After the Appointment

After the Appointment

  I’ve dumped nearly everything from my car’s glove box—registration, flashlight, crusty hair ties—while I paw around for a tool to open a bottle of wine. This bottle of wine, the first screwtop I spotted in 7-11 and purchased in a rush. My hands aren’t strong enough for the feeble...
Why I Bought an Inflatable Hot Tub from Walmart on Black Friday During a Pandemic

Why I Bought an Inflatable Hot Tub from Walmart on Black Friday During a Pandemic

Because my mother was tired of peeing her pants at Super Value Grocery Store. Because someone told her about an amazing same-day surgery that would fix everything. Because it was a miracle cure! Because the docs said they’d hoist her sorry leaky bladder up onto a miracle mini mesh “hammock.”...
Notice

Notice

“Notice,” my yoga teacher coos. I open one eye to notice that on the Zoom screen, he’s sitting upright. Sukhasana. I settle myself in the same posture on my yoga mat in my living room, legs crossed, spine straight. “Notice your grieving,” he says, his voice small through the laptop...
At Sea

At Sea

He holds the rock in his hand, size of a grapefruit, color of an orange if the orange had been scuffed with sand. Rough and bumpy, surface flaking with dried mud, it glitters in the sun, and I think how when I was a boy I might’ve been scared, the...
What It’s Not

What It’s Not

She said, “Draw what startles you awake.” I held my good pen in my non-dominant hand and drew a jagged circle, almost like barbed wire. Still, I tried for symmetry as I do in all things. All things? Yes, or at least compositional balance and complimentary colors. If I could...
Buoy

Buoy

When the radio crackles on, I remember my skin. The practiced, silken voice of NPR‘s Krista Tippet lifts above the sizzle of pancakes and the shuffle of feet against the hardwood floor. The morning’s topic: “Grappling with Whiteness.” Emphasis on the Wh–. I don’t need to look up to remember...
When the Uber Driver Asks, Do You Have Any Kids?

When the Uber Driver Asks, Do You Have Any Kids?

and they always ask, the other me doesn’t say no. She doesn’t get the follow-up questions – Do you plan to, later? or, worse, Why not? Other Me doesn’t have to weigh whether to tell a lie, something easy, or to plunge into the sudden intimacy of the truth of...
The Crab Story

The Crab Story

Nancy would tell me to write about the crab; the crab’s funny, it’s human, it’s real, not like the oxygen or the catheter or the morphine; the ugly accoutrements to death are too predictable, she’d say, no one wants to see that mess; maybe the crab story is the direction...
That I May Not Thirst

That I May Not Thirst

Birds bend around wind to hoist their bodies in the air—she does something similar. She unfurls, all red lip and ease, says, Here I am. This woman before me knows what it is to claim skies. I am not yet there. The church I grew up in taught me to...
All Hat, No Cattle

All Hat, No Cattle

All hat no cattle, C says as we drive through Lubbock, Texas. My endometriosis has flared and we’re on our way to Fun Noodle Bar when we pass the boy in the Ray Bans and the fake cowboy hat, his upper lip bristled with a patchy 20-year-old mustache. The boy...
Balsam

Balsam

When I overheard my father say the words master baiter, I thought it must be the ultimate fishing lure. I practiced writing this new phrase in a spiral notebook, never once trying to spell bait like ate or eight. My father’s only magazine subscription was for Outdoor Life, and by...
Bus Stop

Bus Stop

Bus horns wake you, alone in bed with the kids — you drove up for his conference, you knew he’d be gone all day — last night he said “All of Chicago is your playground,” while you fussed about the room searching for bus fare, your head drowning with worry:...
Latest Issue
Issue 70 / May 2022

Issue 70 / May 2022

Our new issue features essays from Debra Gwartney, Jessica Handler, Cherri Randall, Anne Panning, Wendy Wallace, Mariah Rigg, Tyler Whichard, Aliki Barnstone, Amy Miller, Lori White, Bhante Sumano, and Todd Davis. Photography by Laura Oliverio
Craft Essays

Craft Essays

In our CRAFT SECTION, Lori Tucker-Sullivan shows how she revised her one-hundred-word Modern Love Tiny Love Story, Degan Davis explores “how to keep our eyes open in the darkness of our writing process,” and Randon Billings Noble examines the “daringness” of the lyric essay
Teaching with Brevity

Teaching with Brevity

Our TEACHING RESOURCES pages offer a diverse set of resources for writers and teachers of the flash form, including teaching tools, syllabi, prompts, craft essays, subject and craft element indexes, and much more.