top of page

By Sarah Minor

I had a friend who ate her brother and a friend with a pool in her basement and a friend who held me crying on a bathroom floor and kissed the boy I cried about the same day and I met a friend beneath a hand dryer and another buying pregnancy tests and I knew a friend who owned a dog who saved her mother from a blizzard by pointing the way home and I had a friend who loosened my nipple ring with pliers before the mammogram and a friend whose shirt I still sleep in and a friend who wore bubble wrap as a top and a friend who worked for months on a boat far from land where, at night in her bunk, she dreamed of the fishing net sailing into the hold and strangling her and I had a friend who kissed me and a friend who’d seen Jesus and a friend who threw a real dart at a map, moved 1000 miles, and stayed and I had a friend who died in a current and friend who loved my mother and a friend I double-crossed two times and one who gave me a tattoo and a friend with seven engorged ticks that I plucked off with my fingers and a friend who stood in my windowless bathroom staring at one spot on the ceiling until a large white feather floated down into her palm and I had a friend with a blackened aura and a friend who didn’t speak for a year and a friend who let her boyfriend touch me when I said I didn’t want it and I had a friend tell me that I’d lived many times and another who described me as “much shorter than she seems” and a friend whose mother sat on the couch after work every day chewing wintergreen candies and drinking Dr. Pepper and by 40 she had dentures and my friend had learned to drive the five hours home on unmarked back roads she’d memorized by following the gravel in both directions until two familiar paths crossed.

Sarah Minor is in love with her friends and is the author of Bright Archive (Rescue Press 2020).

Collage by Sarah Minor.

By Thomas Cook

Awake, rising, and sensing the cold absence, he would later covet that final moment of foggy confusion at the familiar sound of his father’s hunting rifle echoing from the garage below.

Thomas Cook lives in Indianapolis, which in 2014 was voted the top convention city in the country by USA Today.

Art by Zach Schwartz; more visuals @regalmurk on Instagram.

By Dinty W. Moore

Day 56 and I hate my hair, my face, my hands, my hands touching my face, my hands touching my hair, wearing a mask, my neighbors who don’t wear masks, my neighbors who wear masks incorrectly, my neighbors who wear masks smugly, like some fucking statement of purity, or wokeness, myself for thinking that very thought, myself for knowing the word wokeness, smug people generally, the lady who sews 25 masks a day and posts pictures to Facebook, every fucking day, my neighbor who has a hot tub, my neighbor who has a greenhouse, my neighbor who probably hates me because I have a garden, yeast, the lack of yeast, people talking about yeast, the word yeast, sourdough starter, toilet paper, Netflix, people who hoard toilet paper, myself for buying too much toilet paper, my neighbor who walks his dog every 30 fucking minutes, and he’s thinner than me, by a factor of roughly 2,000, if that is even mathematically possible, math, math professors, math problems, problems, droplets, airborne droplets, how hard it is to get beer, the Kroger employee who thinks social distancing is pushing up within two inches of my face to put my birth date into the cash register so I can buy my beer, cash registers, self-checkout lines, grocery shopping, being afraid of grocery shopping, being afraid to read newspaper articles describing the symptoms, being afraid to read newspaper articles about what the world might look like two months from now, two years from now, next Tuesday, listening to idiot-face you-know-who blather on as if he had a freaking clue, as if he were a fucking scientist, very stable geniuses, Clue, Scrabble, Animal Crossing, my friends who manage to play online games using three or four devices simultaneously so they can move their pieces, still see one another, chat on the side, and simultaneously schedule online grocery delivery orders, online grocery delivery, social distancing, social distancing protesters, Nazis, those who are ignorant, those who are ignorant by choice, my elected representatives, Kellyanne Conway, insipid commercials from automobile manufacturer’s claiming they are “there for me,” insipid commercials generally, insincerity, television generally, my sofa, my bed, my life, washing my mail, washing my hands, washing my food, too much food, not enough food, pictures of other people’s food, people who lecture other people, people who go on and on about how much they hate the pandemic, myself for going on and on about how much I hate the pandemic, myself two months from now, myself two years from now, myself next Tuesday, myself, being afraid, being afraid to breathe.

Dinty W. Moore’s entire life is on hold.

Art by Jeff Kallet, whose work can be found on Flickr and Instagram.

bottom of page