Malena by Hana Nazir

malena walks with her cherry-red heels

her tightly coiled hair

her powdery, opaque complexion

she is not quite a human

but not quite a ghost, either.


she does not realize (or maybe she does)

that when she walks,

she wafts an aroma so appealing,

so satisfying, so delicious that

people’s mouths drip honey.


malena wears creamy, glistening skin that

is perfectly primed with the right seasoning

of submission and hopelessness

and a little ambition (but not too much)


She is beautifully rancid,

Shamefully admired,

Seductively repulsive

Cherry-flavored cough syrup.


A rotten work of art.

Empty Spaces by Victoria Corwin





spaces between the

strokes of a pencil or the

strokes of some keys interrupt the



the mind.


the empty seconds when we are staring at the paper or staring at the cursor (blink   blink   blink, empty spaces in between empty seconds) the empty mind while we are staring unblinking at the teasing empty paper the empty screen the empty spaces that interrupt the



the piece


which is only a piece and not the whole because there is so many empty spaces between the ink and the next ink and the next ink and the empty spaces taunt us


follow us everywhere in everything, the empty spaces between our eyes and the paper between our fingers and the pencil between our minds and the subject between us and them between one step and the next down the street through the air that has so many empty spaces between atoms and empty spaces between people and empty spaces between the snowflakes that fall and turn into a blanket of white that resemble the




spaces between the

strokes of a pencil or the

strokes of some keys that

interrupt the



my work.

E by Robert Kaufman

When I was a little boy,

before I became a teacher,

I pronounced “vegetable” different.

I pronounced it: veh-JEH-tay-bleh.

I didn’t realize my second-grade classmates giggling

were giggling at me. But Mrs. Smith did.


She asked me about my pronunciation.

I told her it was the second E that got me.

The second E got you what, she asked.

Well, the first and third Es are heard, I said,

So that second E should be heard too.

Mrs. Smith then asked me if I had siblings.


I have two sisters, I told her.

Older or younger? She asked.

One older, one younger, I said.

She hugged me.

Don’t worry, she said,

you’ll be heard one day.


I didn’t know what she meant then,

I just knew I wanted to be a teacher.