Signing Forms

by Catherine Zickgraf That December,home from school,I’d finish my shift at 3 a.m. My hands cracked gripping the wheel.My breath froze in my lungsI though they’d turn to stone. The houses, too, were hollow.The road, too, unlit.My job was to go home. I sat on the steps one afternoonwith my morning coffeeand watched: My younger … Continue reading Signing Forms


by Catherine Zickgraf Paper neighbors drape my couch.They hold the baby,bake casseroles I can’t taste.I nibble when he sleepsor sleep when he napsafter I’ve boiled the bottlesand washed some spoons. I awoke this morning on the roll of toilet paper.Seems it cushioned my cheek sufficientlywhen I slipped near dawn down the tiles. Postpartum lasts at … Continue reading Postpartum

Eighth Grade

by Catherine Zickgraf We were empty-eyed cinder blocks,ringed keys unlocking the doorknobs. Among junior high’s sleepy congregation,an audience of our class’s generation,only some of us showed up praised and amen-ed. School taught me typing for college essaysand gave me chances to run away. We’d flood from the school at 3:05—but only some return now for … Continue reading Eighth Grade

She Said

by Lauren Bender quickly, the rulesof shacking up in a she shed.turn away from your real houselike others turn away fromsatan, sparkling with distaste.display your set of chairs and theirsoft porch cushions. embrace thosewho register words rather thanhow outrageous the words are.those who don’t see bold as the backboneof greatness. then take your thoughtsand hobbies … Continue reading She Said

The Best You Can Do

by Lauren Bender Her sweater takes your hand without bite,her head lifts to watch you dispense your charity. Her eye peels your skin away, and your insidesscrunch up and then fold in on themselves like many palms covering faces as they buckleto weepiness. Things flutter in your chest, you start to understand that it’s not … Continue reading The Best You Can Do

Business Trips

by Lauren Bender I pack my identity guides, flip and re-flip the pages in my quest to makea catalognot just of what I am and not just of what I think I amor what I would like to think I ambut what I could be. Most important of all those possibilities, and the waymy astrological … Continue reading Business Trips