The Sand Crab Catcher

By Jessica Simpkiss 

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You died during the winter, while wet snow melted and mixed on our faces with the tears we all cried. It was hard to image the summer, but that’s the way I want her to remember you if she can.

When winter stops biting, and the sting of your death has softened some, and we can walk barefoot in the shallow tidal pools that form like they sometimes do, I know she’ll be looking for you, the way she looks for the sand crabs. She can never catch them, not the way you could.

For you, they crawled into your hand and did tricks and skips and ended with flips as you poured them into buckets, so we could watch them swim in umbrella shade of the summer sun.  More and more, she would cry, and we’d watch as you dug for the more that none of us could ever seem to find. …

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Foreplay

By Antony Fangary

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Nietzsche killed god a long time ago
And now I have no one to talk to.

IS ANYONE THERE?
I AM HERE….
ALONE

……………………………….WAITING.
……………………………….……………………………….………  See. I told you there was no god…
Ignore that, that’s just me talking to myself
You know, god being dead and all… I have to stay entertained somehow.

But I hear it’s okay to talk to yourself
As long as you don’t answer back…

……………………………….……………………………….………  You know, that reminds me of the time I shared with god…

You don’t say?…

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Ten Commandments

By Sheena Carroll

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  1. Take what is mine and what is yours and get it so mixed up that I must leave with nothing because you have tainted everything.
  1. Do not follow me up the mountain/do not look at the cherub that speaks in riddles it will kill both of us and I know that is not what you want.
  1. What do you want? God knows, but it’s not that/you never liked eldritch horrors.
  1. Let it consume me/let it turn me into flames/I know that the phoenix is a cultural trope but I need a hard reboot.
  1. Please let me reset/please let me rest/before you try talking to me again.
  1. DO NOT LOOK THE CHERUB IN THE EYE.
  1. At the bottom of the mountain there is a cave/in that cave there is a demon/half-woman half-mole/give her the last of the food in your pack/you will thank me later when you and I can talk normally again.
  1. When you try to leave there will be a field that was not there before/walk around it.
  1. When you try to come back I will not be the woman that I was before/walk around me.
  1. In the end you will have two options: keep everything or burn everything/none of it is yours and none of it is mine and that is how it will always be.


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Cover to Cover with . . . Nathan Elias

By Jordan Blum & Nathan Elias

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Nathan Elias graduated from Antioch University’s MFA program and is the author of a fiction novelette, A Myriad of Roads That Lead to Here (2017). He’s made films such as The Chest (which premiered at Cannes Film Festival 2015) and, most recently, his debut poetry chapbook, Glass City Blues: Poems, was released via Finishing Line Press.

In this episode of ‘Cover to Cover with . . .,’ Editor-in-Chief Jordan Blum chats with Elias about his writing and acting, as well as working for Jennifer Lopez, yielding introspection from traveling, and more.

Nathan Elias

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Ice Box

By Cori Gutierrez

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Will and I sat outside the VA on a bench, watching cars circle for spots while an ambulance blared from the dock around the corner. I squeezed my eyes shut and shook my head, trying to erase the last hour of our lives from my memory, focusing instead on the weather and our neighbor’s wife they’d found in the freezer. We’d read the article in the paper that morning an effort to distract ourselves from the appointment. We knew what today would be—but we didn’t want to. We couldn’t entertain the idea, so we read the paper. We never read the paper, and now I knew why. You learn horrifying things like your neighbor shoved his wife’s dead body in the freezer after she’d had a heart attack. Couldn’t be without her, so he kept her. They’d been a cute old couple. Retired.…

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