'Man Drowns In Cruise Ship Pool'

Kevin Casey

The rich and krill-thick brine that rinses
the lungs’ pink coral, and the light shafts
piercing the pearls of breath that rise
in spirals toward the mottled sun -- 

O, there's forty fathom or more below, 
no danger there from wreck nor gale
amidst the veils of kelp.  But you weren’t
wrapped in an oil-skin and jumper, a clewline
trailing from your hand as you sank away
back into the arms of the cold Atlantic, 
rueing this life’s brief shore leave, 
to live your death among the horned wrack
and sand sharks that prowl
the channel to St. George’s port.

Denied that secret of the mariner’s dream, 
you bob back to the surface of a bright, 
tiled pool, through the thin film of chlorine
that foams about your limbs as you’re pulled
into the shallow end, your fellow passengers
horrified and leering, deck chairs scattered. 

Still, high above, a gull rides the following wind
to guide you back north, the rudder swung hard over, 
past the light that guards the ledges off Cohasset.

Dragons

Elizabeth Gibson

I line my dragons up to fight: Double Flame, Hot Metal, Armadillo.

Today I have been annoyed by the lack of breakfast in my residence;

they promised it, I got ready for nothing.

I was so angry.

 

Then I remembered that I am in a new Battle League with the dragons, finally,

after beating that Level 25 Mystic War monster, Raphael

and his little posse.

Mine are all in the late teens level-wise; I had no chance

but somehow I did it.

 

I click happily on the new league to start off where I finished last night. The first dragon appears.

I feel that burning dismay I’d forgotten about last night:

these dragons are all Levels 5 and 7 and 10. They’re babies.

So small compared to mine. Some of them are seriously cute.

I hate sending a tongue of flame their way or ninja stars or cannon balls or asteroids

when they can only manage a simple punch

but I grit my teeth. Get a grip. It’s a game. You can’t deliberately lose.

That would be stupid.

So I wipe them out, slowly, one by one.

 

A Butterfly Dragon appears.

I remember being dumbfounded by beauty when I first hatched

mine all those months ago.

You wouldn’t think they were so easy to get, 

such is their magnificence. They are not cutesy. They are powerful and striking.

They are also way bigger than seemingly all the other dragons on account

of their wings which billow around them.

I bite my lip then that coldness comes over me. I press electric shock and my Hot Metal Dragon, Kappa, sends a fizz of electricity to the butterfly.

His great wings flicker and go out, like a light.

 

“Gold” by Spandau Ballet is playing on the 80s medley I have in the background.

I don’t really like that song, I never have. I try to feel victorious.

It’s hard.

 

My final victim – no, opponent – is a Tropical Dragon.

They look like trees and when they breathe swirls of dark green leaves pour from their mouths.

It’s one of the most beautiful animations I’ve ever seen.

I watch, mesmerised as ever, tears in my eyes

before I blow him to pieces.

 

Finishing, I look down on the islands with their dragons to compete against.

I love them. I love them all

OCD

by Theodore Caputi

On my first day of college

My roommate walked in

Four times

In sixty seconds

 

“What's wrong?”

I asked

“Fuck” he screamed

But not to me

 

I extended my hand

With an excited salutation

He refused

Until I used half a bottle of Purell

 

His luggage was a Tetris game

Packed in too neatly

Not a sock out of place

All color coordinated

 

I asked him why

He didn't say

Instead he yelled “shit!”

But it wasn’t to me

 

--

 

Two hours later

His room is perfect

Every angle is 90 degrees

Even his laundry is folded

 

He sits at his desk

Staring deep into

A Post-it-Note

That looks like a Jackson Pollock

 

I make the mistake

Of disclosing what is not mine

“I think he has OCD”

I tell a friend discretely

 

“Dude!

You're so lucky!

My roommate’s a slob”

They don't know what I know…

 

I saw him stare at that Post-it

For three fucking hours

Damn it! He screams

And thrusts his fist into our wall

 

I invited him to

A math study group

“Just give me a second”

We left forty-two minutes later

 

We split up problems

0-10, 10-20, 20-30

Before he started we had finished

I was pissed

 

Can't you focus?

I screamed

Isn't that the only

Thing you can fucking do?

 

He stormed out

Without a word.

“Damnit” I said

and it was to me.

 

The demons of his mind

Played catch with his thoughts

It occupied his time. But he was but

The “monkey in the middle.”

 

-

 

We didn't speak too much

I was too embarrassed

He was too proud,

Too busy washing his hands.

A Post-It left on my door

 

"Had to had to

Had to take a leave”

 

He hasn’t been here for 3 months now.

His side of the room is still perfect.