Issue 2.27

Harbor Mountain Road in mid-July comes up through the floorboards

high doses of
can reduce
placebo effect is
as effective as
medicine, 50%
of the time.
we come to
believe things
as “true” and
then not only
build identities
around these
“truths” but
actively attempt
to dismantle that
and those
in disagreement.

last night i
sat in the
passenger seat
of a
as it
drove down a
dust seeped
in through holes
in the floorboards
the driver of
the vehicle
had to take
frequent and
deep breaths
in order to
my company.

Sometimes on a boat. Sometimes on an island. maybe up in the alpine. Perhaps in a field. Likely in a parking lot, on a dock, skittering and stuttering on some patch of land. Zak Schafer writes and he roams around. Having lived in many different places, Zak’s writing is most interested in looking at what it is to be human, how we are inhabited by the places we live, and how we are all far more alike than not. For more information, visit


When I was seven I was looking at some old photographs of my family crossing the Atlantic on a freighter. My dad, looking younger than I could remember, was pushing me in a stroller. My mother was there, too, smiling in those high heels that hurt her feet so much later.

That night I dreamed I was a baby in a green dining room on the freighter, eating chocolate cake with my father. When I asked him about it, Dad said we did actually do that one day, while Mom was taking a nap. I was filled with wonder that the pictures could link me to my past, recovering a time already lost—infancy, my parents still unequivocally in love, my father’s music performed occasionally in New York.

It’s all gone now, of course. People don’t take freighters much anymore. Cigarettes killed my dad, and hardly anyone plays the music he wrote. My mother developed late-onset paranoid schizophrenia. She lives in an institution far away. The last time I saw her, she reached out from her wheelchair like a child, and we kissed. I had a feeling she needed more love than I could give her.

Lorna Wood is a violinist and writer in Auburn, Alabama. Her creative nonfiction has appeared in Wiki LitScarlet Leaf Review, and Lemon Theory. Her flash fiction has appeared on The NoSleep PodcastCanyons of the DamnedEvery Day Fiction, and Wild Violet, among others, and her horror flash, “The Splitting,” was a finalist in Sharkpack Poetry Review’s Valus’ Sigil contest. She has also published poetry, longer fiction, and scholarly essays. Find out more at

Twenty Below

Snow drifts
inside my house, on my foundation
where strict Baptist children
wonder what happened,
why their prayers were never answered.

The window pane
in my bedroom is a solid sheet
      of ice. I hope it doesn’t shatter           
during the night. My prayers
are always answered
in unexpected ways.

Snow flakes have fused themselves
in swirling aurorae,
      curtains of gold-and-green bone dust,
micro-graded, pasteurized,
glass eyes rolling off the dresser
into cupped hands.

I am needy and eating snow
with my mouth wide open,
   my head cocked to the left,
      pushing drifts into the back
of my throat where my mama lives.

John Dorroh has never fallen into an active volcano or caught a hummingbird. However, he has baked bread with Austrian monks and consumed a healthy portion of their beer. Two of his poems were nominated for Best of the Net. Others have appeared in journals such as Feral, Selcouth Station, North Dakota Quarterly, River Heron, and Burningword. His first chapbook will be published in 2022.