by Michelle Chan Brown

Mobile Home

Another ship inside some bottle.

Clumsy rudder. A naked deck.

Here part the velveteen curtains.

Here is the overwatered plant. 

The sailor’s mouths, salt-crazed.

Familial love’s drained all water.

The only living things do their living

Inside the refrigerator. Plans glow,

Hatch fetid eggs, plump, rot, grow sad

And drape themselves all over us. 

The gypsies collect interest in our futures.

The gypsies balkanize our spoils.

The brown boys eye our teeth, products

Of first-world surgeons. Chew on this,

They seem to say. Our brass. We can’t,

Busy as California scarecrows with aligning

Smiles. The gypsies cure our fine filets,

Distill prayers from a star-struck night.

Will my future lovers be beautiful monks?

We turn on the TV again. Another island,

Sunk. I hum the filial hymn: limes, gin.

My mother, unable to carry a tune, opted

To cut her throat out. Her silence is mistaken

For calm. The fireplace, a grand crematorium.

Survivors can be located by the juniper

Notes of their ashes. The gypsies bastardize 

Our shanty. We’re too drunk to swim 

Or know which notes are wrong. Anyway, 

My father’s gods nod their bobble-heads along.

Michelle Chan Brown’s Double Agent was the winner of the 2012 Kore First Book Award, judged by Bhanu Kapil. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Blackbird, Cimarron Review, Linebreak, The Missouri Review, Quarterly West, Sycamore Review, Witness and others. A Kundiman fellow, Michelle lives in Washington DC, where she teaches, writes, and edits Drunken Boat.

by Alicia Salvadeo


In summer my tender

knee scabs come off

soft in the water 

first communion diadem 

discarded long ago

strewn about the old

new town, busy third street

School is out, soon we’ll get

a bluer pair of school shoes

same as last year

and my sisters were literally

born on the Fourth

when I was two

and we were so much

blonder then

Now missile noises in our

band of mouths    canonballing

This is our chlorine sheen

little resplendent

facts wrapped up in

theme towels, bleach-stained

ariel and flounder

Alicia Salvadeo lives in Pittsburgh, PA. She is the author of two chapbooks: Memory Milk (Diamond Wave Press, 2012) and Err to Narrow (Poetry Society of America, 2014). Her poetry and criticism appear or are forthcoming in Sentence, Bombay Gin, The Volta, Phantom Limb, DIAGRAM,and SOFTBLOW.

by Emily Brandt

A Key Is Tied to Ankle

A sign painted dead whale

isn’t lying.

Take a closer look:

the water is filthymom 


The water is filth.

Smells more like roadkill than fishgut

and no one carries a gun

not the cops or anyone. 

They eat sharks that swim 

then sink like a stone at the mention

of your swing set disappearance 

and reappearance as driver 

of the all-girls’ ice-cream truck

bracelets on all of their legs.

We get to know each other

in strange ways these days.

Come over.

I’ve got nine Barbies and you can bring Han Solo

and things will get good.

I might wet the bed

but a good friend would never

would just brush the crumbs out of the sheets.

Emily Brandt edits No, Dear magazine. She earned her MFA from New York University where she was awarded a fellowship to teach Creative Writing to veterans of the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Her poems have recently appeared in Epiphany, Berkeley Poetry Review, Lyre Lyre, and Jellyfish. She teaches in Brooklyn.

by Austin Hayden

The World’s Finest Journalism

I slide over for another Two-Hearted.  I’m with Rosie.  I just met her, so I get her one, too, because Hoosier hospitality.  Rosie is in her early twenties, like me.

We’re at The Dorothy in Plainfield, Indiana.  This place is lit like the bar in Cheers.  They’ve got pub burgers and greasy fries.  That Goo Goo Dolls song is on.

We start talking.

Rosie grew up in Urbana, Illinois.  I think about how see-through a city named after being a city must be.  Then I consider Plainfield.

My girlfriend works the 7:00 PM to 3:00 AM shift at an IBM call center.  She gets home every morning and puts on a pot of coffee.  She drinks a few cups before bed.  The caffeine makes her dreams more vivid, more alive. 

I show Rosie a photo of her on my iPhone.  She bobs her head up and down.

Then we’re quiet.  

She nods again.  This time it’s because her beer tastes good, I guess.

She’s a journalism student.  Interns for a newspaper.  

My glass is all foam, so I get another.  I go “ahhhh,” after I take a drink.  

The bartender switches the TV to a local station.  On the screen, this dude holds a giant check in front of his fat gut.  $500,000.  The studio audience roars for him, but the sound’s off in the bar.  

The caption reads [ Applause ].

Rosie asks, “What would you do if you had that much money?”  I look around the room.  I tell her what I can come up with.  


Rosie breathes in brightly, pulls a pen from her pocket, scribbles on a napkin.  She fills up one square with words.  Grabs another, then a stack.  

I try to ask.  

She shushes me and scratches something out, replacing it with a scrawl floating on the edge.

I close my eyes to see under her skin where her wrist bones jostle and the meat of her hands crinkles.

Her typewriter (that’s right) is in her backpack, and it takes a full-bodied thrust to get this honking case on the table.  While she’s doing that, I dish out for two more beers. I look over at our table like, “What the?” thinking, “People still use those things?”

It takes her ten minutes to churn out a page.  She slides the sheet to me the way some people do just before they say, “This is my offer.”  And it feels like that.

It is a newspaper story about me if I won the Hooiser Lottery.  Rosie worked the case thoroughly.  Shed serious light.  I read it.  Then scan over it again.  The second time through, the marrow deep inside my arms vibrates like I’m growing.

Now she smashes keys again, so I ask what she’s doing.  This one’s a copy for her portfolio.  

I ask if she’ll autograph mine.  She stops typing and squiggles her name at the bottom of my page.

She finishes and the typewriter dings.  We clunk our glasses together, then, in mouthfuls, finish our drinks.  She flicks fizz from her lips.  Gets a glimpse of the clock, nods at it like an ex-boyfriend or an old neighbor, someone who has seen a lot of her back when but who doesn’t have much to say to her now.

She puts on her jacket.  We hug.  Something smells ripe like produce. 

The sun isn’t up when she swings open the door to leave.  

But I can tell it just rained.


When I get back home, my girlfriend’s Keds are by the door.  She is sprawled across the bed, stomach down, arms out.  A cinnamon candle flickers on the end table.  

I scoot her over gently.  Her breath is heavy, powerful, deep.  I graze her back with my fingertips, spell out her name like always.  

I read the story again.  I get to the end, and I follow the loops of Rosie’s signature.  My eyes hit the head of the page, rereading top to bottom.  

I shuffle for a pen in the nightstand drawer.  My girlfriend rolls to her side and whines something in gibberish, and I sign my name right next to Rosie’s.

Austin Hayden lives on a porch in Muncie, IN. He runs 90’s Meg Ryan and works at NOÖ Journal. He’s doing just fine...