I hear the words you speak 

Not clear whether to believe 

Caged in my own blindness 


Engraving the thought over and over

Disbelief in my hollow mind 

Unwilling to see

Lack of comprehension

Over and over

Unabashed of my demeanor

Skeptical of all words that are not my own

Poem & Photo by MacKenzie Stiles

Mackenzie Stiles is an actor, singer, performer and High School student extraordinaire living in Vancouver, WA.


His Blue Volvo

The Universe, your dad, sometimes wear his hat a little too late / appear in his blue Volvo when
the storm has had its full of you, and you’re a spilled mass of blue dress on your classmate’s
doorstep after a birthday party, or your naming ceremony / one in which you were given a name
you’d rather not repeat to something as lifeless as the doll you own.

He would wrap his hands around you, sing you a song about a girl who learned to trust her
wings, and tame the winds. He would wash a smile up your face with impressions, while you bob
your head to “This Little Light Of Mine” when the traffic light turns a bright red.

You would make a promise, the third that week, that you’d never make friends because they hold
storms in them. Urged by the universe to wear your Elsa dress, and your combats. To “freeze the
world, and stop ‘em,” you would go to school.
Psyche pilled off, and sitting in the corner of an empty classroom, he’d pick your frozen and
combats body, and you’d listen to “This Little Light Of Mine” again when the light turns red.

Micro by Sunmisola Odusola

Photo by Adam Strong

Sunmisola Odusola is a young Nigerian writer whose short story is forthcoming from Brittle Paper.



We tittered over words like bosoms and knockers and jugs, peed our pants giggling over Venus de Willendorf, fretted over the possibility of our own boobs hanging low someday like Gram’s, conducted pencil tests. We graduated from hopscotch to wincing from brain freeze at Dairy Queen to heavy petting with all the wrong boys in semi-public places to barely passing driver’s ed. Sniffing cheap perfume in the mall, we pretended to be French, flaunting gestures and accents we imagined Parisian, never thinking we’d be more credible speaking the actual language. We thought we were traveling in a straight line. Decades on, whiskey on the rocks in hand, we cry “uncle” as gravity takes us down. As starlight bends, lays foundations for darkness, we rock in silence and stare. 

Micro by Mikki Aronoff

Image by Adam Strong

Mikki Aronoff’s work appears in New World Writing, MacQueen’s Quinterly, Tiny Molecules, The Disappointed Housewife, Bending Genres, Milk Candy Review, Gone Lawn, Mslexia, The Dribble Drabble Review, The Citron Review, Atlas and Alice, trampset, jmww,, and elsewhere. She’s received Pushcart, Best of the Net, Best Small Fictions, Best American Short Stories, and Best Microfiction nominations.


Up In Smoke

Whenever the fire engines wailed their warnings, Mom came alive, eyes flashing, and Dad glanced up with that far-away smile before drifting back into his head where he mostly lived. But we’d jump into the car with Mom to chase that campfire-gone-mad smell and throbbing red lights. From afar we watched the little men in yellow rubber coats and fireman hats climbing miniature ladders as in a videogame but with real smoke ballooning, brilliant blasts of amber soaring skyward, the inevitable collapse to embers. Perhaps this fire-lust foretold the day our family would snap like sparks swirling and drifting away.

Micro by Kathryn Silver-Hajo

Photo by Adam Strong

Kathryn Silver-Hajo is a 2023 Pushcart Prize, Best Small Fictions, and Best American Food Writing nominee. Her work appears or is forthcoming in Atticus Review, The Citron Review, CRAFT, Emerge Literary Journal, New York Times-Tiny Love Stories, Pithead Chapel, Ruby Literary and others. Kathryn’s flash collection “Wolfsong” and her novel “Roots of The Banyan Tree” are both forthcoming in 2023. She is a reader for Fractured Lit. More at:



Father felled an oak to build an ark for the flood that would wash away the world. Mother mourned the tree, the dryads she swore burrowed in the antiquated avenues of its hardwood grain. The world never ended, but Mother did, whose grief spread like cancer, like the roots of an ancient oak.

Poem by James Callan

Photo by Adam Strong

James Callan grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He lives on the Kāpiti Coast, New Zealand on a small farm with his wife, Rachel, and his little boy, Finn. His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Bridge Eight, White Wall Review, Maudlin House, Mystery Tribune, and elsewhere. His novel, A Transcendental Habit, is available with Queer Space.



for all the
out there
with their
left or
right or
like our own
at attention
chin up
chest out
name tag
or else
like the dead
like so
much dust

Poem by Paul Hostovsky

Image by Adam Strong

Paul Hostovsky’s poems have won a Pushcart Prize, two Best of the Net Awards, and have been featured on Poetry Daily, Verse Daily, and The Writer’s Almanac. He makes his living in Boston as a sign language interpreter. Website:



We’re swinging interlaced
fingers as we march past monuments 
and museums, pretending to stop

and look, I catch your eye 
instead. We paint our initials in indigo 
streaks on rocks we stole
from Olive Garden. Your finger 

traces the scars on my thigh and I
whisper you their origins. Time
pretends to stop, don’t believe

it. Tomorrow, you’ll head 
back on Route 50 and I will press 
the flowers you gave me, so they
don’t seem dead.

Poem by Julia Shorr

Photo by Adam Strong

Julia Schorr has a BA in psychology from Salisbury University. Her poetry has appeared in The Shore Poetry and The Allegheny Review. She currently works at Cornerstone Montgomery as a Supported Employment Specialist and is a reader for Poet Lore. 



A scurvy laugh.
Eviction one was from the crib.
Mama called my bluff.
Tonight, in the roundabout,
showing full ass,
leaning hard against these other shoved-ashore mutineers,
who burn tatters of sails till their faces burst flame into his,
the dug up, treasureless sky nearly but not really gone enough to sleep,
he hunts the blacktop’s thin scatter of past blizzard’s
sand for that lost
last drop, not
hearing over the traffic how it rattles deep
in the hull of the bottle in his hand.

Poetry by Pete Miller

Photography by Adam Strong

Pete Miller is the author of the chapbook Born Soap (H_NGM_N). A graduate of Arizona State University’s MFA program, he lives in Omaha, Nebraska where he works in homeless services. He co-edits the online poetry journal A Dozen Nothing.



Under whisky, he forgets life expectancy,
itches for those knockoff
pills that arrive with a discount code,
some octogenarian dating site.
This lady’s dentures click
the dark fable of someone else’s mouth.
Only 64, she oozes
her tease, Make you
feel 78.
His railroad check soon mists.
The landlord’s knocks,
holstered like it’s
Waco. At the Mission now
he excites a prickling pity from a worker, who,
just 22, can’t suspect he’s
only one handful
of her bra
away from a permanent ban
and bar, from begging
time on the back porch
of his stepdaughter
who, still bearing a heart
bored clear through,
points to the doghouse.

Poetry by Pete Miller

Photograph by Adam Strong

Pete Miller is the author of the chapbook Born Soap (H_NGM_N). A graduate of Arizona State University’s MFA program, he lives in Omaha, Nebraska where he works in homeless services. He co-edits the online poetry journal A Dozen Nothing.



Slim fingers, long bones. Pale as milk, with transparent silk as hair and eyes you could look right through to the other side.

What do you want? I asked, because I didn’t know what else to say to an alien creature showing up uninvited in my bedroom. If I had ever contemplated the possibility, and I hadn’t, I would have assumed there would be panic, screaming, adrenaline, and a racing pulse. Instead I was calm-  just a little surprised.

I’m not sure, the being said, and that surprised me too. He didn’t have a mouth but I heard a kind of electric and clicking sound and somehow I understood. I didn’t plan on it, he continued. Not specifically, anyhow. We are supposed to explore the universe, but I didn’t mean to scare you while you were sleeping. 

He looked perplexed, not sure where to go next. I felt the need to reassure him. Oh, don’t worry about it, I said, patting the blankets beside me. I wasn’t sleeping, I was reading. I moved over to make room. 

Tell me a story, he said.

Story by Lorette C. Luzajic

Lorette C. Luzajic writes, edits, publishes, and teaches small fictions, from Toronto, Canada.  She is the founding editor of The Ekphrastic Review, a journal devoted to literature inspired by visual art. Lorette is also an international visual artist working with collage and mixed media to create urban, abstract, pop, and surreal works. She has collectors in thirty countries so far.

Image by Adam Strong