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.