Issue #8

    dinner 11-years-old

    Danielle Rose

    the doorbell is ringing and mother is half-breaking again / not another word she spits through frantic-eyes on the sizzling pan / my sister fidgets with the swiftness of a hare in flight and is then silent / i am absent but for my body unreal and floating / the certain dim kiss of late autumn carries a ravenous cruelty that feasts upon our piling inaction / oil pops / the smell of herring fills the room / outside thin air begs a desire for extending even more patience

    Danielle Rose lives in Massachusetts with her partner & their two cats. She is the managing editor of Dovecote Magazine & used to be a boy. Her work can be found or is forthcoming in The Shallow Ends, Barren Magazine, GERTRUDE, Luna Luna Magazine, Empty Mirror, Homology Lit & elsewhere. You can find her on Twitter or at her website here.

    my frog alexis

    Michael Chang

    Hey what are you running from?

    I want to be the one you leave behind

    Adjacent to greatness

    Face blank and appraising

    Eyes brown like autumn

    Your body fused to my mouth

    I take your moisture

    I am radiant, glowing

    In Italy, they would go to war for me

    In France, they would surrender for me

    Cannon fodder

    Dime-a-dozen gabacho

    White jeans

    White Ford Bronco

    Put you out to pasture

    You are one of many

    Sir, this is a McDonald’s

    no true marxist would allow sentiment to interfere with business

    - attributed to Trotsky

    Michael Chang

    Fire alarm, 3 a.m.

    Feet shuffling

    Soldiers marching

    Ball and chain

    Innocent eyes

    Central Park Five

    Hey, he said, voice thick with sleep

    Don’t go out, Blue Shirt warned

    He obeyed, he hid

    Firefighters and police came and went

    Ruse to flush him out


    He heard that the protests were different this time

    Disparate, decentralized

    The one who got wacked

    Drew the short straw

    His parents met him at the airport

    Don’t do this, they said

    Staring at them, he realized that he was looking at strangers

    How had they grown so far apart

    He wondered if he had always been this way, or if he had changed


    He noticed bits of food all over the street

    Alkaline noodles here

    Errant wing there

    He hoped the protesters would get it together

    They needed some galvanizing force

    A personality to rally around

    Attractive, credible, sane-sounding


    (Random fists that kill the grandmaster)

    Sometimes the unskilled win


    Still a colony, just with a different master

    Contract with America

    Contract of Adhesion

    Talk to the mothership

    Naked exploitation

    Shocking the conscience

    Like when that Swedish pop sensation Nils

    Turned out to be a guy from Kentucky


    He longed for someone he could build a common code with

    The same vernacular, vocabulary

    He met Blue Shirt

    Somewhere in Mid-Levels

    Blue Shirt’s hands clasped in prayer

    Whiteness folded together

    He took Blue Shirt to the same restaurants, the same bars, as if retracing their steps

    He couldn’t decide if Blue Shirt’s presence sullied those places or cleansed them, shaman-like

    Ward off those evil spirits, you know

    Does that make what came before mean less

    The thing that bothered him most was the fact that the ex didn’t vote


    He remembered


    (Strong dragon doesn’t challenge local snake)

    He couldn’t shake the feeling of fraudulence

    Most of his friends had come back

    Working in the skyscrapers in Central

    Clouds and fog blocking out the cries and pleas below

    Air-conditioned shops, sparkling clean

    $98 for salami

    Spanish pig

    Treated better than Spanish citizen

    He pretended to like Starbursts because they were Blue Shirt’s favorite candy

    Tropical, Strawberry Banana, Pina Colada, Cherry Kiwi, Mango Melon, Summer Blast, Original

    What are we fighting for, Blue Shirt said, lurching forward as he spoke

    Define ‘we,’ he replied, defiant


    You have to leave, Blue Shirt cautioned

    Straight away

    As they say in England

    He looked bruised, disarmed

    The homosexual agenda will have to wait, Blue Shirt joked

    No, he insisted

    I can’t keep seeing you

    My superiors . . . Blue Shirt started, voice trailing off

    He remembered their trip to Big Wave Bay

    The sun hitting Blue Shirt’s face just so

    Hair the color of yuenyeung

    I’ve never been so sure of anything in my life, he said haltingly

    Trying to convince himself

    He got up to leave

    He fought the urge to look back

    MICHAEL CHANG hopes to win the New Jersey Blueberry Princess pageant one day.  Michael strongly suspects that they were born in the wrong decade.  A recovering vegan, their favorite ice cream flavor was almost renamed due to scandal.