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Cover
Table of Contents
Editor's Notes
Donations
Submission Guidelines
Website

Stories & Essays
A Day In the Life
_
By Sida Li
Eight Minutes
_ By Michael Gettings
Jesusland
_ By Max Gordon
One September Morning
_ By Brian G. Ross
Patrimony
_ By Len Joy
Reading Between the Lines
_ By Michael Gettings
Scarring Truth
_ By M.W. Hamel
Snapshots of the Ordinary
_ By Monica Lee
Spirals
_ By Robert Connal
Stars
_ By Daliso Chaponda
The Jury
_ By Jeremy Tavares
The Thief
_ By Marva Dasef
The Train to Pennsylvania
_ By C.L. Atkins

Poetry
735 Miles to Nootka Island
_ By Nicholas D. Klacsanzky
Al Fresco Cafe Poems #125
_ By Duane Locke
Al Fresco Cafe Poems #127
_ By Duane Locke
Barnstormer
_ By Lynn Strongin
Gilded Candy
_ By Mina Blue
Marriage 2
_ By Christine Redman-Waldeyer
Memo to Italy
_ By Andrew Francis
Rain, Your Words, and the Agony...
_ By Betina Evancha
Sarcasm
_ By Juliette Capra
Textbook
_ By Christine Redman-Waldeyer
The Unspoken Eloquence of the Sword
_ By Anne Nialcom
Three Shades of Grey
_ By Monica Lee
We Pay
_ By Betina Evancha
White Dread
_ By David Snyder
Writing
_ By Betina Evancha

Art & Photography
Keira Anderson
_ Photography
Anne-Julie Aubry
_ Paintings
Whitney Clegg
_ Photography and Drawings
Eman Reharno Jeman
_ Photography, Graffiti, and Drawings
Mike Pomery
_ Paintings
Jennifer Robbins-Mullin
_ Photography
Madia Krisnadi Widodo
_ Photography
Penny Wilson
_ Mixed Media and Digital Art

Snapshots of the Ordinary
By Monica Lee


Today she is sixteen. She is sitting on the couch, head tilted back, watching a spider crawl sedately across the ceiling. The front right leg steps first, like the first violin in a concerto, and then the other seven skitter forward as a spirited accompaniment. Over and over like the swish and flick of a fishing rod. The house is very quiet; the only noises come from the mechanical clock and the cat, which is retching vehemently on the living room carpet. Her stomach feels heavy and hollow, like she ate something sweet and unpleasant a long time ago. She had felt like that earlier today too, when she was on the Bart, studying the face of the sleeping man across the aisle, and he abruptly opened his eyes and looked back hard, and licked his lips. She stands up on the coach and pokes the spider, which flails and falls onto the pant leg of her cheap, olive slacks.

***

Now she is twenty-seven. There is a different couch, different cat, and different spider. She sprawls across the battered Broyhill like a discarded blanket, watching the spider spin, lost in idle contemplation. (Consider the coy sensuality of a semicolon; see how it ties two ideas together with the grace of a chocolate-covered afterthought. There is the pretty, piquant comma, and the dot hovering over it like a seagull riding the waves. Seagulls fighting and courting on the wing, and the ocean below, tinting the air bitter-salty like come.)

Suddenly, she has a craving for fresh tomatoes. A thousand images of tomatoes simmering on the stovetop dance before her eyes in flashes of red and black and blinding white. She blinks to clear her vision, and rises slowly off the couch, clumsy as a pelican. As she walks towards the kitchen, she catches a glimpse of herself, looking pale and drawn and very pregnant, and sighs. There are no tomatoes in the fridge, so she eats half a raw avocado, spread thin over toast.

***

Presently she is four-and-a-half. It is a grey day, a carbon copy of the day before, which was identical to the day before that. Such are the autumns in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It is recess, and she is hunched over the freshly mulched ground, studying it intently. Whenever she sees a pill bug, she picks it up and puts it in the Styrofoam cup her teacher is holding. Once recess is over, they will toss the pill bugs out the second story window of her preschool, standing on tiptoe to watch them fall. Tiny dark bodies hurtling across a sky grey and shiny like fish scales, and it is so very beautiful but somehow it makes her want to cry.

At any rate, hers is an important and absorbing task, which is why she is concentrating so hard. She is almost too busy to notice the more rambunctious children playing Peter Pan on the playground, and never wishes that she could be Wendy just this once. There are no such things as fairies, but thatís okay because pill bugs can fly even if people canít.

***

Yesterday, she is fifty-one. For once (and it is an oddity) her hands are idle. They lay in her lap like sleeping cats. She is watching the city slough through another summer afternoon from the tiny cement balcony of her apartment. It is one of those days in which the heat presses down in buttery layers like baklava, and the sweat evaporates off the body almost as soon as it is shed, leaving a thin white crust of salt on the sunburned shoulders of the construction workers. A cat sits on its rounded haunches a few feet away, purring like a benevolent pope. A girl, dressed in her best Sunday garb, escaped home with her fatherís penknife and is snipping off the heads of all the azaleas in the next-door neighborís garden in a spirited reenactment of the French Revolution. Three boys chase a pigeon down the road. In an hour or two, her nephew, Jimmy, will be stopping in to share a cup of tea. She falls asleep, and doesnít wake up, even when Jimmy bats her shoulder and shouts.

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