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     Monica decides against the silk flowers and continues up the aisle empty-handed. Does this place sell anything worth buying? At the altar, she looks past Dave to check out the selection of bow ties and cummerbunds on the groomsmen. Too late to change her mind. She's already been rung up.

The Pain of Knowledge
Lois Elaine Heckman

     The boy had never been to a spring fair. He was fascinated by the motherly cow with her big wet nose. He moved up close, winning his tender kiss, which rasped the skin off his chin like a coarse file. Sometimes a friendly tongue teaches us our most painful lessons.

Lois Elaine Heckman grew up in Los Angeles, receiving a degree in Italian from UCLA. She has lived for forty-five years as an expat in Milan, Italy, becoming a volunteer nurse and first aid instructor for the Italian Red Cross. Her poems have appeared in The Shine Journal and The Fib Review, and another work will be published in an upcoming issue of Short, Fast, and Deadly. She is the proud winner of the 2010 New England Shakespeare Festival Rubber Ducky Sonnet Contest.

Barr Bielinski lives on Cape Cod Bay and is a member of Grub Street Writers. She has a story in the current issue of Infinity's Kitchen.

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