the night that girl got hit by the train; I was sleeping in your bed right next to the tracks—I remember because it was the night before you left—and I remember the horn and the screech and the sirens and getting up alone walking through the trees fucking barefoot in December to see what had happened, and I remember the cop saying “Hey, I found her shoe,” and in the morning I thought maybe it had been me.
I NEVER THINK ABOUT
Vic Nogay writes to explore her traumas, misremembrances, and Ohio, where she is from. She is an animal cruelty investigator and a mother. Her work appears or is forthcoming in perhappened, Rejection Lit, (mac)ro(mic), Ellipsis, and other journals. Twitter: @vicnogay. Read: linktr.ee/vicnogay.
ANGELS ON A TIGHTROPE
Cast metal angels float between snow-laden trees like specters on webs of stretched cables, involuntary tightrope walkers created by some artist playing God who has precariously balanced childhood fantasies on a knife’s edge. A couple strolls beneath this man-made cosmos of absurd constellations, their breaths rising and tangling in wings and icy branches as they look up this way and that, but never at one another. They walk hand-in-hand as if the balancing act that is their marriage wasn’t about to come crashing down like a flock of angels pulled to earth by the weight of an early winter storm.
Kip Knott used to be an altar boy until he started thinking of angels as dead things. His debut book of poetry, Tragedy, Ecstasy, Doom, and so on, is available from Kelsay Books. His second full-length collection of poetry, Clean Coal Burn, is forthcoming in 2021, also from Kelsay Books.
There was a click when the lights died as the last of the power ran out. The house was still warm but my sister shivered with the thought of what was to come. A long cold night in a house you could barely call a home. I slipped to the back room and saw the shape of my mother trembling, sleeping off a day of booze. We lit a candle and pretended we were camping in the woods again. Imagining the fire was so hot it burnt our hands, telling stories, as the frost crept up our single pane windows.
James Lilley, 33, Married Father of three. From Swansea, Wales works by day as a network engineer, is a retired professional boxer and active Bareknuckle Fighter and MMA fighter. Have been writing as a hobby since he was young, deciding to take the hobby more seriously this year enrolling for a Part Time Degree in Creative Writing.
LADY WITH A MOUTHFUL OF CAVITIES
I’m wearing two different shoes. One is navy, the other gray.
A small blob with pigtails points this out. “Lady!” it yells. (I am Lady.) “Your shoes are wrong!” The mother apologizes with a smile of solidarity, but I am infertile.
My dentist is on Whitley Ave. Twenty-six steps from my apartment complex. The pigtails disappear behind a white minivan. Wind rips through my clearance sweater, disintegrating my bones into a bowl of roadkill slush. I cancel my appointment and make snow angels on black concrete. I don’t change my shoes. (I am Lady.)