Thursday, January 31, 2013

Miracle Healing Powers

Heal by Forrest Roth

The Miracle Healing Power I buy is not the Miracle Healing Power of generic Canadian pharmaceuticals. I get it and it pulls me back and in. I put my hand on the top of a child who passes me by on the sidewalk and she smiles and I know how it works. I tell the police who knock at my door that Canadians know nothing about the Miracle Healing Power—this is America! This is American-made Miracle Healing Power! But they say they never heard of it. The lawyer who visits me don’t know nothing of Miss Felicia who sells it fresher than anyone, her father who used to give out free samples back in the day, when the shop only used to dry-clean rich white ladies’ poodles. As he’s leaving me I explain God blew the Breath of Life into the shop and the poodles disappeared. At the big meeting I slip him the address while he’s talking up the judge but he just ignores it. I don’t get why people don’t want the Miracle Healing Power. I don’t get why Miss Felicia marries a Canadian and closes the shop. I don’t get why the Miracle Healing Power can’t be shared instead of sold. But I get the Miracle Healing Power. I get it and it pulls me back and in. I get it and open shop. I know how it works.


What Matter Though Numb by Bill

That's where time takes in, takes on, takes over. I could wait and see the boat across the river, that they make the other side without any more problems but my boots are sinking down into the mud and I've still got to go burn the sheets. The sign's gonna catch fire. It'll be a sign signing 'there but by'. Their buys, what they bought, carried, craved. Slinging ass and that was half the problem - sorting out which hand had actually held the whip. The water poured over the rim of the tub onto the floor through the door down the hall out into the yard and as it dried turned to blood. They gave good but not enough, tithed too little. No more. No less. Their hands clasped in front of their hearts. Almost like they were praying. Almost like they meant it. Maybe I'll just burn the whole place down.


Superhero Transformative Capability by Alan

The boy blonde would not have believed it if it wasn’t true absolutely in front of his eyes green. The healing power of miracle spelled out effervescently in front of me too. And who is to say who stands next to whom and for how long? The syntax of our rows always muddy the bucket and waste the intake. It’s like thinking in another country might make you believe in, well, miracles.

But the boy blonde shrugged exponentially for days at a time. It’s not the adjective you think it is, he said to several customers curious. It’s about the superhero inside of you, inside of me, inside this store. There’s a superhero inside this store, I said? No, the power is in this store. Down the block the superhero is, healing and dealing, at least a few afternoons away.

I believed him, this circumstance producing kid, and started to consider the dove a swerving kind of adjective too.


Circular Logic by Lyle

Miracle healing power, they told me. Yeah, but whose miracle? I asked. It ain’t mine. Touching a tortilla isn’t going to fix a damn thing for me. We were all huddled around in a circle and I didn’t like it one bit. Circles had a way of coming back on themselves. I thought of that grilled cheese sandwich in Las Vegas. Maybe I had gotten it all wrong. But miracle healing power, they said. I don’t care, I shouted, but by then they weren’t listening to me anymore. They were saying names and dates and I could see that ole snake tail of my past coming right back around and I opened my mouth to take it all in even as I spewed and sputtered and collapsed and rose from the dead.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013


Broken by Alan

To call me supernatural would be a bit of a stretch, I think. But I do dwell in the ether of your dreams. And by dreams I mean the off hours of the conscious mind. Take, for instance, the moment of the drive in which you forget your temporal attachments. Forget the spouse, the responsibilities, the promise of children someday. Forget what’s broken in your parents…and their parents’ parents. There’s a split that happens that flips like a trigger…and then you’re back again. But in that instance, I’m there.

Consider again, another moment. You’re in the bathroom of the rest stop. There’s a knock outside. You’ve forgotten where you are and why you are going there. The light the color of phobias throbs. Something falls and shatters. The knock continues. It’s not me. I’m in there. With you. For a short time. All your life you’ve attempted to name me, but it’s really not possible because I only exist for the duration of a half-finished sentence, which is, for many, enough.


Broken Bells by Johanna

Jake insisted on inviting his ex-girlfriend, Tracey, to their wedding. They were friends after all, ever since reuniting on Facebook two years ago. They hadn't seen each other in person for nearly 6 years. Maggie argued at first; it was a small wedding in her parents' house. But he claimed it was important for him to include her, his first love and dear friend, as a symbolic gesture.

Maggie invited Tracey because she wanted to show Jake (or convince herself) that she trusted him, that she was not the jealous type. Tracey arrived two days early and Jake said it would be rude to not include her in the rehearsal dinner. Maggie did not want to start another fight about Tracey. When introduced, Tracey smiled sweetly at Maggie though there was something strange in her eyes. She was too eager and her red dress was too tight, too revealing for Maggie's taste. Jake seemed to ignore Tracey, which pleased Maggie even as he became noticeably more drunk and inappropriate as the night progressed.

It was nearly midnight and they were cleaning up when they heard a loud crash from the bathroom. The remaining guests – Maggie's mom and sister, Jake's aunt and uncle and teenage cousin – looked at each other quizzically. Jake appeared suddenly and said he was going off to bed. He kissed Maggie on the cheek. A few minutes later, a voice called out in distress, “Oh shit.” Everyone hurried over to the bathroom. Jake's uncle turned at the locked knob.

“Is everything okay?” Jake's uncle asked through the door.

“It's fine,” a woman called back, “I just dropped my bag.”

“Bag of rocks?” Jake's cousin mumbled under her breath so only Maggie could hear.

Tracey squeezed out of the bathroom door with her back to them and shut it tightly behind her. Maggie noticed her lipstick was smeared and her previously perfect hair stuck up in the back.

“I better be going,” Tracey said without making eye contact, rushing out of the house.

The next morning, Maggie needed to use the downstairs bathroom to finish getting ready for her wedding and to get some space from her nervous mother. She found Jake kneeling, picking up the pieces of the white ceramic tank lid smashed across the tile floor. “What happened?” she asked, even as the answer came to her, even as her stomach began to sink lower into her abdomen.

Jake's eyes veered to the left, “I knocked it off, last night, when I was drunk.”

Maggie's heart fell into the churning pit where her stomach had been. Her wedding gown fell in a pile at her feet. She ran out crying wearing nothing but her slip. She passed Tracey on her way. She cried harder at the sight of her, dolled up all in white.


Before by Lyle

Several times, in the dark, I stumbled upon the corpse. Broken. Or unfinished. This was all before. There wasn't really a corpse. Just the existential heft of my imagination. Solipsism slipped down around my neck like a noose. And all the while my socks, elastic gone, sagged around my ankles. This was all before the breaking.


Scare by Forrest

I knew him before I knew him—and the heat of it dragging sloping upside against the door and pushing me inside knocking the top and hearing the porcelin crack which it does a dull cold ripping not at all like his voice and scared for us: he knew me before he never knew me.