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Alisa Slaughter

Alisa Slaughter lives near Los Angeles, where she teaches at a small private university and goes to the theater as often as possible. Her work has appeared in several literary journals, including The Missouri Review, Santa Monica Review, Natural Bridge, Alimentum, Transformation, and Terrain.org.

Jessica Machado

Jessica Machado is a freelance writer and editor who lives in Brooklyn. She’s written about city culture for various papers and sites in New York, Los Angeles, Honolulu and Portland, Oregon. Her most recent work can be found in Bust Magazine and More Intelligent Life, the arts and culture offshoot of The Economist. Currently, she’s working on a memoir about her isolated childhood in Hawaii and the years she spent trying to soothe that isolation in the vast chaos of Los Angeles. You can also find her at baggageclaimed.tumblr.com.

Heart Decay

By Brie Huling

I’m hiding inside my vestibule of hearts today—
among the lanceflower and sour purslane.

I am a little millipede with antennas like an old school radio

the weeds are wracked and riddled,
all wrapped around me.

I’m taking wild guesses about eternity
but there’s no reception
through all this
static:
all the racket blocked
by branches of the wishkisscolor tree
painted out back near the tired cathedral.

I am trying to forget you. Again.
I’m shouting!
I am eating flowers!
Suddenly!
Now.

A silhouette of a past is hanging from a limb of the sorry tree over there—
my vestibule is directly under this jacaranda.
When I …

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