by Terri Leker
Winner of the 2019 New Ohio Review Fiction Contest, selected by Claire Vaye Watkins. Originally published in New Ohio Review Issue 26
The coyotes moved into the woods behind my house just after I learned I was pregnant. On a quiet June morning, while my husband slept, I pulled on my running shoes and grabbed a leash from a hook at the back door. Jute danced around my feet on her pipe-cleaner legs, whining with impatience. It would have taken more than this to wake Matt, but I hushed her complaints with a raised finger and we slipped outside. A light breeze blew the native grasses into brown and golden waves as we wandered, camouflaging Jute’s compact frame. She sniffed the dirt, ears telescoping as though she were asking a question. When we reached a shady thicket of red madrones and live oaks, I unclipped the leash and wound it around my wrist.Read More
by Kelly Michels
“Hundreds of couples toting AR-15 rifles packed a Unification church in Pennsylvania on Wednesday to have their marriages blessed and their weapons celebrated as ‘rods of iron’ that could have saved lives in a recent Florida school shooting.” Reuters, Feb. 28th 2018
They come wearing crowns of gold bullets in their hair, bodies drenched
in white satin, white lace, tulle, lining the pews on a weekday morning,
AR-15s in their hands, calling on god to save them. There is no
such thing as salvation, only the chosen and too few are chosen.
Children are told to stay inside, schools locked shut, swings hushed,
even the wind says, quiet, as the guns are blessed, dark O of mouths
waiting to exhale a ribbon of smoke. The children are told to crouch
in the closet, to stay still as butterflies on butcher knives
while the men take their brides and iron rods, saluting the book
of revelation, its scribbled last words, the coming of a new kingdom.
by Conor Bracken
Featured Art: Star and Flag Design Quilt by Fred Hassebrock
Here I am inside a firing range.
Loading and holding and aiming a pistol
the way America has taught me.
Hitting the paper target in
the neck the mullet the arm the arm.
The old-growth pines inside me
do not burst into orange choruses of flame.
I am disappointed I’m not making
a tidy cluster center mass.
by Whitney Collins
Featured Art: The Kiss by Max Ernst
The first thing Ilona saw when she got to the beach was the man, bleeding from his leg with a crowd of people around him. She was far up and away in Bill’s condominium, looking down at him from the master bedroom window with her two suitcases in her hands. The man held out his bleeding leg for everyone to admire. Half of the crowd looked down at the leg, half looked out at the ocean. After a minute, the man spread his arms out wide as if to show everyone how much he loved them. Thissssss much.Read More
by Kathryn Merwin
this is a poem about losing things.
not a poem
for the boys who barreled their broken
bodies into the lightningwalls
of my body. for the knife
of let me
in, baby, the trigger-finger
go back to my place, just one drink.
you, draining the blue
from my veins, dyeing
empty sheets of skin,
blue again, purple,
blue. the color
of healing of bloodpool
beneath skin. for the crushed
powder in my jack & coke of
no one will ever believe you.
you’ll spend the summer in alaska
and we’ll both pretend
like we’re not losing
you have no idea
what i’m gonna do to you.
yes, I do.Read More
by Emily Franklin
Featured Art: Still Life With Apples and Pears by Paul Cézanne
There isn’t one. But here is a pot of jam,
apricots plumped with booze, lemon rind, sugar—
the stuff of August evenings,
of dirt roads trimmed both sides
with heavy woods that narrow and finally
funnel to the ocean. To the house
by Patrick Bernhard
Featured Art: Daemonie 39 by Paul Klee
The undertow had carried Daisy far enough out to sea that her bullseye swim cap probably looked like a floating pastry to the judges, even with their binoculars. She hoped that rest of her looked similarly delectable to the Medium-Class blues that the scouting report had placed a reasonable 19% of hunting in the Frontier Belt; nobody had caught anything elsewhere, outside of a zebra shark that wandered into the Sandbar Belt that the chatterbox from Bethany Beach managed to cosh, catch, and drag. Not that she was worried by that bag; Chatterbox’s zebra had the telltale torpor of a bad fungal infection, so it barely put up a fight, and she’d repeatedly coshed more dorsal than skull and in shallower water, too, losing major accuracy marks that she couldn’t afford to have subtracted.Read More
by Barry Peters
What I know of her
cackling in the back row,
sassing the boy next to her,
absent, tardy, bathroom pass,
not doing any goddam work
and this is the easiest
history class in the history
of American education:Read More
by T.J. Sandella
Featured Art: Actor’s Mask by Paul Klee
I confused guacamole
until I was seventeen
when my girlfriend’s mom
patiently explained the difference
plopping a dollop onto my plate
next to the Spanish rice
on the long flight
from meat and potatoes
to masala and paneer
for the first time
as a freshman in college
tartare and foie gras
as a grad student
and so it goes
by Rachel Eve Moulton
Sara doesn’t sleep anymore. Not for more than an hour at a time. Her body feels sore, her joints loose, as if a leg could slip free if she isn’t careful. It’s May, her first spring in the house, and the rain has been falling steadily since early April. The Mad River jumped its banks some weeks before, and, in a gesture of solidarity, Sara’s body has ballooned at the ankles, the thighs. She’s 38 weeks pregnant with twin girls, and even her fingers have grown thick, her wedding ring now worn on a chain around her neck.
Sara is beginning to think she’s made a mistake.
by Robert Wood Lynn
As it turns out there is this silly trick to knowing how long you,
no anybody, no any creature will live:
divide the average lifespan of an animal by its metabolic rate
and you will get a number that is about one billion. That’s what we get,
about one billion heartbeats on this planet Read More
by Amy Bee
Featured Art: “Design for 4-seat Phaeton,” by Brewster & Co.
My mom kicked me out this morning. If you’re still here by the time Doug gets home, I’m having you committed, she said, so I put on some jeans and ran to my old elementary school across the street. I headed toward the two tubes next to the monkey bars. I’d spent a lot of recesses in those coveted tubes. Now that I was in 8th grade, the whole playground appeared fake somehow, like a toy model version of itself.