Previous Issues
Anna Maria Island

Issue 64 / May 2020

Did you know that the common housefly, like the one circling the room now in a wide, counter-clockwise circuit, hums in the key of F? It’s true. They come in different sizes, of course, but their bodies scale so that the vibrations of their wings correlate to the pitch intervals in F major: F, G,...
Ghost Story

Issue 63 / January 2020

One fall I was a ghost in my own house. That time, when divorce was imminent but my husband and I were still living together, only the children could see or hear me. The laundry floated downstairs to the basement, then floated back up to the second floor, washed and folded. The dishes floated from the...
Snowbound

Issue 62 / September 2019

1. You are sitting on the couch that doubles as your bed when your mami hands you the envelope marked THIS IS THE BIG ONE. You’re eighteen, and here is the college acceptance letter you’ve been waiting for, the one from your dream school in Chicago. Over 1,300 miles south—to Hialeah, Florida—this letter traveled to...
Whenever Men Think I’m Smiling

Issue 61 / May 2019

I’m on the elevator alone for one floor before the man gets on.  He stands in one corner, staring at his phone. I drink my coffee. At the next floor, two more men get on. They flank me, laughing and talking about some game somewhere. I pull my arms in at my sides, try to...
String, Too Short

Issue 60 / January 2019

We are a house of notes. My husband, a night-owl artist, writes to me in the dark of the quiet house as I fall into dreams. I awake to fluorescent sticky squares, legal pads, and junk mail envelopes on which he has jotted doodles and reminders, jokes and nicknames, references to art and news, proclamations...
My Bodhisattva

Issue 59 / September 2018

I was doing my daily meditation but also aware I was hungry and craving a hamburger and thinking about getting takeout from the bar down the street with its gruff bartender who always writes up the order, which last time and the time before and, yes, the time before that wasn’t ready by the promised...
Solving for X

Issue 58 / May 2018

She’s never been good at word problems. She remembers hours of agony at the kitchen table, her father trying to help her wrench the variables of time, speed, and distance into manageable equations. “A freight train left San Diego and traveled east at an average speed of 28 mph. A diesel train left one hour...
Forgetting

Issue 57 / Jan 2018

You know how you find yourself in the kitchen and you can’t remember what you’re doing there so maybe you put your hands on the cold sink and look out the window but it doesn’t help? What works is to go back to the living room, sit down again on the chair you got up...
The Shape of Emptiness

Issue 56 / Fall 2017

His mother dies three weeks before the end of the quarter. A boy, a good student: he emails me to tell me the news, asks permission to be absent. Of course, I say, take as much time as you need. I tell him he can withdraw, take an incomplete, but he promises to be back...
Consciousness

Issue 55/ May 2017

Quick as a cut, darkness came to the afternoon, to the nursery where I sat cross-legged on the floor, a white raft of a blanket under us. My newborn sucked her fingers while clumped in the crooks of my arms. We both squinted toward the window, trying to make sense of it all: the sudden...
Wings

Issue 54 / January 2017

It is the early eighties, the start of the civil war in El Salvador, and Maira is a child of the raindrops that come early in the summer. Thousands of raindrops. Maybe millions. Las lluvias. Desperate raindrops that smash into the mountains and the treetops, prod the soil and also the pebbles and flores, the earth forced...
Black in Middle America

Issue 53 / Fall 2016

I spent five years in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula—a place I didn’t even know existed until I moved there to attend graduate school. I lived in a town of four thousand people. The next town over, over the portage bridge, had seven thousand people. In my town, the street signs were in both English and Finnish...
Beach City

Issue 52 / May 2016

We talked about Miami Beach like it belonged to us, convinced that the tourists who came down to swim in our ocean and dance in our nightclubs were fucking up our city. We were seventeen, eighteen, nineteen-year-old hoodlums, our hair in cornrows, too-tight ponytails, too much hairspray, dark brown lip liner, noses and belly buttons...
New Year’s Day 2016

Issue 51 / January 2016

Feeling better because I looked up the verb to watch in the dictionary and its root is to awaken which isn’t sinister and since I was trying to figure out why it creeps me out so much that an old boyfriend is watching Latvian girls on his computer who do what he asks and answer all...
Brevity's 50th Issue

Issue 50 / Fall 2015

Our 50th issue, a milestone, and we proudly present some of the finest work we’ve ever shared: stunning essays from Joe Mackall, Rebecca McClanahan, Diane Seuss, Amy Butcher, Shanaz Habib, Cary Tennis, John T. Price, Matthew Komatsu, Heather Kirn Lanier, Jennifer Howard, Micah Dean Hicks, Suzanne Roberts, Sally Ashton, Traci Brimhall, Angela Palm, Kristine Erwin, and...
Who’s Buried in Grant’s Tomb?  Everybody.

Issue 49 / May 2015

The snow was falling as I climbed the long stairs. There, beneath the spectacular dome of America’s largest mausoleum, I found— nobody. No one except a single ranger from the U.S. Park Service, that is, whom I found quietly reading a novel.  He looked up at me with an expression similar to that of the Knight in Indiana...
The Heart as a Torn Muscle

Issue 48 / Winter 2015

Overview Your heart was already full, but then you saw him and your heart beat code, not Morse but a more insistent pulse: Oh yes. That’s him. That one. Not The One (The One you already have – and deeply love) but of all the people in that large room far from home, he was...
This Moment

Issue 47 / Fall 2014

This is it. This is the moment our lives crack wide open like a pomegranate and all its bloody bits spread long and wide. One month before my daughter turns sixteen, I stand by the hospital bed, look her in the eye, and ask why. She stares blankly at the ceiling, fidgets with the D-rings...