We are a small magazine with large ambitions.
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...
Gyre

Gyre

When I was a schoolgirl, now and then a delicious state would come over me. It was unpredictable, and there was nothing I could do to bring it on, though it visited me more than once when I was plugging my ears to block out the teacher’s reading to us out loud from one of...
During the Farm Show Parade

During the Farm Show Parade

In the next town over, early in the parade, the recently acquitted drive their red truck slowly, the Ford F-150 as polished as the fire trucks and the horns of the high school band. From both windows they throw Tootsie Rolls and hard candy wrapped in cellophane to scrambling children, then wave like the mayor...
Girl Fight

Girl Fight

Marty Manzoni’s mother was fat. We all knew it, and we all knew better than to ever mention it, but that day in the school hall before basketball practice we were waiting for Coach to show up, and we got to talking about girls, as boys do, and someone mentioned Heather, a girl with sandy...
Slapstick

Slapstick

I don’t remember every beating mom gave us. I just remember that we named them after All Star wrestling moves. She had an extensive repertoire of techniques. The Half Suplex. The Full Suplex. The Spine Buster. Also the body part specific moves: the Wrist Lock, Atomic Knee Drop, and Corner Butt Slam. Some included hardware,...
Shame

Shame

I stole another woman’s boyfriend once. Maybe he was her ex-boyfriend, or she was about to break up with him. I can’t remember now except that he came to the apartment I shared with his girlfriend, and he watched TV with me while she went out and had sex with other men. One night, the...
Seascape with Eagle, Driftwood, Ravens, Seagull, Two Men and Their Phones

Seascape with Eagle, Driftwood, Ravens, Seagull, Two Men and Their Phones

The ravens look miniature compared to the eagle crouched in the crook of driftwood tree, tearing a seagull to shreds. Think beach bone, skeleton perch. Think rock, tide-worn. The man I watch watches the eagle, ignoring the ravens and the breeze at the back of his neck until he can’t, and pulls his hoodie over...
Never Seen the Like

Never Seen the Like

My three brothers, two sisters, and I carried our mother’s coffin into the church on a Monday in April and out to the flower-filled hearse on the Tuesday. We carried her on our shoulders, raised her up. People said they’d never seen the like, women carrying a coffin. Dad, he said, it made him proud....
Electricity

Electricity

After spending most of the day on a plane, too young to drink miniature bottles of liquor but too old not to resent it, crammed between my amma and a man in baggy churidar, there it was, not quite as I remembered but intimately familiar nonetheless: Mumbai airport. Redolent with humid, fan-beaten air; dark arms...
Valentine

Valentine

It’s the middle of winter, but tonight I am in summer’s warm arms, Boston lettuce torn in half before me for a salad. You’re at the stove, stirring Indonesian sweet potato peanut soup. I’m at the sink, staring down into pale green whorls. “The heart’s the best part,” my mother says, a thousand Junes ago....
When You Meet My Father

When You Meet My Father

Ask him what growing up on the farm in Two Harbors was like. Ask him about what he learned on the farm, where he milked cows before going to school. Ask him about college in Duluth, that one time he stole a beer truck, the married woman who desired an affair. Ask him about those...
Apocalypse City

Apocalypse City

It’s a friend’s birthday and her house is packed, so I settle into a seat on the porch across from a guy I just met. He’s late-twenties, in a beige button-up, cargo shorts and flip-flops, with a paunch and a grizzly beard. He’s a theoretical physicist finishing a PhD, soon to be employed by Raytheon,...
How to Fall in Love For Real

How to Fall in Love For Real

At twenty-two, I fell in love with the sales clerk who helped me pick out clothes at the mall. I was in love with my best friend’s wife. I was in love with everything. The sales clerk’s name was Cricket. She was six months pregnant. And for two weeks at sea, I imagined how I...
Thank You

Thank You

You will never know me, will never know your father once professed (many times, over a few months, the way boys will) to love me, will not know the first time we made love you were in your bedroom next door sleeping, and we paused to listen when we heard you (I worried, unused to...
Stranded

Stranded

for Tracy This night like a photograph neither one of us can make out when I call you fifteen years later to ask if you remember the gun, the men, the comet. The two of us are on the side of Highway 82 outside of Brownfield, Texas. Forty miles from Lubbock. It’s been a day-long...
The Cruelty We Delivered: An Apology

The Cruelty We Delivered: An Apology

I. We didn’t know what to do—your rocket energy sending Thai monks into fits, as they chased you through the Chicago temple, hands hiking robes like dresses, flip flops slapping callused heels. Your trouble made us roll our eyes and turn our back when you wanted nothing more than to pal around with us. You...