300,001

By: Laura K.

My grandfather died yesterday, of COVID. He was ninety, but not waiting to die. He used to fly planes into hurricanes and he adored his great-grandkids. 

There will be no funeral, no looking at pictures with my aunts. 

Over in the next universe, there is a hell of a party, with ice cubes in the white wine and everyone acting Midwestern stoic but elated, except my sister, who is just giddy. 

No invite to that party, yet. Instead, I feel guilty, but take my ‘bereavement leave.’ I buy some Christmas presents online and go for a walk.  And….that’s it. 

A Single Artichoke

By: Andrew Dahl

There is something to be said for

the sound of the wind.

Something to be said for a throbbing

quiet. And then,

of course,

there is the keen ache of

a pure loss. Something unconfused,

unentangled. Like the death

of a pet.

There is something to be said for

even

a single steamed artichoke and an

isolated glass of white wine.

Soren rubbed the condensation

on the outside of the glass,

the drops fusing

and tumbling.

He looked out the window,

saw the tarp over the dog house

flapping in the wind,

valiantly. The urgent

quiet pressed

against his ears.

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