Zero Readers

Category: Issues

Sunday School

Megan Nichols Praying at the altar of mowed lawnsand bursting hydrangeas, worshippingthe rumble of engines turning over, alongthe narrow row of our dead end street,I drink coffee in the matriarch neighbor’s driveway,her dogs let out like dandelion seeds. My son will be late to learn his hymnsbut early to learn about wheelbarrow rustand WD-40. What […]


Daniel J. Flosi you   wake   themorning     findits     seeds     inyour         palm now   you  mustscrape  the  dustfrom  rivers   ofsinewcrowned     likemaples       heldfast to the   sky                  still its            seedsremain  out  ofreachyou      scratchpockets  of  fatlined         goldcorvid       beakfinger   surgingrasping        onmusclemarked    withsalmon     scale stillthe    gift      is      untouchedso  you keep itclench     yourfist around theworm    tryingto   keep       it                 still Daniel J Flosi is an apparition living in a half acre coffin within the township of Rock Island, IL between the V of the Mississippi and Rock Rivers. 

Sister Mary Frances

Megan Riggle                                   with her wry grin—a smile that curled the lips even as the rest of her face resisted. She taught us Joan of Arc and that animals have no soul –which you outright rejectedand were sent home. That summer we held a mass burialfor a litter of kittens – ten in all –after they […]

Into the Darkness

Dre Hill Here are the quiet momentsthe whispering thoughtseatingat your wayward souldevouring your being.Here are the lingering queriescloudingyour sense of directionin a darkening hazesuggesting all that you lack.Here are the patches of darknessthe voids where light failsblottingout your hopes and joyswith a flood of viscous tearscongesting you with reality. Interested in the arts and storytelling […]

On this side of the mountain

Melody Wang the air was still. On his knees,arms grimy up to the elbows,the old man squinted to survey untouched terrain. His steady handwiped off a trickle of sweat, and I watchedas he cut inch-thick tubes of copper for another void-filling project. Hundredsof tiny, bleached half-shells lay scattered inthe dirt — an odd occurrence, origins […]

Seventy million years and yet

Emily Cotman tender palms indulge the weight of my cold silt spiral anchored radiant across timeshe settles and ipulse again once her eyes well with curves chasms darkness endless she worries her saltwater will dullmy iridescenceoh honey snug at her chest waves resonate already ate just this clings all i need drifts towardthe shoal neglectingdeep […]

Midnight Shift

PS Nolf Aerosol adhesive from the spray gun blows−the polyurethane parts marchingfront and back andfront and back−green and orange hummingbirds in her lungs,nights working the manufacturing line,days doused with drugs and dead dreams.Broken Buddhas line her window sill. Upon graduating from college, the best paid jobs PS Nolf could find were in factories: stitching crotches […]

Caged Thing

Jeana Jorgensen My heart is a caged, battered thing,a medieval city with two sets of walls,a fortress built from stonesbearing bloody handprints,teary streaks, remindersthat barriers do two things,they exist for a reason,and they come with a cost.For now I bear the bruises,take pride in my strong walls,patch the cracks when I feel weak.Tomorrow might be […]

Try counting raindrops in a storm

Ryan Alexander It’s UberEats. It’s super cheap.It’s 3-4-2. It’s just for you.It’s order now. It’s holy cow.It’s extra cheese. It’s hidden fees.It’s corporate culture. It’s awful vultures.It’s Black Lives Matter, so do profits.It’s idle chatter, new false prophets.It’s market makers, movers, shakers.It’s Wall Street wisdom.It’s stocks that fly. It’s men that die.It’s knees on necks. […]

Exonerate Me

Kaisa Saarinen Let me be your little moon,lunar beck, a dionean shipwreck.Take me off your orbit soon –I’ll still dream your hands around my neck. You must be sick of hearing me apologiseso exonerate me, take away my voice.Make a noose for me, I’ll follow through,praying mute and powder-blue. I’m so tired of negotiation. Give […]