First Bath

First Bath

His shoulders hang low and his back is bowed. His body is forty pounds lighter than it was a few days ago, before the cancer surgery, before the blood loss that caused his mind to empty its memories. His is a body without strength, without vigor, without lust, without intention, without history. A body taken...
Letter to a Future Lover

Letter to a Future Lover

You were my birthday present; you came to the door—no one else was home; you said “let’s celebrate.” We dropped acid and went to the friend with the nocturnal monkey-like animal and made love for hours. I fell totally, naively in love, so when you took me home in the morning I cried. I thought—but...
The Hard Part of Community College

The Hard Part of Community College

He rarely did homework on time, but really, the assignments weren’t  that great—predictable questions about essays in the textbook, the usual  Becoming Someone or Discovering Your Voice. Still, he wrote beautifully. He always apologized for the state  of his papers, telling me first that time was tight and then that computer  access was limited and...
A Fiction Writer Takes Off Her Shoes

A Fiction Writer Takes Off Her Shoes

The day was a perfect idea of itself, of what a Saturday afternoon in late spring should be: the sun a buzzing yellow, red barns, white houses, a neat hem of highway skirting the Ohio hills. I should remember what they looked like, what point of sowing-raising-harvest was in motion. Perhaps the earth was a...
There Are Distances Between Us

There Are Distances Between Us

The interstate highway system in the United States is the largest and most sophisticated in the world. It is named for President Dwight D. Eisenhower. There are two points and between them, a distance between you and me. These two points are connected in ways we will never fully understand but they are connected. You are there...
Tired

Tired

I’m tired of the usual—foofy dogs, West End musicals, Edgar Allan Poe.  Also leather jackets and the lost middle-aged men who believe that stretching a carcass across their backs brings Hell’s Angels cool.  Especially tired of not having one myself.  Tired of tragedy ending badly, gullible Hamlet taking the word of a rasping ghost.  Tired...
Story Boy

Story Boy

This is sixth grade.  We’re in that dim little hallway outside the closet-sized room where they sell popsicles during recess.  The big boys are teasing me, but it’s friendly bullying that I don’t mind.  They’re asking me leading questions.  They just want to get me started. Okay, I’m eleven years old, very hormonal, both smart...
I can’t stop thinking of that New York skirt, turquoise sequins glued onto sea-colored cotton

I can’t stop thinking of that New York skirt, turquoise sequins glued onto sea-colored cotton

I bought it on E. 7th St. in a shop that was only open for one day. Kerouac used to live in that building, but he was dead by then. No zippers or buttons, just strips of fabric to tie on either side of the waist. If I had been one to twirl … but...
Becoming a Sanvicenteña: Five Stages

Becoming a Sanvicenteña: Five Stages

Stage 1: Fear The old highway to San Vicente is nothing more than a dirt road. At the height of the dry season the landscape is leached of color, the road pale as bone. We bump in and out of potholes, my American advisor filling the Peugeot with 400 years of Costa Rican history: the...
Swerve

Swerve

I’m sorry about that time I ran over a piece of wood in the road. A  pound of marijuana in the trunk and a faulty brake light—any minute the cops might have pulled us over, so you were edgy already, and then I ran over that piece of stray lumber without even slowing down. Thunk, thunk,...
Sketch

Sketch

I notice the guy sketching even before I sit down, but it’s not a strategic decision at all. When I have a choice I try to sit facing the eye candy, and this guy’s not even close to handsome. But it’s the only available chair in the coffee shop, so I end up facing the...
The Bluest Eye

The Bluest Eye

Without warning, as if following some Biblical injunction, the boy reached in and plucked out his left eye.  He did it quickly, right hand ambushing his face.  My sister and I stepped back.  It’s rare for a glass eye to make it into your home.  And even more rare for it to pop out.  There...
Find Past Issues Here

Find Past Issues Here

The issues before we moved to our new format can be found here.