Local college lit journal, Booth, has been killing it lately with this story, “Overcast,” recently by Aaron Burch*:
She walked in and through the house, and he followed. In the backyard, she held her hands out to him, together, palms up. Like holding them under running water, like cupping something delicate. The pose reminded him of a painting, though he couldn’t picture one specifically. He wondered if such an image existed and, if not, how one should. Inside her hands was a pile of plastic stars, the kind that stick to ceilings and glow at night.
What we’ll do, she said, is plant them. Water them. Let them grow, like in a garden. And when they’ve blossomed, we can release them into the sky on cloud-filled nights. So, any night we want, we will be able to see a sky full of stars.
Like it was all so simple.
And most recently, “Composting,” by Chad Redden:
Begin the bottom layer with his books. They take up space you could use for porcelain angels and they tempt you to read them. Already, you’ve spent a few years examining their spines, hoping they would provide answers as to why he slept under them on the couch while dead bluesmen mumbled in low tones on the stereo, instead of sharing a bed with you. To accelerate the process, shred the books to pieces, and combine with soil and worms.
The Booth editors seem to have a knack for attracting and selecting these pieces that get right into my marrow, fill my bones full with breathing and want.
*Speaking of “Overcast,” this story is part of Burch’s new collection, How to Predict the Weather, out on Keyhole Press. I just talked to Peter from Keyhole last week, and I’m going to be carrying HTPW at the Vouched table. I highly suggest you follow the link to buy that book before I come to your house and pillage your loafers and cookie jars.