We are a small magazine with large ambitions.
A Thousand Mary Doyles

A Thousand Mary Doyles

There she is, Mary Doyle, and another right beside her. Heads turned for one last view of land before the Cork coastline slips out of sight. Dishwater strands pushed behind her ears, yellow curls pulled up under a hat, dark frizz flying in the wind. She is seventeen. She is twenty-two. She is just yesterday...
So Little

So Little

She moved from the chair to the window (thinking about explaining something, but not sure what it should be. There were bottomless things to explain, like why she thought of herself as one thing, yet acted opposite; yearned for the chair yet moved to the window, felt like a giant cockroach head, resulting in being...
Things She Says

Things She Says

about things she said I never said that. You’re making that up. Stop making things up. Stop making things up about me.   in praise Stop making that up: No one hates you. Everyone is jealous. Everyone falls in love with you. My gorgeous girl. Lots of men will fall in love with you. You’re...
Overpass Into Fog

Overpass Into Fog

One winter morning after dropping my daughter at daycare, I took the 180 overpass arching into thick fog and, though I knew it well, I couldn’t in that moment be sure where the road actually ended. Suspended between past and future, I disappeared into language and place, weather and love, and I wondered how close...
Can You Teach Me How To Dance Real Slow?

Can You Teach Me How To Dance Real Slow?

If a DJ doesn’t like you, he plays “Superfreak” or “Bye Bye Miss American Pie.” One’s an insult, the other just takes forever. Eight-and-a-half minutes of rock-and-roll tragedy before I was born. Whatever. It’s playing when I walk into the club, and it’s still playing when I hit the floor, ready to go. I feel...
One More Eulogy

One More Eulogy

–for Forrest Bartlett (1936-2011) I’d arrived a bit late, and the lot for the church had filled up. So I parked in a spot by the shady lawyer’s office, which was closed on a weekend afternoon. By the time I ran in, the tributes had already started, rough and funny and tender all at once, just...
A Story Like This

A Story Like This

Her seven-year-old eyes take me in from across the table. We look alike, though I’m not sure she knows it. The waitress asks us what we want to drink. She orders crayons and a Shirley Temple. I laugh and order coffee. Outside, past the parking lot, is a granite-tipped mountain speckled with snow. Past the...
Calcification

Calcification

Less than a year had passed since my mother died from a burst valve in a heart no one knew was faulty. That’s raw when you’re ten. And then Buttercup died. Buttercup was an albino guinea pig with eyes like maraschino cherries. She wasn’t mine. Samantha owned Buttercup, loved her. She gave the rodent a...
Little Lesson on How to Be

Little Lesson on How to Be

The woman at the Salvation Army who sorts and prices is in her eighties, and she underestimates the value of everything, for which I am grateful. Lightly used snow suits, size 2T, are $6 and snow boots are $3. There is a little girl, maybe seven, fiddling with a tea set. Her mother inspects drapes...
Journey’s End

Journey’s End

We, my extended family, lost our bungalows to a storm named Sandy, one knocked on its side off its cement blocks, one vanished, not a board, not a shingle left; it was raptured. We called them bungalows, the Big and the Little. My grandfather, an immigrant from Barbados, built the bungalows in the 1920s. The...
Hans Hoffman's House

Hans Hoffman’s House

76 Commercial Street, Provincetown At the top of the house, I’m already turning to stone. But silver blazes through all the windows on the bay. How can I not get up? Still, making coffee I think, drink it in the white curtained gauzy bed, hide away from the many windows on both sides of this...
A Brief History of Water

A Brief History of Water

Last Sunday a displaced water snake interrupted our nightly walk. My beloved and I watched it roil under the street light, metallic in its shimmers. Overhead, a companionable moon, which can move seven-tenths of the earth’s surface without lifting a finger. Also overhead but not so far away, the firmament, which possesses a simple job...
Poster Children

Poster Children

1. We’re in single file, led by an American flag with stars in the shape of a wheelchair, and headed to the convention hotel that I still think we’re going to picket. I can’t keep up. Someone steps behind me and pushes. I’m jealous of Eleanor on her scooter. We arrive and the driveways are...
Too Soon

Too Soon

Summer ends too soon this year as all the seasons do. Funny, how after sixty-eight summers, time, the thing there always seemed so much of, collapses in on itself, and I find myself counting out the number of summers until an end. And someone, a woman friend I knew a long time ago, and always...
Life in the Alley

Life in the Alley

I wasn’t old enough to go to school, and sitting on the front porch watching the cars go by on Fourth Avenue was the most of what I did, when I wasn’t looking down Zion’s Alley at the lives of black people, which I did from the upstairs window when I was sick at heart. (“Sick...
Breathless

Breathless

I was eleven almost twelve but I looked thirteen when I walked across Orlando toward my father’s apartment on Orange Avenue. (I told him telepathically I was on my way. I can’t stand living with her anymore!) I was thinking: French toast, snuggling with the funnies. I tried different ways of walking: fugitive style, fancy...
An Address to My Fellow Faculty Who Have Asked Me to Speak About My Work

An Address to My Fellow Faculty Who Have Asked Me to Speak About My Work

My work is to write this sentence and revise it into that sentence. To take this word and replace it with that word. My work is a novel I wrote from five to seven a.m. for more than two years and that will never be published. My work is to be the person you trust...
Ten Years Ago

Ten Years Ago

Senior year. A fundamentalist Baptist high school. One of those times, frequent and interminable, when the teachers ran out of lesson plans and gave us time to talk. I was reading a novel because I’d run out of homework. The classroom chatter softened for a moment, and I heard a nasal twang, four plastic chairs...