For Lucio

By Jesse Morales
At the bar, on its brick-shaped patio where honeybees mated in the trash bins, I contradicted you on Josef Albers’ theories of color. My first word to you: no.

Photo Story: A Bolder Life

By John Evans
This is how I remember it, what I saw from my window my first night as an orphan. Two trees, backlit by a low-slung moon, took turnabout gesturing at one another.

Drive Fast, Take Chances

By Tom Hazuka
Fitz threw a good party. I only left because I never linger till the downside of anything. I was nearly to my car when Fitz yelled, “Drive fast, take chances!”

Company

By Lisa Mangini
Mabel positions wood over the glowing newsprint ashes, and blows until they catch. Stephen flings a folded-up greeting card with hearts and glitter into the flames, a plastic bottle of scotch, half-gone, passing between them.

Photo Story: Bruised

By Elaine McKay
Her peaches and bruised complexion haunt the flat. Bandaged in oversized sweaters, she’s shrinking.
 He spills over the couch, thick skinned, swelling as he chews upon her nerve.

Martha

By Chad Hanson
Sophie left Chicago for Panama City, Florida. She made the trip every year, toward the end of February. In Panama, she ate burgers. She watched game shows. She went to flea markets.

Stuart Dybek: Blurring Forms

Stuart Dybek is a quiet master of the American short story. He doesn't cry out for attention, and he doesn't seem to need it, yet his stories demand re-reading in a way that few authors do.

Spark

By Molly Fuller
It has always been like this inside the woods: trees subdivide the sky, flowers track the sun, moss and stone make configurations along streambeds drying in summer’s heat.

Addressing the Birds

By Zellah Minor-House
No one has said anything about the magpies. They fell through the ceiling like weights, their bodies spilling like ink onto the kitchen floor.

Dark

By Sarah Freligh
She asked me once what’s it like not to dream and I said: Nothing. Imagine nothing, the vast black of it. Like climbing into a mineshaft, the way my dad did every day until the earth opened up and swallowed him and a dozen other men.

Photo Story: Throwing Stones

By Connor Walsh
The dark flees from the beams of light like a thousand timid spiders to the surviving shadows. Cursing and wielding a fifth of his sense, Benjamin stumbles out of his father’s running station wagon and kisses the crumbling courtyard, bloodying his lip.

What I Am Not Saying

By Emma Bogdonoff
Once you knew a boy and you loved him though you never said. Through so many years, you never said. It made you irreplaceable; who else could say so much with so few words?