Amarillo Bay 
 Volume 16 Number 3 

Welcome to Amarillo Bay!

Something Good To Read
Volume 16 Number 3 — Published 4 August 2014

In addition to the works in this issue — the third issue of our sixteenth year — you can read the aproximately 675 works (242 fiction, 82 creative nonfiction, 351 poetry) we have published since 1999. See the Previous Works, including the ability to search through the issues.

Fiction Editor: Richard Moseley Richard Moseley

Richard Moseley is professor emeritus in English at West Texas A&M University who taught literary courses in modern short fiction, film and literature, Southwestern literature, and the contemporary American novel. His degrees are from the University of Texas at Austin (B.A.) and the University of Cincinnati (M.A. and Ph.D.).

Body Double
   by Veronica Reilly Veronica Reilly

Veronica Reilly works as a Teacher on Special Assignment for San Francisco Unified School District, where she specializes in college and career readiness programs. Her writing has recently appeared in Diverse Voices Quarterly and The Alabama Literary Review. In addition to writing, Veronica enjoys hiking in the many beautiful parks in the Bay Area and practicing Zen Buddhism. Read more at

My body double lives here in Paris. She likes existentialist philosophers and Russian novelists. She does yoga, and then walks to a nearby café to drink espresso and smoke cheap, unfiltered cigarettes. The only things I know about her are those that I've been able to observe since I arrived in Paris a week ago for my annual, monthlong sojourn abroad. I take it in a different country every year, and I've never found a body double before. Learning about her has become my summer passion.

Yesterday I followed her for a few hours, out of curiosity, out of an altogether understandable desire to know everything about this reflection of myself; I admit that without shame. That's how I saw her weeping as she left a shabby apartment building down the street, and I'm sure it was over a man, even though I've never seen him. And her tears reminded me that I wasted so much time on Jack when I was her age—I wish I had known he was going to completely inhabit my late twenties with what appeared to be his permanent presence, and then leave me with little to choose from by the time he was through with my thicker, older, sadder self. If her man makes her come crying out of the apartment on a sunny afternoon, then she is only wasting her time, as I now know I did. She is still young, and there are still possibilities for her happiness, which are lost to me, a lonely old woman.

I'm waiting for her to arrive this afternoon; I haven't seen her all day. I know that I need to speak to her; I must warn her about what is in store for her. She doesn't have to end up looking and feeling like me. She can make better choices. But how can I approach this image of myself? "Just present yourself to her," you might think. "She'll recognize the situation instantly. If you see yourself sitting there, won't she see herself standing, nodding, trying to find a word?"

No, unfortunately, because she is not my body double of today, but of thirty years ago.   Continue…

The Circular Nature of Lakes
   by Pam McGaffin Pam McGaffin

Pam McGaffin lives in Seattle, Washington, with her husband, Mark Funk, and sons, Casey and Charlie. In 2011, after more than twenty-five years in journalism and public relations, she took a leap of faith to concentrate on fiction and write a novel. Her work has appeared in Eclectica magazine and once before in Amarillo Bay.

Andie scans the parking lot for a silver truck. If she sees the right make and model, she'll check the plate. She hasn't completely memorized Guy's number—she's no stalker—but she knows it when she sees it. He's not at the lake today, at least not yet. He could show up while she's running. That's happened. Her obsession annoys her. This used to be her lake. She's been coming here since she was a kid. During the summer, she practically lived here. Slathered in cocoa butter, she'd take her Schwinn bicycle down busy 65th to ride around and around on the path or hang out at one of the floating docks. She used to do backflips off the diving board, but she's lost that body memory, along with some others, to age and fear. Cartwheels off the dock—she can't do those anymore, either. Now she just comes to the lake to run, in spite of her arthritis. The pain isn't so bad that she can't take comfort in the mind-numbing sameness of her route. She knows every turn, every rise, every dip, every landmark. But he changed the meanings, down to the big green G painted on what's left of the old Aqua Theater arena. G for Green Lake, but, in her mind, it stands for Guy.   Continue…

Horn-Rim Modern
   by Todd Easton Mills Todd Easton Mills

Todd Easton Mills is a writer of poetry and short stories. For many years he defined himself as a traveler, working his way around the world as a cook's offsider, laborer, and teacher. He co-wrote and produced the documentary Timothy Leary's Dead. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Jet Fuel Review, The Legendary, ONTHEBUS, The Coe Review, Yellow Silk, The Alembic, Sage Trails, RiverSedge, Griffin, Forge, Voices, Crack the Spine, Antiocracy, Rougarou, and the anthology Poets on 9-11. He is a graduate of Antioch University and lives with his Zimbabwean wife in Ojai California.

Timothy, who for months had been homeless, painted for a gallery on 5th Avenue and 32nd Street, two blocks from the Empire State Building. His work resembled that of Franz Kline, black and red geometrics on large canvases, Expressionist slashes with the fluidity of a child. Fred, the gallery owner, had discovered Timothy chalking portraits in Central Park. He looked through Timothy's designs on neatly clipped newspaper and cardboard. "You're good," he said. "If you need a job, I've got work."

The studio for the artists was in the basement below the gallery. Fred provided paint, brushes, canvases, and a chemical accelerant to mix with the oil paint to make it dry faster. It was 1999, and the cognoscenti wanted modern. In this case the cognoscenti were tourists walking down 5th who "saw the sign" and were looking for "something creative for over the sofa."

Jara, a Polish Surrealist, worked with Timothy in the musty studio. She dressed like a Bohemian in a painter's smock and flop hat and wore horn-rim glasses, but it was no secret that she was a beauty hiding in rags.

Jara was Timothy's accelerant. She was slender with sandy hair parted down the middle and she slept in a white T-shirt with holes that exposed her lovely parts. They spent weekends in her small apartment, where together they read The Little Prince in French and poems of Gertrude Stein—the latter of which she described as Cubism. They had been lovers for three months when she told him she had decided to move in with the man who had been her sponsor.   Continue…

In the Wasp's Nest
   by Sam Grieve Sam Grieve

Sam Grieve was born in Cape Town, and lived in Paris and London prior to settling down in Connecticut with her husband and two sons. She graduated from Brown University, received an MA in English from King's College, London, and has worked as a librarian, a bookseller, and an antiquarian book-dealer. She now writes full-time, and her stories and poems have recently appeared in 10,000 Tons of Black Ink, A cappella Zoo, Cactus Heart, Crack the Spine, Forge, Grey Sparrow Journal, Qwerty, Sanskrit and PANK, amongst others. She can be contacted at

It is spring when she receives the invitation, and the dogwoods are flowering. The envelope bears no stamp, merely a note, By Hand, in the top right-hand corner. Jocasta's other post—the bills from her landscaper, the pool-cleaning company, the piano teacher with the azure eyes—tumbles to the ground. She edges a finger beneath the fold. The card within is of crisp, woven linen. It smells of chrysanthemums tinged, oddly, with the faintest whiff of sulfur.

She has been invited to play tennis at the Old Club, with a board member, a Mr. Worricow, on Tuesday morning the 14th of May at 10 a.m. Based on the quality of her game, a provisional offer of membership might be considered. There are no contact details, and it is less of an invitation, she realizes, than a summoning.

A feeling of faintness sweeps over Jocasta. She lays her head down on the cool metal of the mailbox. The jubilation she had anticipated fails to rise. She is numb, utterly numb with relief.   Continue…

The Last Visit
   by Marlene S. Molinoff Marlene S. Molinoff

Marlene S. Molinoff is a short fiction writer living part of the year in Philadelphia and part on Kiawah Island in South Carolina. Many of her stories are about the countless choices people make either by will or by chance. A former university literature teacher and creative strategist for the pharmaceutical industry, she is an avid traveler who has trekked to Everest Base Camp, dived with sharks off the coast of Australia, and photographed animals in Kenya and the Galapagos. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Forge and The Alembic. She has a BA from Barnard College, an MA from Tufts University, and a PhD from George Washington University in English Literature and a Certificate in Business Administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

Rebecca is dying. There's not much they can do about the pain other than knock her out with morphine and rob her of what time she has left of consciousness. Not yet. She still craves hearing the voice of her own thoughts. Rarely has she had anyone else worth listening to. She winces from the stab of pain, like shattered glass deep inside her, and pushes a button to give herself more drug. As everything blurs, she struggles to focus on the floor nurse in the harsh light of the doorway.

"Al's here again. What should I tell him?"

"Tell him to go away."

"He's your husband. He really wants to see you."

"Tell him I've had enough of him. To leave me in peace."

The nurse lingers, her expression saying more than she does. Then she pulls the door shut. Rebecca hears her clogs in the corridor and shudders at another disapproval. He is pitiful. Maybe she should make up some excuse. Write a note and ask the nurse to take it to him.   Continue…

Creative Nonfiction Editor: Rebecca Balcárcel Rebecca Balcárcel

Rebecca Balcárcel teaches creative writing and literature at Tarrant County College. Her work has appeared in over twenty journals and magazines, including North American Review, Concho River Review, South Dakota Review, 5AM, and Aura Literary Review. Trilobite Press published Ferry Crossing, a chapbook of her poems in 2002. She took her MFA from Bennington Writing Seminars in 2002 and received their Jane Kenyon Poetry Prize. Her Web site is

   by Lynette Sharp Lynette Sharp

Lynette Sharp is a freelance writer who lives in Fort Worth, Texas with her family. She had a memoir piece published in Under the Clock Tower, three poems made the finals, and she has twice had the privilege of being a judge in the writing contests for this same journal. She writes on a wide range of topics but the prevailing theme is human connection. She is a motorcycle enthusiast and is extremely serious about having fun. You can contact Lynette at

"Not one more thing God, please. I cannot handle one more thing." I was curled up in the fetal position in the corner of my bedroom with boxes all around me. I was crying like a baby because it was one of the worst times of my life: we had just moved again, making it three times in a year and a half, my husband had been laid off from his job, and our marriage was in serious trouble. That is when my sixteen year old daughter Kacey knocked on the door and made an extremely bad day catastrophic.

I composed myself as best I could and opened the door. Kacey handed me a letter and walked away. She had never communicated in a letter before, so I should have known to expect bad news, but I was numb from all of the pain and didn't see it coming.

The letter made it clear; she was pregnant. She said that she was sorry to disappoint us but that she needed our support because she wanted to keep the baby. She promised that no matter what happened she would still finish school and go to college.   Continue…

One Night
   by Timothy C. Hobbs Timothy C. Hobbs

Timothy C. Hobbs is a retired medical technologist living in Robinson, Texas. He has had short stories and poems published in New Texas. His latest flash fiction piece, Luna, is scheduled for publication in the spring 2014 edition of the Deep Water Literary Journal. His new novel Down in the Hollow There will be published in November 2014 by Angelic Knight Press. Mr. Hobbs' other works can be viewed on his author's page at

Andy Warhol said we have one moment of fame, one moment when we are stars. My chance at that moment came on a hot Texas night in the summer of 1962 when I was twelve. Little League baseball was approaching its conclusion, and my team, the Lions, needed to win the final game to take the city championship and go to the playoffs. Whether or not I made it to a third year in the playoffs was of no real consequence to me. I didn't really like baseball. It was my father who loved the game.

My father was not a native Texan. He was born in Fancy Farm, Kentucky. The two favorite sports there were baseball and basketball, with football coming in an anemic third. So even though he didn't push me, it was only natural that he would want me to play the game. And baseball was okay; I just wasn't good at it. My coaches always put me in right field because very little happened there and it would be a spot where I could cause the least problems. But I couldn't fault my father's efforts at trying to mold me into a decent player. He would come home from his job at the gas company where he worked digging through limestone rock for gas pipeline settings and take me to the field across the street and shag flies to me or help me sharpen my batting skills. In addition, he was left with supper chores since my mother had to care for her invalid mother after work every day. It was a lot of time spent on his part. So even though the game never appealed to me, I gave it my best shot. I wanted to give something back. I wanted to please him.

The night of the last game that summer of 1962 found my parents rushing to get ready. It was a double header with my team playing the second game, so I knew that dusk would be falling by the time we took the field. Before any game, my stomach would ball into a knot. That night when we were close enough to see the stadium light poles outlined against a clear sky, the knot was even tighter. We arrived before the first game was over. I went to join my teammates while my mom and dad sat with the other parents. The smells of the ballpark were stronger than usual that evening. Everything from the pungent order of mustard slapped on hot dogs to the wet, icy, sweet aroma of snow cones filled the air.   Continue…

Poetry Editor: Katherine Hoerth Katherine Hoerth

Katherine Hoerth is the author of a poetry collection, The Garden Uprooted (Slough Press, 2012). Her work has been included in journals such as Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, BorderSenses, and Front Porch. She teaches literature and creative writing at the University of Texas Pan American and serves as Assistant Poetry Editor of Fifth Wednesday Journal.

   by Jenna Le Jenna Le

Jenna Le is the author of Six Rivers (NYQ Books, 2011), which was a Small Press Poetry Bestseller. Her poetry, fiction, essays, book criticism, and translations have appeared or are forthcoming in Barrow Street, Bellevue Literary Review, Massachusetts Review, Measure, Pleiades, and 32 Poems.

This lady was so devout,
her hair remained
lush and black as
squirted squid ink
until age eighty-three,   Continue…

   by Jean Howard Jean Howard

Award-winning video and performance poet, organizer, producer, and participant in the original development of the internationally-acclaimed, "Poetry Slam", Jean Howard has poetry published in over one hundred publications, including Harper's Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, and her own book, Dancing In Your Mother's Skin (Tia Chucha Press).

They tell you
there is a cyst,
or "abnormality,"
as if normal is sitting
at a hospice bed,
genuflecting to Death
to make it easier on her,
to not screw around
and play games,
as Death is prone
to do,   Continue…

Boris the Ninety-Pound Cat
   by Rochelle Jewel Shapiro Rochelle Jewel Shapiro

Rochelle Jewel Shapiro is the author of Miriam the Medium (Simon & Schuster, 2004), Kaylee's Ghost, an indie finalist, and What I Wish You'd Told Me (Shebooks, 2014). Her essays have appeared in NYT (Lives), and Newsweek. and more, her poems in magazines such as The Iowa Review, Peregrine, Amoskaag, Atlanta Review, and Harpur's Palette. She won the Brandon Memorial Literary Award from Negative Capability, and currently teaches writing at UCLA Extension.

My psyche is your scratching post.
Even when I'm not visiting Mae
in her studio apartment where she moved
after Irv died, I see you, Boris,
solace of her dotage,
declawed, spayed, fatted up,
stationary as a thickly furred doorstop.   Continue…

The Burn
   by Donovan Hufnagle Donovan Hufnagle

Donovan Hufnagle writes during fragile glints of time between school, work, and his wife and three children. He is pursuing a Ph.D. in Humanities and Aesthetic studies at the University of Texas at Dallas, and instructs full-time at Tarrant County College in Fort Worth, Texas. His recent writing has appeared in Borderlands, Tattoo Highway, Sojourn, The Northridge Review, The New York Quarterly, Rougarou, and others.

The tattoo shop vacated 26th street
and moved south to precinct line.
It abandoned the pool table and TV.
When asked why, it replied simply
with "TV gives you nothing
but a burnt tongue." Instead, the shop
plays a Sugarhill-like-hip-hop
like poured milk on jalapeños;
like A/C in a Texas summer;
like belated Daisies,
Stovers, and Hallmark;   Continue…

   by Kevin Casey Kevin Casey

Kevin Casey is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and received his graduate degree at the University of Connecticut. His work has been accepted by The Orange Room Review, The Milo Review, Small Print Magazine, Tule Review, Turtle Island Review, The Monarch Review, and others. He currently teaches literature at a small university in Maine.

"It's gone behind the deacon's bench!"
We grab the empty maple bucket
by the stove, that's just for show
and hasn't tasted sugar now
in over fifty years.   Continue…

Song of Penelope, Song of Myself
   by Cynthia Roth Cynthia Roth

Cynthia Roth earned her MFA in studio art and poetry from SIU Carbondale, where she studied with Rodney Jones, Allison Joseph, and Lucia Perillo. Her chapbook, Ekphrasis, was published by Dusie Press in 2014. Her poems have appeared in journals including The Pittsburg Quarterly, Dogwood, and Poetry Midwest. She has been awarded numerous awards for her poetry, including an Illinois Arts Council Fellowship. She lives in rural southern Illinois with her husband and son.

I could not say how cold it was
when my period began, nine days late.
Forsworn, spoken for, Je Reviens
is the scent I put on to feel nearer to you.
My neighbor gave me the bottle.
I had brought her pie and flowers, not expecting
a gift; there it was: WORTH, PARIS
wrapped in a small box, blue bow.

When my husband returned,
he wiped out all suitors but you.
Hidden in the loom, loving, threatening
to change my story forever, even my son loved you.
Forsworn, spoken for, how could I mind
other women tearfully confiding your words?
I could not be fair and sent you packing.
When I looked up Je Reviens   Continue…

   by Olga Valle-Herr Olga Valle-Herr

Olga Valle-Herr is a published free-lance writer and award-winning poet. Her works have been published in various literary journals, La Frontera, Laredo Times, The Monitor, and anthologies including Valleysong and Chicken Soup for the Latino Soul. She has done readings of her work at the University of Texas-Pan American, Laredo Community College women's book clubs and at several elementary and high schools. Her first book of poetry and essays, Pearl Harvest, was published in 2013. She is the current Poet Laureate of McAllen, Texas.

Shattering glass, sounds of fury
voices roar like the wind outside.
Rage erupts between man and wife.
Children awaken, listen like vigilantes
as thunder rolls too close to home.   Continue…

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Works by Issue

Works are published the first Monday of February, the third Monday of May, the first Monday of August, and the first Monday of November.

2014, Volume 16 Number 4, 3 November 2014 — Future Issue
Number 3, 4 August 2014 — Current Issue
Number 2, 19 May 2014

Number 1, 3 February 2014
2013, Volume 15 Number 4, 4 November 2013
Number 3, 5 August 2013
Number 2, 20 May 2013
Number 1, 4 February 2013
2012, Volume 14 Number 4, 5 November 2012
Number 3, 6 August 2012
Number 2, 21 May 2012
Number 1, 6 February 2012
2011, Volume 13 Number 4, 7 November 2011
Number 3, 1 August 2011
Number 2, 16 May 2011
Number 1, 7 February 2011
2010, Volume 12 Number 4, 1 November 2010
Number 3, 2 August 2010
Number 2, 17 May 2010
Number 1, 1 February 2010
2009, Volume 11 Number 4, 2 November 2009
Number 3, 3 August 2009
Number 2, 18 May 2009
Number 1, 2 February 2009
2008, Volume 10 Number 4, 3 November 2008
Number 3, 18 August 2008
Number 2, 19 May 2008
Number 1, 11 February 2008
2007, Volume 9 Number 4, 12 November 2007
Number 3, 6 August 2007
Number 2, 7 May 2007
Number 1, 5 February 2007
2006, Volume 8 Number 4, 6 November 2006
Number 3, 7 August 2006
Number 2, 8 May 2006
Number 1, 6 February 2006
2005, Volume 7 Number 4, 7 November 2005
Number 3, 8 August 2005
Number 2, 2 May 2005
Number 1, 7 February 2005
2004, Volume 6 Number 4, 1 October 2004
Number 3, 2 August 2004
Number 2, 3 May 2004
Number 1, 2 February 2004
2003, Volume 5 Number 4, 3 November 2003
Number 3, 4 August 2003
Number 2, 5 April 2003
Number 1, 3 February 2003
2002, Volume 4 Number 4, 4 November 2002
Number 3, 5 August, 2002
Number 2, 6 May 2002
Number 1, 4 February 2002
2001, Volume 3 Number 4, 5 November 2001
Number 3, 6 August 2001
Number 2, 7 May 2001
Number 1, 5 February 2001
2000, Volume 2 Number 4, 6 November 2000
Number 3, 7 August 2000
Number 2, 1 May 2000
Number 1, 7 February 2000
1999, Volume 1 Number 3, 1 November 1999
Number 2, 2 August 1999
Number 1, 3 May 1999