A billion years from now
or a billion billion
will these words resound
will these ancient feet print
Could it be that
Ridley Scott’s Alien exists
will this make sense and how
a billion years past
or a billion billion
will we be back now
or stuck in hell. What
will be remembered
The Duellists or (the) Duel?

Andrew Cocktoe

Dinner in Paris

I have no idea why, but I thought the Mona Lisa would taste better.

H. Victory


“For those
that have been asking,”
she announced
for all of Facebook
to read or ignore.
“My BMI has
dropped from 26
to 22.1.”

I’m suspicious
that anyone
even asked.
And if they did,
surely she could have
told them directly.

Mansour Chow

The Look in Its Eyes

“It’s the look in their eyes when we hit them, people and animals, that bothers me most,” the engineer said.

I don’t miss those conversations with engineers and conductors about the horrors of their jobs.

I don’t miss the three-hour delays for suicides, accompanied by fists pounding on windows when passengers realized they would not make graduations, weddings, and job interviews.

I don’t miss the café car attendant, who sang over the intercom in a shrill voice his invitation to the café car.

I don’t miss the cat lady, who claimed she kept her meowing cat zipped in her jacket for emotional support.

I don’t miss passengers with croup-sounding coughs asking to borrow my phone.

I don’t miss the sunburned faces and liquor-smelling belches of people boarding after a day at the horse races.

I don’t miss the nosy tax guy, who seemed to take pleasure in hearing about our pay cuts and layoffs during the Great Recession.

I don’t miss those things on 785 northbound.

But I miss the happy-go-lucky dog, that for years ran full speed alongside us every day at the same place and time, like clockwork, trying to keep up with our train.

I wish I could stop missing that dog, and wondering about the look the engineer last saw in its eyes.

Michael Carter


a black lab mix, she
sat next to me
on the front seat
of my truck.

Before I hit the gas
when the light
turned green,
I always said —
here we go now —
so Bela would be ready.

And damn it
if I didn’t say
the same thing
when the vet came
to give her the needle.


Jim Zola


You told me that all love goes to die at Leidseplein.
Back when your face was on mine,
your curled hair around my harsh fingers.

In that anti-squat, full of damp.
Our gas heaters of perpetual mourning.
where our life was filled with promises, overseas disasters and Albert Heijn carrier bags.

So this is my goodbye to you.
Here, by the edge of Leidseplein,
Where the terse policemen breathalyse drunken tourists.

The cold lamps swing blindly from the dead trees.
And I wait willingly despite it all,
to watch you move off sweetly into the world.

Gemma Morrison