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Unreliable-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Dealing with Mr. Blue-Fiction by Michael Lemieux
iFriend-Fiction by Jeff Dosser
Till Human Voices Wake Us-Fiction by John Post
Tape-Fiction by Will Bernardara Jr.
Dead Drunk in Glasgow-Fiction by j brooke
The Spot-Fiction by Rick McQuiston
Wait Until the Ice Melts-Fiction by Hillary Lyon
Tattooed Love Boys-Fiction by Greg Smith
The Losers-Fiction by John Short
Anger Serves a Greater Purpose-Fiction by Heather Santo
Odium Pentothal-Fiction by Steven M. Lerner
Finally Adopted-Flash Fiction by Tom Fillion
Boxing Day-Flash Fiction by K.J.Hannah Greenberg
Godmother-Flash Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
First Communion-Poem by Tom Fillion
Almost Gone-Poem by Henry Bladon
Foa Da Price of One-Poem by Joe Balaz
a few haunting memories-Poem by J. J. Campbell
Pressure Lines-Poem by Meg Baird
Work it out-Poem by Meg Baird
lily pads open-Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
a melodious voice from the reeds-Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
a cobblestone trail-Poem by ayaz daryl nielsen
A Beautiful Madness on Mallory Square-Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
A Beautiful Death on Mallory Square-Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
A Luminous Metamorphosis on Mallory Square-Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
Cartoons by Cartwright
Hail, Tiger!
Angel of Manslaughter
The Gazing Ball
Strange Gardens
Gutter Balls
Calpurnia's Window
No Place Like Home
Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

Art by Ann Marie Rhiel 2019


by Tom Fillion


It was our first communion

and we followed each other nervously

to the altar rail

made of Italian marble

We were like a line

of white ducklings

imprinting some invisible presence

into our sternums

that would glow

in the darkness

that we were told

we were made of

by the priest and nuns

dressed in night blindness

The radius of the Eucharist

we weren’t supposed to chew

like Bazooka Joe or Topps bubble gum

was eternity

and stuck to the roof

of our mouths like peanut butter

Jesus had suffered enough

in his time that even our mouths

with missing baby teeth

were not allowed to pierce

the thin geodesic wafer He inhabited

The festivities afterwards

were at the country club

where you and friends

in white communion clothes

similar to the deferential black waiters

were invited to sip dark, carbonated punch

from the circulating Alpine fountain,

and your Sicilian mother,

who was no taller

than all the first communicants

except for her wedding cake hair

piled high like a Gothic Cathedral,

beamed and smiled with stained-glass lipstick

until you ran with such abandon

and joy of the moment

towards the Olympic-sized pool outside

The pool had a fifteen-foot high dive

from which we did summertime cannonballs

and occasional belly flops

You were so elated

at celebrating your first communion

to receive the body and blood of Christ

that you didn’t see or remember

the sliding glass doors

that even Jesus

couldn’t have walked on or through

There were no butterflies

to warn you either,

and it shattered into pieces

as sharp as nine-inch nails

that drenched your innocent white suit

you were so proud of

with your own blood

the same crimson-red color

as the lights of the ambulance

that soon arrived

to take you away

to the emergency room

where the doctors transfused you

with candlelight left by strangers   


Tom Fillion is a graduate of the University of South Florida. His new novel, HUBBLY BUBBLY, is available at https://www.amazon.com/Thomas-Fillion/e/B00J938F2E. 

Ann Marie Rhiel is the Assistant Art Director for Yellow Mama Webzine. She was born and raised in Bronx, New York, presently living in New Jersey. She reconnected with her passion for art in 2016 and has had her work exhibited in art galleries around northern New Jersey ever since. She is a commissioned painting artist, who also enjoys photography. Her work has also appeared in Black Petals and Megazine Official.     

In Association with Black Petals & Fossil Publications 2019