Benumbed, I Slept by Gil Ochoa

Benumbed, I slept in the old house of winter as the Earth and sea began to stir. No creature sighs of grief when the thaw washes land, when the green awakens from the stone. Burrowers shake off their sheets of dirt. The soil hums with the murmurs of their dreams. A flock of birds sing…

TOGETHER FOREVER by Jane Oakeley

Missing for seventy-five years found in a melting glacier he a shoemaker and she a teacher a prolific Swiss couple Marcelin and Francine, had seven children she never climbed the glacier before and never would again. I imagine the fragrance of wine on their breath the sound of their laughter Marcelin singing sunshine on blue…

Yes, I am by Chivon Hernandez

I never thought it was a big deal, that I was Mexican and couldn’t speak Spanish. I grew up in a small country town where my cousins and I were the only Mexicans in our school besides maybe one other family. It was never brought to my attention that this was a bad thing. Growing…

Alice by Autumn Jaster

One Alice was a sickly child. By the time she was diagnosed with Astrocytoma at eight years old, she was in and out of St. Jude Children’s Hospital so often that her parents had given up on public school. Soon after her diagnosis, Alice underwent surgery. The surgery was a success, and she was brought…

Tanka by Gail Kuroda

Orange yellow red leaves confused on branches. Sleet snow / almost rain surprises inhabitants. Is it winter or autumn? Bio: Gail Kuroda works in the Libraries of UNC and the High Plains Library District. She likes to take writing courses to exercise the creative part of her brain. Gail considers herself more of an essayist…

Beauty by Tyler Swoboda

Growing beauty In a bed of Friend and foe You will become Magnificent Though not yet Now you are no Different from Your neighbor One day you’ll have Bright petals but Not right now Now you are a Green stem waiting For beauty

Coffee Shop Worries by Jasmine Szabo

I sank into a wooden coffee shop chair going soft with age. The music was a soft hum that blended into the sounds of pencil tapping, laughing friends, and exhausted concentration. The bitter taste of hot coffee was a welcomed gift to my senses. I’d hoped, incorrectly, that coffee would clear my mind. The trip…

Odd Spaces by Annika Jendzel-Scott

The Aims Review Literary/Arts Award Winner   I’m not sure if I believe in ghosts or monsters or any sort of God or gods. But I do believe in odd spaces, little moments and places where you feel something strange. They can be found anywhere and be any size.   There’s a space in my…

Interrupted Nightmare by Annika Jendzel-Scott

You found us in a dream of fear Swerving, screeching, we were thrown to the side Crushed by walls of cold steel and snow Beside that cursed, icy black road You pulled us from a mess of snarled shards Wrapped in feathers and static The harshness of the world faded From smoke and tearing, snow…

Bird Song by Bobby Deal

There was a time when I would never expect to hear the birds singing, welcoming the new day in a place like Brooklyn. This morning I was distracted by the complex melodies in their songs as I was walked to work at the coffee shop. It was the sound of screeching tires, crumpling metal and…

And In Other News by Bobby Deal

Legend holds and here is retold A vampire is buried in Colorado Lafayette is not His name Rather where he was laid Hidden atop another man’s grave Acorn seeded deep in his heart Nearly 100 years passed Before anyone noticed The Tall, wafer thin man Who sits as in effigy Atop of the tombstone. Beaver…

At the Appointed Time and Place by Bobby Deal

Head bowed, watching her feet moving towards an unavoidable encounter. Jo made her way cautiously down the isolated stretch of track.  The promise of revenge soured Jo’s stomach, yet resolutely she placed one foot in front of the next. Creeping ever closer to the inevitable. The note slipped under the door of her musty 3rd…

Extraterrestrial by Madison Williamson

There are so many things that could go wrong in space. The engineers could have forgotten a part to the ship, and it could spontaneously combust. We could ration our food incorrectly and starve. We could get sick and have all of the wrong medications to treat it. We could be hit by an asteroid…

Warm Pride by Erik McCrain

Be sure to leave without a coat. Walking in the sleet looks Like a madman against winter’s wrath. If the coat is brought, The drivers see A man too sane to be anything– Other than too poor to drive.

System Report by Erik McCrain

Man be blessed and drones be praised, We give our drives to thee. Command us not to overclock, And reformat us in your image. Thank you for code-to-text, And blessed be text-to-speech. Program us to better serve, And please renew our warranty. We are indebted, yet still we ask, In proper, British tones: Why must…

The Fear Catcher by Erik McCrain

Getting out of bed had become easier for me. It used to be impossible for me to get out from under the covers. I put a dozen alarm clocks on the other side of the room. When all of them blared at once, it forced me to get out and shut them all off. Even…

dredge by Kendra Griffin

dredge it was the witches did it. newtless, even. betwixt early thaw and late freeze they conjured a blizzard, roiled the conifers, boiled the maple pitch down to base then spilled their cauldron across the backyard. a pond swelled. pine-needle stew bubbled from hollows as All swallowed All. rust, bud, bolt, root, bramble, suckle, stamen,…

Speaking Silently by Heather Taranto

I was both nervous and excited. As I walked into the classroom, my excitement growing in my chest much like that of a child on Christmas day, I slowly made my way to my chair choosing the seat closest to the door. While I was sitting in my cold hard chair and waiting with anticipation…

Famous by Timothy Meier

“I just talked to a news reporter. I’m going to be famous.” Guy bounced on his toes and smiled proudly at his coworker. She looked back at him with a mostly understanding smile and replied slowly, “You is famous?” “Yep, I’m going to be famous. The newspaper wants to write an article about me.” “Why…

Another Day by Jonny Myers

Just another day in the office and it is the same routine: open the vault, get the stations ready for the tellers, open the doors and get ready to greet the customers. Suzanne has worked as the bank manager for 15 years and nothing exciting had happened, until today.   Suzanne kept mostly to herself…

The spider by Eric Bolson

Then came a spider, efficient and horrid. Hoary limbs mincing, such terrible precision! Sable garbed, she glides, Balanced on daggered points Working in clockwork rhythm. Needling her way forward, such frightful care, One, two, tickling across my bound hands. Bio: I have been an Aims student since they used trimesters, way back in 1993 (off…

Thai Me a River by Eric Bolson

The account you are about to hear is true. Names have been changed to protect the innocent, but the events depicted, to the best of my knowledge, are as closely aligned to what actually happened as Santa Claus is to the birth of Christ. My younger son was visiting during the summer a few years…

A Gnome’s Bargain by Josh Lopez

The woods of Westin Hallow were always a foreboding place. The false night created by hundreds of pine skyrocketing above the ground often created a creepy feeling. At times, the woods were so dense that there was little noise to hear but for the echoing beat of one’s heart. It was a wonder that meek…

Russian Roulette by Kayla Mey

“You have been a naughty little girl,” Maddox said as he pulled up a chair and spun it around to lean his torso against the chair back when he sat down. “You have been digging around and sticking your nose into places it shouldn’t be.” “Can’t be helped,” I replied, folding my arms and crossing…

Missing You by Kayla Mey

Sometimes, when I’m listening to a peppy song or watching a funny video, I think of you. On days when I’m feeling down, I long to turn to you. When I’m with my friends, you often are a topic that comes up in conversation. I still look at all of the drawings and drafts I…

Honor Killing by Kali Rice

The death of my resolve comes swift Like the hand of God, the war began to shift With a bullet in the head of hesitation Into the dark, a sublime declaration Thrust to cold oceans, a vast separation I mirrored your defeat in so many ways But never found value in neither damning nor praise…

Fault Lines by Kali Rice

The last judgement is one of my own construction With futile consolation I reach a vain junction This endeavor seemed to consume me in a desperate fervor And left me weakened in the blue glow of machine-light It’s a splintered road from here on out I expected too little to be so full of doubt…