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ESSAY / A Woman in Pain / Julie Rea

The doctors there, probably tired of me and my opiate-related shenanigans, decided I needed to quit my medications cold turkey and admitted me to the hospital to monitor my detox. My hospital roommate had a gastrointestinal ailment involving continuous puking. Across the hall, an elderly woman screamed regularly. I spent about a week there, dope sick and tripping balls.

SPECULATIVE / From OF (What Place Meant) / Kenning Jean-Paul García

Today is tiring. Ghosts chase and in this race, the finish is back at the start. Never is the heart left even as it leaps, skips, stays silent through pursuits. Steam rises from former mistakes thawed swift past water stage. Steam ejects from pipes as pistons engage – on vapors, phantoms take comfort.

FILM / Drew Barrymore Was Everything, and Then She Was Stabbed Three Times and Hanged from a Tree / Erica Hoffmeister

We wore eyeliner, after all. And when we got home, the sun set behind those ever-brown hills, the heat still dripping in big swaths between our thighs, so we took off the stupid fishnets and held them in our hands like nylon balls, with tight-gripped fists before we’d need to use them, and we covered ourselves in the long night.

FICTION / Jodie's Red Dragons / Mitchell Duran

Jodie, my danger, my hemlock, my orphaned sinking ship with me el capitan; Jodie, my reason, my treason, my equation for being; Jodie who left me after six months of wild bar fights, sex all night, make no money but don’t give a damn because her favorite cigarettes, her Red Dragons, had suddenly, for no reason at all, stopped selling in all of New York.

FICTION / Drunken Spoils / Stella B James

The bartender hands Jenny a fresh drink, and I stretch her hand out, taking it as I make her teeth sink into her lower lip in silent promise. Ah, sweet Gail, the side of her she never seems to remember. She wishes to have my charm and bravado. Only copious amounts of alcohol bring me out to play, but when I do come, she freely gives over the wheel.

FICTION / We Are Us and Then There Are Other People / Tai Farnsworth / Writer of the Month

It was a Friday. They invited me over to play games and I didn’t leave till Saturday morning. Their roommates, swimming in the pool or lounging on the couch, nodded their ‘hello.’ Where did you meet them? they asked. At a dog groomer’s, at the grocery store, on a hike, I said.