Remission by Patricia Contaxis

It is Easter morning, one year after Brianna’s life-saving neurosurgery. We are standing in a pew at the congregational church in our hometown, to which we had walked that morning. Long banners hang from the vaulted ceiling of the sanctuary proclaiming Alleluia, and pots of tall lilies surround the communion table. The choir and congregation are mid-song, a big, glorious Easter hymn.  Wild sopranos careen behind me: “Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!”  All this shouting about triumph over death is making me nervous. I read the hymn, but I don’t sing the words.  We woke this morning…

HOW TO MEDITATE I & II by Mykki Rios

HOW TO MEDITATE drift your skull to lilacs crest your brow with pineapple sage dream rose into your nostrils wake crying butterfly pea and cornflower fill your lungs herbaceous inhale parsley exhale mint rinse your hair with rice water let the dark of your insides deepen plum and charcoal  where light won’t reach fade your bruises with buttercup whiten your eyes with heartburst ring in every bitten strawberry stake your core with yew so you leak starfruit and cotton candy grape dance turmeric into your hips saffron your thighs balm your foot soles with aloe or clay HOW TO MEDITATE…

too tired to lie down by Maestro Gamin

I’m tired how murder  follows us how we’re an all too accessible play area  for anger’s russian roulette merry go round and how this, patronizing, cautionary life of smiles and apathy for our death  waits freer than we ever were sweeping us vagrantly in riptides complacency in a glass of tap water poison in flint from slave patrol city minders too scared to be outspoken, too sour to let peace slip toward our space, too eager to kill their way into a co-opted white saviorhood. the sum of me after I regather what’s left, never amounts enough to save any…

TCR Talks with Jean Kwok, author of The Leftover Woman

By Jeni Eskridge In The Leftover Woman, the thrilling new novel by New York Times bestselling author Jean Kwok, two women, worlds apart, come face-to-face with what it means to be a mother and to make impossible decisions. From a small Chinese fishing village, Jasmine escapes her controlling husband and embarks on a quest to find the child she had believed to be dead. In a parallel story, Rebecca struggles to repair a devastating career faux pas while battling her own guilt and the jealousy she feels toward the nanny of her adopted Chinese daughter. What they don’t know is…

I Do Crew by Rachael Marie Walker

Three months ago, I was vaping in the tub, leaned back against the tile, submerged my face in the water, and thought: fuck, I’m not cis, am I?  My girlfriend of three years, Liz, was playing video games in the living room, out on a mission with her gamer friends in Red Dead Redemption. She took one look at me, still dripping from the bath, naked and sudsy with lavender bubble bath, and said she had to go, she’d catch up with them later, and motioned for me to sit in her lap. I curled up there, left a moist…

Ethical Anarchy by Brenna Cheyney

We go together like loofah and linen— compostable, antimicrobial— soil cake in the gut house, nice parasites with stylet quips, sealing lips from disease. Mutuals suggest we left our dust to mingle—  skin cells, hair shed— without banter laughter balm, and yogic twister lip calms. Or maybe you’re the night sun  and I’m the fun jungle, mistaking fungal for lunar— blue oysters, deep-fried— hinting at single on the side. Crushing on de-extinction, we go together like thylacines and  fat-tailed dunnarts, a daydream, scheme-editing with funds and labs, distracting from the crisis at hand. Sweet tongues for invasives, trachea bent from…

Fresh Coffee By J.D. Strunk

Paul opened the door to the break room and froze: a neon-blue eye stared back at him. The unblinking cyclopean orb belonged to a new coffeemaker. Paul felt his stomach hit his toes. He’d been dreading this day for years. The old coffeemaker had been grimy and scuffed, but it had also been reliable. What’s more, he knew how to use it. Paul approached the new machine with trepidation. It felt too futuristic to be a coffeemaker. Why did everything need to be so futuristic? The word “streamlined” shot through Paul’s mind as he examined it. While it was true…

On Maintenance by Kristin Kovacic

I hold in my hand a passbook for a savings account my father opened with a $30 deposit on October 26, 1960. You may have to be at least as old as I am now—60—to recognize a bank passbook and remember its purpose. This one looks like an American passport, which my dad had yet to acquire, with a somber blue cloth cover embossed with the name of the bank and its branch—Pittsburgh National Bank, Bloomfield Office—in gold. Palm-sized, ideal for slipping into a man’s top pocket. You pulled out your passbook as you entered the bank, where a teller…

Ammonite by RT Young

Dina starts awake to the sound of the phone ringing, and before answering she knows Ken has gone out again. She can feel the absence of him in their shared bed like a cavity, the room still and silent as a forest, and the roaring klaxon of the landline is a chainsaw, teeth biting through living wood. Still, to confirm she is alone, she lets her hand search around the empty space beside her, roving over the landscape of pilling cotton sheets. They are cool to the touch. The digital clock on his bedside table reads, ‘02.37’. Next to it…

Goodnight by Gianfranco Lentini

Gianfranco Lentini (he/him) is a NYC-based queer playwright, teacher, journalist, and first-generation Italian American. His plays include Glory Hole (Burlington County Footlighters), happier (A Night of Play), I’m really glad you’re here (The Magnetic Theatre), Katherine & Peter (Torrent Theatre, inspiraTO Festival), Self-Published (Molecule Literary Magazine), You Tell Me (Theatrical Response Team), Okay Walt Whitman (The Coachella Review), and Open (Mini Plays Review: An International Journal of Short Plays). Gianfranco is currently an Adjunct Professor at New York University for Tisch Drama’s New Studio on Broadway’s Summer Program and a Wendy Wasserstein Project Representative for TDF (Theatre Development Fund). He is also a proud Member of the Dramatists Guild of America. You can learn more…