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Author: Dual Coast Magazine

The Nuisance-at-First by John Gabriel Adkins

The Nuisance-at-First    Powerline Andy is voice-strong, and he hand-dangles from black cables about twenty-nine feet away, yelling at you. And you can’t get closer—Andy and his cables are always about-twenty-nine feet away, in awkward-shouting distance. At first, when you see him over the sink window while washing dishes rubber-glovedly, he is a nuisance to you. When he follows you up Mount St. Helens on your hike, ever-yellingly, he graduates to pest. “Why are there power lines here?” you wonder. Your scenic ocean cruise brings Powerline Andy over the Atlantic on a still-more-unexplained cable that stretches into two horizons...

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Paw Prints in a Concrete Sidewalk by David Pring-Mill

Paw Prints in a Concrete Sidewalk    The sun has reached its winter zenith, with shadows long, with gentle, creeping light. As I trudge, there is something immensely satisfying, seeing animal paw prints in concrete, seeing the permanence of this accidental art. And then, there is the worry, of imagining some cat somewhere skulking with the weight of cement...

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Gypsy Moth Summer by Patricia Flaherty Pagan

Gypsy Moth Summer    All I really heard was “accident” and “your brother.” The music vacuum had clued me in that something was wrong. There was no Carole King, no Don McLean, not even The Eagles, playing on the eight-track. I squinted over at my dad, but he was looking down at a single caterpillar defiling the steering wheel. Despite the breeze coming in through his open window, his face and scalp shone with sweat. He wore his blue, button-down Oxford shirt and had removed his navy tie. Without mom to iron our clothes, all his shirts had waves...

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Battlefield National Park by Becky Marietta

Battlefield National Park    When my teenage son shouts at me that I am “worthless” as his father retreats hastily behind closed lids, feigning sleep, (perhaps because he agrees), I flee, climb into my car, drive away fast   to Battlefield, where I calm, drowse, dream, sometimes reading, sometimes writing, mostly just lying quietly on the old quilt I keep in the trunk, my mind carefully still.   Exhausted by inertia, eyes burning, I stare up between the tangled branches of trees that are over a hundred years old into the blue sky above.   They are unimpressed, these...

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The Best I Can by Peter Chawaga

The Best I Can   The name of my building appeared suddenly on the phone and I answered it. I had been sitting anxiously on the couch of my shared apartment, dressed and ready to go. “You’ve got a visitor Nick,” the caller said. “He wants you to come downstairs. He went back out into the cold to wait.” When I arrived in the lobby, I could see him standing outside and looking over the street. I nodded to the doorman behind the desk, pushed through the revolving door and stepped towards his figure. I was hit instantly by...

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A Sip of You by Scott Hotaling

A Sip of You    As I take a sip of wine that I hope will blind me from my sins, I notice a man drowning himself in scotch and ask him if I can buy him another round.  He blows me a kiss as he stumbles away and I envy the man for trying. A woman drinks a beer from a champagne glass and I can’t imagine what she’s celebrating.  She orders another as I whisper in her hair and kiss her blue lipstick like it was my own.  I take her hand but she pulls me back,...

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