as an ostrich egg to an Oklahoma emu rancher hoping to create a new breed of the other white meat. Ronnie, the emu rancher, realized this was not an ostrich immediately upon hatching.…

  • “A Companion for the Journey” by Tyrean Martinson

    Cayeth can’t understand, really, but I speak to her anyway, into the long night of endless stars beyond the windows. We travel together for twenty-seven years, four hours, twelve minutes, and two seconds. Cayeth helps me pass the time. When I wake from my endless streams of near-sleep, brain fogged from mundane tasks, Cayeth is there, her eyes half-lidded, her head tilted partly down, focused on me with something between sorrow, pleading, and annoyance. I wonder if she’s truly been programmed correctly, but she loves me and she listens to me, just like any real dog would. I lean over and scratch her ears with my fingers, then I run…

  • “Lost in Thought” by Megan Brandes

                Argos Train Station is quiet for eight minutes as it waits for the rumble of a coming train. Stop, open, shut, onwards, silence. The arrival, the departure, all witnessed by those whose minds are preoccupied by pesky memories or future possibilities. Some people pace back and forth with hands aggressively hidden in their pockets while others sink into their shoes already lulled by the rhythm of a day so similar to the day before. The rectangular screen above their heads accurately calculates the minutes while the people count the seconds. Late or on time or the very rare, early. The day starts and ends here, missing or catching the…

  • “Watercolor Umbrellas” by Carrie Barrett

    I was with my best friend, who had flown in from Alabama after the death of her mother.  For months, Ms. Susan fought a cancer that ate her alive without killing her. We watched that lovely woman shrivel day-by-day, and suffer in awful, devastating ways that no child should ever have to witness. While walking the shops in Pike’s Place Market we lost ourselves among the people and were able to forget the grief and sadness, finding peace in the crowd for a few hours.  There, I came across a print that has embedded itself into my unconsciousness. When I see bright colors, I think of that print. If I…