Issue #82

Spring 2022

Spin, Box Office, and Makeover

by Cheryl Snell


The man under the black bowler twirls its brim. The pinch of thumb and forefinger courts a gust of wind, if that's possible. There is rotation: faster and faster it spins, until the hat begins to rise. Suddenly the man is in a Magritte painting, floating skyward toward the idea of clouds.


Box Office

Someone yells fire! and suddenly we're running past exits, extinguishers and alarms, reaching the sidewalk just in time to watch the theater explode, lobby filling with popcorn while the overflow of white flakes escapes out of ruined doors and windows that rise into the damaged sky like so much applause.



When they married, she thought of him as her life jacket. Happiness enveloped her with waterproof arms that stretched along the seam of sea and sky. She felt safe and became strong because of it. He, on the other hand, became jealous. Such strength in a woman is not natural, he decided, but after a few months of tinkering and whittling her down to size, the man complained. It's easier to add than to subtract. The woman might have replied, I could have told you that, but she was no longer herself. She lost her balance, her reach, her know-how. Listing like a figurehead on a ship, she began to drown. It's the fault of the leaky valve in your chest, the man said. You were the one who convinced me it was my heart, she replied.

Author Bio


Cheryl Snell's books include poetry and fiction. Her work has appeared this year in The Ekphrastic Review, Eunoia Review, Six Sentences, and others. She lives with her husband, a mathematical engineer, twelve miles from Washington, D.C.