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What’s in a Name
Paul Beckman

     Koch, Fuchs, Johnson, and Katz were the starting four of five on their small elite college basketball team while Lichter was the fifth, as well as center and the captain. I'm not going to dignify the remarks shouted at these guys when they played away games but suffice it to say they were all about sex and bodily functions and God forbid should Koch, take the ball down court, pass it to Fuchs and then to Johnson. The away game radio announcers only made things worse with their repeated corrections until their lips were a daisy chain of the suggestive.

Paul Beckman used to be a Realtor, Air Traffic Controller, Saloon Keeper, Pin Setter, Numbers Runner & many other things. These days he's a Zeyde who writes, travels and takes pictures both above and beneath the water. Some publishing credits: Metazen, Connotation Press, Existere, Boston Literary Magazine, Molotov Cocktail, Pure Slush, The Brooklyner, 5 Trope, Blink-Ink, Litro, Soundzine, Opium, Playboy, The Connecticut Review, Ascent Aspirations and other fine publications on line, in print & via audio. He can be reached at beckman.paul@gmail.com & visited at his published story website paulbeckmanstories.com.

Heather Bourbeau

     She was grey and sublime as she walked past. He was envious—always—of how women aged, become more dignified, their cheekbones more defined, their ease with themselves apparent. He was edging toward the end of his attractiveness, he could feel it—the peak. Soon his beautiful bottom would sag, his solid abs would soften. He would lose and gain hair in all the wrong places, and he would try to pluck, then cover wayward greys. Oh, how he wanted to nuzzle in her arms, feel her confidence radiate onto him, lock her love in before she noticed his decline.

Heather Bourbeau is a Berkeley-based writer. She was a finalist for the Randall Jarrell Poetry Prize and winner of the Pisk! Poetry Slam. Her journalism has appeared in The Economist, The Financial Times and Foreign Affairs. Her first collection of poetry, Daily Palm Castings, profiles people in overlooked professions.

     Her eyes were as big as fists. They said, like black planets and her smoke-breath red, when she stood outside with her cigarette. They wanted to take her back, x-ray her insides.
     “No, I'm normal. Always red on the inside.”
     When Daddy came, he didn't gasp or fuss. Run for your life, Daddy should have said.
     He should have kept driving until her eyes were ice-blue starfish again. He pulled up to the house and kept the engine running.
     "Go on, he's probably sorrier than hell by now."
     She squinted through the slits, mumbled through purple balloon-lips. "Okay, Daddy."

A.M. Gwynn writes poetry and short fiction. Her poetry will be featured in a forthcoming issue of War, Literature and the Arts: An International Journal of the Humanities. She resides in Germany.

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