"can I be your headless, shitty man?"/"kiddos"/"more important than laughing" by C.T. McGaha

can i be your headless, shitty man?

i’ve never watched sleepy hollow
in any iteration

so i guess i’ve never had
the right idea about it.

because it seems like just some
asshole throwing pumpkins

or his own fucking head
at the townspeople around.

but there’s no spectacle in that:
i’d do the same thing

if i knew how
to ride a horse.

          for haley joel osment

sometimes i feel
like macaulay culkin
or kelly kapowski
sitting on the pool edge
dangling toes into
lukewarm chlorine
wondering when
molting season begins.

more important than laughing

our friend matt
committed suicide.

he worked at the bar
where we all used to go
and i’d ask for a beer
and he’d give it to me
and i would tip him
and he would nod.

          and he hung himself last night.

my friend grant
committed suicide.

i’d watch his band play
and i’d applaud
and i’d buy him a beer
and he’d ask how i was
and i’d say i was fine
and he’d say he was fine.

          and he flung himself off a parking garage last september.

what does it mean
to be loved and cared for
and known and made important?
i’m asking you
as i sit on the stoop
of my town home

do you love?
c.t. mcgaha is a writer from charlotte, nc. he is the founder and co-editor of Vanilla Sex Magazine. His work has appeared in Juked, Potluck Mag, 90s Meg Ryan, and some others. he watches curb your enthusiasm a lot and listens to silver jews a lot, too. he's not on twitter a bunch, but you can follow him: @ctmcgaha.

"For My Partner, Who Witnessed the Revolution Differently on Primetime" by Alina Stefanescu

A dress is a name
you remember, one way to wind
down before the tumult of targets.
An eye for an eye
is a toothache at
dinner. We rarely talk about

1989 or the revolution
you glimpsed from a couch
in American accents
the Romanian comes off
ridiculous. What took
them so long? is the
last thing you wondered.

The same thing you wonder again.
If your mother wore scrunchies
and unflattering leggings then 1990
was the year she planned after-school
Bible crafts. Gold star stickers
stickers given to boys who
recited certain verses.

I like thinking about you
trying to remember psalms
for tinfoil prizes. I like
to pretend it was different
from how I grew up.
How Mom paid me to
memorize poems by Donne
and Kipling. How she waited
in the living room for me to
say them aloud before guests.

I like thinking how a dress
becomes a name she wore
to the table where nouns
remained mostly foreign objects.
Place settings as situations
we grow through
while family remains
that costume you can’t
take off. The one Halloween
people hold against you.
A revolution you watched on TV
was also the breaths we held back.
The way a word in one language
can be a fabric we lack in anOther.
Alina Stefanescu was born in Romania, raised in Alabama, and reared by various friendly ghosts. She won the 2015 Ryan R. Gibbs Flash Fiction Award and was a finalist for the 2015 Robert Dana Poetry Award. Her poetry and prose can be found in PoemMemoirStory, Shadowgraph Quarterly, Parcel, Noble Gas Quarterly, Minola Review, and others. Objects In Vases, a poetry chapbook, was published by Anchor & Plume in March 2016. A poem from this chapbook, "Oscar Dees, No Apologetics Please", has been nominated for a 2016 Pushcart Prize. Alina currently lives in Tuscaloosa with her partner and four friendly mammals. More online at www.alinastefanescu.com or @aliner.