All Apologies to Frida Kahlo

by Mara Grayson

I probably shouldn't have touched the oil paint. I know I wasn't supposed to. Please understand that my transgression was not an attempt at defiance or destruction. I never wanted to harm the painting, but at thirteen years old, my understanding of some things was not as clear as it is now. I wanted to touch Frida's hands, but because her hands weren't in the painting, I touched Diego's nose instead.

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A New Wife

by Veronica Gorodetskaya

Graf and my father met on the streets. They were both hustling jobs as hands on moving and delivery trucks. A fellow native of St. Petersburg, Graf became my father's best friend in New York. It was hard to distinguish the two. They both wore neatly tailored acid-dyed jeans with cargo pockets and zippers on each leg, and striped, pale colored button-down shirts or T-shirts that they had bought in bulk in Chinatown that said, "Zip Your Fly," "Leave Me Alone," and "I Heart New York." All this above a pair of bright white sneakers and brown dress socks that inevitably showed when they sat down.

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The Poison

by Lily Morningstar

The thick canopy of mango trees overhead blocked out the light of the waning Gibbous moon and I could hear the dry leaves crunch beneath my sandaled feet as we made our way down the crumbling gravel path toward the sound of waves crashing onto hard packed sand. I hurried, imagining giant centipedes coiled, sleeping beneath the leaves, plump with venom, the thought of their hard exoskeletons and many legs made me sick with fear and I wished I'd worn sneakers.

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Like a Sister

by Jennifer Anne Moses

Loretta is talking, talking, talkingthe fact of the matter is, her mind is slipping some, and if she doesn’t talk, well, then, she may well just forget what it was she was meaning to say. This time she’s with that white girl. The white girl who takes her places. The volunteer. “What did you say your name is again?” she asks the white girl, who tells her. Oh yeah. They’re driving. The white girl isn’t such a great driver though: she drives like an old lady, slow, and Loretta wants to go fast! She wants to go so fast that her hair will fly right off her head! It’s boring, here in the car. Boring with the white girl old-lady driver. Where are they going again? she asks the white girl.

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Jailbird

by David Plick

excerpted from Only Whales Keep a Schedule

The doorway to B-pod was painted orange like the metal tables and chairs. Underneath in parts there was grey showing where the paint was peeling off and everyone around, the inmates and guards alike, stared at him not making a sound. They couldn’t believe it but neither could Gabe, this day was never going to come. As he passed under the opening through to the other side where the air felt colder, he pinched his eyes shut and searched for Leah’s expression, how she would look watching him leave, walking out of B-pod with his eyes closed, an orange jumper and orange floppy shoes, an unending smile, but he couldn’t piece her all together. Somewhere in there he had lost her.

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