A Dream Lover by Frederick K Foote

You’re alone hurrying by under cloudy night skies.

I’m lost in the shadows on the lips of the fetid alley. I’m feverish, near fainting, fading, fading away. You catch a glimpse of me, spy me, eye me, wonder, imagine me. You race away to lock your doors, check your windows.

In your simple underwear you slip between smooth, clean, cotton sheets and dream me, dream me tall, slender, strong.

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Tender Kentucky by Emma Dahlsten

Carrie tilts her head on the back of the vinyl seat on Bus 109 and breathes deeply for the first time in two weeks. The collar of her pressed white uniform is smudged with day old makeup and tears. Her shifts at Memorial Hospital are becoming longer and her patience shorter for the everyday cold and flu vaccinations. She lets her head roll until the tip of her nose touches frosted glass. Her eyes flutter open to see a man in his seventies, draped in loose cotton, stare back at her and wave. The man gives a one-toothed grin and turns his back, shielding whatever sits behind his tall frame. She allows her eyelids to become heavy and falls asleep to the soft lull of the bus’s engine as it trucks through Louisville, Kentucky.

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A Frog’s Home is Called a Pond by Bryan Okwesili

I know you grew up on the streets, that you feel the streets made you, that you are now the streets, maybe just a human version. I know that when you were younger, death led your parents along and your relatives rejected you saying you were bad omen, that whenever you passed something gets missing. But you knew you were not a thief, that you could do nothing with your skinny limbs, so you told everyone you met on the streets that your relatives were wicked. But those strangers never understood you because you spoke Igbo in a city dominated by pidgin speaking strangers. The few who understood you called you a liar, ajo nwa, a bad child. You must have been six then.

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