Loving Us

by Jennifer Byrne

There hung in the air, with Alma, the question she had never asked outright: How can you stand it? How can you just stay this way? It was a question she never really needed to verbalize; her very existence posed this question every time they met. And Alma's existence always thrummed quietly with the same calm reply. It's just the way I am. It's just me. It was no longer just us.
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Polly Dreamed of the Beach

by Katie Smit

Time continued. Over and over she fell down the stairs of her home of twenty-some years, awoke to the hushed routine of the ICU and felt the grip of a loved one's hand. For a week she stood at the water's edge. Here on the beach, the pain fell away.
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Shorn

by Semia Harbawi

It was clear that, where women were concerned, some modes of retribution cut through the boundaries of culture and religion. I remember that I could almost hear the snarled fury behind Omar's simian eyes as he plied his hairdresser's clippers to cut off clumps of my hair by the fistful. My hair was left in pathetic mounds like the pelt of a dead animal; I was branded as a slut and a traitress.
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Wedding Band and Custom-Made Pink Satin Bra

by Monika Lange

A hand crept up the windowsill. It shivered. Spidery fingers probed the steel ledge until they reached the leftover potatoes Nana had placed outside for the pigeons. The hand stopped.
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Sun Melting
"Sun Melting"
Artist: Michael Schulte