Our most heartfelt congratulations and thanks to our very first Portal Prize winner for Speculative Fiction, Elizabeth Browne, for her story “Family Mart.”
by Manne Green
Jackie had gotten it into his head that his new neighbor might have kids the same age as him that he could become best friends with.
I wish death were a man in a black cloak. / At least than I’d have some company.
The High Sierra hangs / suspended between the wing / and the sunken edge / of the caldera.
by James Hartman
The park is close to the chaos of Michigan’s largest shopping outlets, and I guess I chose this park for its proximity to this chaos.
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by Aysia Torres
XX was taught that her worth was determined by how much money she earned. Are women worth less than men if they make less money?
by Tommy Dean
Even CNN was reporting the end of the world. There were rules, and we were about to break them.
by E.T. Parker
John the Baptist stands on the corner / of First and Shaw sporting / a pink cape and inline skates. / He holds a simple white sign: JESUS.
by Dr. Donna Roberts
A scientist friend of mine once remarked, “What is the point of all this emotion? It just gets in the way.”
by Nels Hanson
By night the owl attacks the crow, / day the crow the sleeping owl, ego / and shadow, shadow and ego, forever, / as long as there are owls and crows.
by Matt Forsythe
“Look at the bright side,” my sister told me. “You’ll always be famous.”
by Alec Osthoff
You call the drink a Tom Collins. It makes you more alert to the thin black arm hairs of the man you’re talking to. He’s a spoken word poet—Shelly introduced you, and you haven’t had sex since last spring semester.
When the synagogue told me / we’d be going to the duck pond to / cast away our sins / I thought, that’s not fair to the ducks.
by Jennifer Pruiett-Selby
I’m not comfortable telling you how much I weigh. I’m not even okay with being weighed at the doctor’s office. In fact, I’ll avoid going to the doctor altogether, if it means I won’t have to step onto the scale and brace myself.
by Alan Swyer
Years ago, when I was still relatively new to Los Angeles, I was walking to lunch one day with someone who would become a mentor when a distinguished-looking older man gasped. “Rod Amateau! Fuck you!”