The thing about working in a café is that you have the opportunity to meet all sorts of people, fall in love with them in the space of five minutes, live out entire love affairs during a single conversation while you take an order, brew a drink, make a perfect crown of foamed milk. The regulars become friends of a sort - the kind of people to whom you might casually mention that you’re singing with the band at the neighborhood pub on Friday night, if they’d like to come, but not the kind you’d go out and do things with, but the others, the folks who come in for a drink and leave with your heart, you never see again, and even though there’s a pang, you let it happen over and over.
She wants what she can not have
and isn’t that always the way?
The sunset fades, and from her yard
she waits for the first stars to appear.
The brass lighter read “Queenie.” With one smooth roll it was in Jackie’s hand, flicking to life like a well-trained servant, to light her French import. She smoothed the letters over with her thumb, erasing the smudges so she could see her reflection. Mascara was caked around her eyes like a four-year-old after playing with her mother’s make-up and her lipstick was smeared like a Pepto-bismol milk ring around her mouth.
“On the white shag rug.”
Karen lingered over a second cup of coffee in the cafe of her Edinburgh hotel. Her last meeting was this morning. She couldn’t make up her mind whether to spend the weekend in the capital, head home to London, or pay a long overdue visit to her hometown near Glasgow.
While drifting off during a web conference one snowy afternoon, Valerie began to list the reasons she should never have a physical relationship with Nick.
1. John (my husband)
2. Monica (his wife)
My body is a memory castle
where dormant handprints mark
an eclipse of rising waves
that fondle pink breasts with
the detail you crave.
I blew into town after a long time gone, three years this time around. Almost the first person I ran into was my old friend, old lover, Hank. We fell on each other with hugs, howls of delight. The reunion lasted over a couple of beers and an hour of playing catch-up: his broken marriage, my newest career. He drank lite beer, I had the real thing.
Meeting in secret
at our hide away place
no one will see us
to shame us with disgrace.
Her name was Sabrina Dangerous and she was a dominatrix. At least that’s what her card said. I met her at a party thrown by my employer at the time, a fashion photographer who had traded in Vogue covers for his own private business of photographing women’s privates and posting them on the web. I’d been hired as his assistant and soon learned that along with general filing, buying groceries, and preparing party platters for get-togethers like this one I was expected to airbrush/photoshop the T&A of various women. I didn’t know what I thought of this yet.
I met her today. We chose a public place, a mall in the city.
I arrived between the jostling of crowds and the roaring clatter of traffic often finding myself stealing quietly away vainly puzzling my brains trying to fix some clever phases and ceaseless self-conversations.
She walked into the kitchen and picked up her favorite coffee mug; boldly embossed on it were, “World’s best daughter.” She felt guilty; she didn’t feel that she deserved that title, not today, when she was not sure of herself. She had been with Steve for a year now and for their first anniversary, he wanted her virginity, to possess her and to make her his. She didn’t know how to feel, somewhere she had held out so long because she never wanted to ‘get-it-on’, she was always the different one, the one with strong character. She wanted to be in love and then feel that love between her legs, not before that. She wanted all of it - passion, longing, romance, love that encompassed everything.
Eyes speaking beyond words
Telling me that you love me
Caressing my soul awake
In This Issue: Fiction
- Chai a Serial by Melissa A. Bartell
- Her Misfortune by Lisa Zaran
- Brass Lighters and Red Lipstick by Samantha Haven
- A Fascination With Flaws by Theresa C. Newbill
- The Road to Gilmour Falls by Jean Gillespie
- What I Learned from Lester by Pat West
- The Work Crush: Part One a serial by Samantha Haven
- The Memory Castle by Theresa C. Newbill
- The Spring of My Comeuppance by Patricia Wellingham-Jones
- Secret Affair by Shelly Wiseberg
- Sabrina by Rasah H
- Poetry: Volume 8 a collaboration of Theresa C. Newbill with Robert Brian Newbill
- Red Panties by Sonia Bali
- Eyes of Want by Shelly Wiseberg
- Beliefs by Lisa Zaran