Short Fiction
Rachel Swirsky

Wake Up, I Miss You

The noise wakes the trees outside the hospital window. They stretch and shake out their leaves. A dislodged sparrow turns toward me and gapes open its beak. It squawks “beep beep beep” and I realize it’s been doing that the whole time. There are other noises, too—a distant, distorted voice like a conductor shouting into a bad mic—are we near a train station?

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Short Fiction
Rachel Swirsky

Abomination Rises on Filthy Wings

My wife lolls in front of the TV, spread out on the sofa, eyes glazed and mouth open, illuminated by flickering light. Her empty–eyed stare is so vacuous that it looks like she could have died there, stuffing her brain with the shopping channel.

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Award Nominees
Rachel Swirsky

If You Were a Dinosaur, My Love

If you were a dinosaur, my love, then you would be a T-Rex. You’d be a small one, only five feet, ten inches, the same height as human-you. You’d be fragile-boned and you’d walk with as delicate and polite a gait as you could manage on massive talons. Your eyes would gaze gently from beneath your bony brow-ridge.

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Poetry
Rachel Swirsky

Thirteen

Jacob’s wife is always screaming: Cheat! Scoundrel! Layabout! Scrooge!
Jacob takes solace in the mausoleum. Girls there are quiet.

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Short Fiction
Rachel Swirsky

Decomposition

New Year’s celebrations crashed through the streets of Whitcry in a din of masks and swirling petticoats. Pottery smashed against cobbles, women’s shouts echoed from garrets, men groaned and fought and pissed.

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Poetry
Rachel Swirsky

Black, Red, White

On her wedding day
she is red and black and white:
cheeks flushed with desire,
dark hair spilling over bridal gown.

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