A Coyote Runs Down Michigan Avenue

By Sara Ryan

Featured Art: “The Bridge: Nocturne (Nocturne: Queensboro Bridge)” by Julien Alden Weir

and she is a phantom. gray blur on
gray pavement. green lights flicker

their rhythmic patterns. in the right building,
at the right angle, she becomes one

thousand coyotes shimmering in glass.
she screams and Chicago screams

back. how’s. scavenges the oily corners
of the train stations. the river gulps

through its channels and feeds the lake.
she is a wild thing. she crosses high bridges.

she becomes the color blue. she becomes
the color blood. the city is haunted

now. by the tress. by women, their mouths 
full–bulging, really–with fur. she is one

of the lucky ones. she runs unjailed without 
worry for traffic, turn signals, speed limits.

ghosts wearing masks yell from 
their windows. they’re warning her.

they’re warning her.

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I’m Only Dancing

By Chris Ketchum

Featured Art: 

At ten, I meet myself in the mirror of my sister’s vanity, squeezed into the tiny corset of her pale blue dress, Cinderella’s image printed on the breast like a brooch. My little-boy pecs puff out like cleavage. The tulle skirt brushes against my thighs, rising above the knee, billowing around my Fruit-of-the-Looms as I prance down the staircase to the dining room where my mother lights a candle before dinner. She laughs to see me skip across the hardwood floor, turning and twirling on the ball of my socked foot—and when she does, I know I want to keep her laughing. I’m not sure why, but I speak in a higher voice, with a lisp, and she laughs harder, and, as I’m preening, brushing my cheeks with the back of my hand, leaping into the air like the hippos in Fantasia, I notice the tears— how they run down the corner of her nose, wetting her upper lip. I don’t know why she’s crying—maybe I’m really that funny. So I keep dancing.

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All About Skin

By Leslie Adrienne Miller

On a reasonably sized female adult,
two square yards of the stuff,
all etched with nerves of wild
to be roused, altogether the largest
organ in the body. Unless you count
the considerable accumulation
of disappointment that sprouts
as fast as creeper in a chemical-free
yard. Or all those useless tears,
salt and mucus and plain old water
manufactured by the ducts every time
hurt shows up for dinner, rather more
often too, as the years advance,
putting his feet on the sofa,
leaving dishes in the sink. Perpetually
twenty with his tight ass and gorgeous
hands, he invents longing like a tall tale
and gets us to drink one more glass
of merlot than we’d meant to tonight.
If only we had more feathers and horn,
that sweet jacket of woolly lanugo we wore
in the womb and swallowed like a marvelous secret
just days before the world turned on the lights
and pronounced us girls.

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