Love is Violence

My dad’s got part of his finger missing –
Reminder of a severed love.
And I never saw him impale his palms with nails
But I sat on the countertop
In the yellow curtained light
Whilst he crushed his ring with a flask.
Now when I reach out
And grip his hand in mine
It’s as naked and splintered
As a peeled clementine.
So if you ask why I think love is violence
Then I hope that’d tell you why.

Poem by Benjamin Bowers

Image by Adam Strong

Benjamin Bowers is a full-time student and amateur poet from the North-West of England.



Heavy throws of her vacant arms felt
To pull soft the shadows on the keiper belt
Duty knows the way of endless orbit, anther
Imagine the way sisyphus looked up at his brother
Sweat drenched brow and a hand clenched boulder
For the sway of the wind
Is dependent on the whims of gravity
Hundreds of millions of miles away
The cosmos give no peace to the men that lay their hats on a peg in the sky
Hands of a gas giant, pulling out another day.
Knew that the red dot was the eye of a spy
Always watchful of the axis that the world liked to spin on
Making sure we are free of the snarling nether, 
And she weeps for us, helium, neon, forever.
(And the ground must feel so firm underneath their hands)
(And the grass must buckle and snap between fingers,)
How small we must seem to our friend
How vast the blue must look when it lingers.
(To stare up and see me in the sky,
To feel sun and the weight of a heaven
Enriched as we are,

Poem by Forrest Condon

Image by Adam Strong

Forrest Condon is a recent University of New Orleans graduate with a bachelor’s degree in
English Literature. When he isn’t writing, he’s walking his dog or riding the bus. Sometimes he
stands in the rain, but only when no one is looking.


Let Me Show You Around My New Town

Come, let me show you around this Lauderdale town of chain restaurants and landscaped intersections. Let me show you the signs full of letters and numbers that mean less than the mass of clouds hanging dark and ominous over the mall.

Put your coffee cup down and walk with me around the quiet corners where I stood and whispered your name. Let me steer you through my wrong turns and describe the missteps and crazed patterns my feet marked on these streets. Walk with me and smell the flowers I walked by talking to myself to not go crazy with loneliness.

If you don’t believe me, fine, I’ll call as witnesses all the mosquitoes that followed me through the swamp-thick air to suck the blood from my willing veins, and they’ll tell you every word is true.

Don’t worry, I know you’re not coming down to this seaside tourist town to sort the wreckage we made of what we had, just as I know you won’t stand with me in the middle of the interstate and stare into a hand mirror at the traffic piling up behind me—every bad decision I’ve ever made coming home to roost.

Flash by Jim Latham

Image by Adam Strong

Jim Latham ditched the oilfields of Alaska in favor of central Mexico, where he hikes volcanoes and lives out of two zebra-print suitcases. Stories in or forthcoming from Eunoia Review, Bright Flash Literary Review, The Drabble, Olit, and Fiction Attic. Stop by for all the deets; read weekly flash at Jim’s Shorts.



I am pre-conscious, and hitting reality 

like A Honda Civic sunk into a lake filling 

from the tires up, 

but I was leery of distance. you slept 

under our shared covers, a ring finger

away and I know I am alone.

Poem by Taya Boyles

Image by Adam Strong

Taya Boyles is a Richmond-based writer, a neurodivergent woman of color, and an undergraduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University pursuing a B.S. in English


Driving Late at Night In Columbus

Sparks cascade from a semi’s axles.
An abandoned Happy Meal
smiles sideways.
Faceless man with a moustache
offers to buy houses for cash.

Poem by Rosalie Hendon

Image by Adam Strong

Rosalie Hendon (she/her) is an environmental planner living in Columbus, Ohio. Her work is published in Change Seven, Pollux, Willawaw, Write Launch, and Sad Girls Club, among others. Rosalie is inspired by ecology, relationships, and stories passed down through generations.



I am running
frozen still
life is going

That life out there
where people simply walk as they wish
and the wind blows the leaves in the trees

I wait
my body appears to wither
like a browning leaf
waiting for the wind to carry me

Poetry by Laura Turzo

Image by Adam Strong

Laura Turzo is a writer of poetry, short fiction and narrative non fiction. She currently lives in the Berkshires in Lenox, Massachusetts.



My lies etch into your heart, and I wish you never believed in mine. The lilies in mom’s garden morph scarlet. Fingers sprout in place of pedals
to writhe. Coach passes down a weathered blue belt.

What kid deserves to don dead cloth chanting goodbye? Monroe witnesses my name manifest in ways mundane. Stars shift with Sirius to spell it.

Was I that iconic? Why must we all breathe even when drowning
in boney soil?

Why must this town topple and toil
as if it has lost? Exhale. I am now a sunflower, malignant roots ever obscured from view.

Set to decay in an overgrown alleyway, I will never be able
to again hurt you.

Poetry by Harlee Harris

Image by Adam Strong

Harlee Harris is a writer and soon-to-be English graduate out of Northern Louisiana


at 9am

the alarm clock
blows to pieces
there’s a flower on
the toilet rim
it is Tuesday
and my throat is dry with laughter

Poem by Allen Seward

Photo by Adam Strong

Allen Seward is a poet from the Eastern Panhandle of West Virginia. His work has appeared in Scapegoat Review, Pandemonium Journal, Skyway Journal, and miniMAG, among others. His chapbook ‘sway condor’ is available on Amazon thanks to Alien Buddha Press. He currently resides in WV with his partner and four cats. @AllenSeward1 on Twitter, @allenseward0 on Instagram



My mother says if you brush your teeth after eating berries, you will harm them. You have to wait half an hour. Also, she says the average person eats over a pound of bugs per year without even knowing it, mostly in baked goods and cereal. She loves facts about food. Castoreum, she says, is a secretion from the anal glands of beavers, and they use it in flavorings. Which flavorings? I ask. She says vanilla. So I stop eating vanilla. And cereal, and anything with flour (because of the bugs). Also, berries (to spare the teeth) and in fact all fruit, which she says is sprayed with pesticides. And jello, which she said comes from the skin and bones of pigs. Not to mention meat, which is killing the planet. No wasting, she says, when I scrape my full plate into the trash. But I cannot help wasting. Food is perilous and tainted. Contaminated in ways you cannot see. One must not eat it, I tell the doctor from my hospital bed, for it can kill you.

Micro by Jayna Locke

Image by Adam Strong

Jayna Locke is a Minnesota writer with roots in the Northwest, who has also lived in California and the Northeast, and loves to infuse her stories with a sense of place. She earned her MFA from the University of New Hampshire. Her work has appeared in Portage Magazine, in Bright Flash Literary Review, and in two short story anthologies, and will be published in an upcoming edition of Great Lakes Review. She is reachable through her website,, or on Twitter at


Soul Chunk

I found a piece of myself
behind the refrigerator.
For years, it crouched
inside my wiring,
mesmerized by the motor’s
slow hum. The fragment
looked irritated, like it
had waited a long time
and expected a better host.
I will give it a place on my shelf
between family photos and
all the books I never read.
Perhaps, after a few decades,
it will finally call me home.

Poem by Leah Mueller

Image by Adam Strong

Leah Mueller is the author of ten prose and poetry books. Her work appears in Rattle, NonBinary Review, Brilliant Flash Fiction, Citron Review, The Spectacle, Miracle Monocle, New Flash Fiction Review, Atticus Review, Your Impossible Voice, etc. She is a 2023 nominee for both Pushcart and Best of the Net. Leah’s flash piece, “Land of Eternal Thirst” appears in the 2022 edition of Best Small Fictions. Her contest-winning poetry chapbook, “The Failure of Photography” will be published by Garden Party Press in Summer, 2023. Website: