Magician by Lucy Jayes

Change was pulled out
from inside of me by a surgeon at 4 in the morning.
He must have been a father,
the way he stitched me together
after he cut me in half.

Fingers trace raised skin,
excavated pubic bone wall. I have shut
down, gone inward, burrowed in
wounds none else can even see.

Unpredictable fathers
Daughters trained to tip toe tightropes teeter
between 50/50 chances
and 100th chances
and promises he will change 

My son knows nothing of defects
blue eyes mirror blue eyes
There is so much I do not want him to learn.

Lucy has fostered a love of writing since she was old enough to hold a pen. She graduated with a degree in English Literature from the University of Kentucky in 2014. During college, she interned for Ace Weekly magazine with a primary focus on covering local events and happenings in the food and beverage industry in Lexington. Upon graduating, she moved to Denver, CO and worked in nonprofit fundraising and event planning and as a conference manager and journalist for a trade magazine covering the legal cannabis industry. She is a first year MFA student at the University of Kentucky and focused on Creative Nonfiction writing. 

2 Poems by Alex LeGrys

A Young Man’s Hopeless Hope

It’s almost as if someone made you
in a test tube after a row with 
George W. Bush
while you only argue with
that bony little street
singer you surprise in the 
bathroom mirror

what is it this time
he asks, so you reply:
well you idiot, that hangover
isn’t helping and I 
don’t even like Budweiser–
what the hell were you thinking?
let’s talk about it later
he says mournfully,
other people are waiting
for the shower

but you see him
sooner than later in 
the men’s room at
Wal-Mart and you ask
him through clenched 
teeth: why is there a
bag in my hand, filled with
beef jerky– I thought
we were vegan and 
boycotting these fat cats?
this time he replies
with true guilt, yet reminds
you that they don’t sell
tofu anywhere nearby, nor
do you have much money

by midnight you’re on the
town junnkie’s lawn blankly
staring at fireflies with
a girl you picked up at
Mernie’s; so again you 
excuse yourself and
reprimand the fellow:
I’ve told you a million times:
the next time you find
one you bring her to
a nice hotel and surprise
her with a guitar song
and half decent dining
aren’t we more than this?
he just apologizes

the next Monday morning
sprints like Jesse Owens 
but you certainly can’t
sprint like Jesse Owens
in the midst of another debate
with the poorer half of the
soft-souled moptop

why do I do what I do, you
ask.  he laughs and 
mutters, what else is 
there for you to do,
there’s nothing to say.
so you implore:
do you understand how much
we’ve yelled at people 
who have a dirty beer can
for a life?
he snickers and retorts,
well we’d just lick the beer
can clean and slice
our wrists with it

Lady Corruption

the terms of service are on
the back of the coupon– if they
don’t suit you I have associates who
provide a different aesthetic

you can mail order me and 
I’ll roll out of a poorly handled parcel
asking you where you keep
your liquor and if you could spare
me a Marlboro or two

I’ll sit at the foot of your bed
and write down what you look like,
save your telephone number
just in case you have feedback for
our institution

I’m not here for you to have
much fun– and if you do it ought to
be lined with guilt; otherwise
I’ll have no choice but to
bleed on your sheets

the good news is you’ll
be the one to leave– that’s the
most popular feature about this particular
offer; most of our girls
aren’t so generous 

Alex LeGrys is 20 years old and attends Bard College.  Her work has appeared in Apricity Press, Better than Starbucks, Fire Agate Press, Modern Literature, and the Blue Lake Review.

Green by Hayley McCullough

Green… green is a wretched color… an awful color…  green was the color of my Furby. A gift from a limp-wristed aunt who smelled of stale ash and hard taffy, my Furby sat under the Christmas tree in starlight wrapping paper and a green bow covered in greener, meaner glitter (it got everywhere and caused an itchy, wet rash). 

I didn’t love my Furby at first sight nor second sight nor third sight. Not even seventeenth sight. I never loved him. But on that Christmas morning, I forced a smile, rickety and awkward like haphazard dominos ready to fall, and thanked my aunt for my Furby. She petted my hair with her green-painted nails.

I named him Spinach. 

Six months later, I smashed Spinach with my brother’s baseball bat. There are only so many options when you’re eight and your toy starts telling you to kill your cat. To kill your family. To kill yourself. So, I sat him in the green grass and smashed and smashed and smashed until I could see his green little innards. They smelled like garbage and rotten fish, like sulfur and cigarette smoke, like burning sugar, vinegar, and vomit.

My cat watched, pissing on Spinach’s remains when I finished. Six months later, we buried my cat in same spot where I smashed, and she pissed, and where Spinach didn’t die. Green grass doesn’t grow there anymore. 

Hayley McCullough exists in a near-constant state of sleep deprivation. 

Digital Paintings by Edward Michael Supranowicz

Edward Michael Supranowicz is the grandson of Irish and Russian/Ukrainian immigrants. He grew up on a small farm in Appalachia.  He has a grad background in painting and printmaking. Some of his artwork has recently or will soon appear in Fish Food, Streetlight, Another Chicago Magazine, The Door Is a Jar, The Phoenix, and other journals. Edward is also a published poet.