Nonfiction

Never (Pat Foran)

Dear Son, I’m watching a baseball game. The Dodgers are leading the Brewers, 5-2. It’s the seventh inning. When you were little, you didn’t like watching baseball games. You said baseball was boring. Endless. Every time a game was on, you said it’s never going to be the seventh inning. When I was little, I […]

Linger (Jaya Wagle)

On winter weekend mornings, my sister and I hauled four woolen razais, bound in white muslin—our backs bent with the weight and the breadth and the length—out to the balcony of our house. We spread them on the wrought iron railing to warm in the sun. In a corner of that balcony, Papa hung a […]

God (Danielle Chelosky)

I wait for you to come to the door. I used to count how many seconds it took for you to get to the bottom of the stairs. It was around 36, or maybe half of that, I don’t know. I envisioned this moment for the past two days: Smoking a cigarette, meeting your eyes […]

All my son wanted for his birthday was a toilet piñata (Sheldon Birnie)

Sure, he also had “sword (a real one)” and “bb gun” on the list, but come on. He’s five. I suppose we probably shouldn’t be encouraging such crudity. But fuck it, 2020 right? Couldn’t throw him a real birthday party, anyways. On account of the virus. So toilet piñata it was. Fuckin rights. In preparation, […]

You Got Beasted Last Night (Kath Gerobin)

So, you smashed your head right into your phone, hoping you’d remember to pull up your defenses. It was a gun game, you get shot. Hide behind a wall, car, a dumpster. Yes, run into the church in the Frigid Wetlands. Have faith, dear child. Pray for a miracle, a head glitch. But no, you […]

The Last Good Thing (Elyse Hauser)

There comes a time in every failing relationship when all the good things get filtered out and all that’s left are the shitty things plus the habit of staying together. That’s what happened to us. I was ready to leave at least a year before I actually did, even though I didn’t know it yet. […]

Nachos Supreme (Michele Feltman Strider)

Mornings were a struggle. Feed the cats, walk the dogs, get her up and dressed and out of the door in time for her appointment. Sometimes he skipped breakfast, too busy sorting pills and pouring vanilla Boost over ice. He was resolved. They would never be late for a treatment, never miss a pill. Five […]

A Map Home (S. R. Schulz)

We hike to the top of the mountain. My Son connects the land and sky. He presses his palms into the grass until they’re imprinted. He turns them up to me. Rivulets dance across his life and fate lines. He points to the clouds. It’s a map, he says. If you’re ever lost, follow it to the sky and […]

Canals (Wilson Koewing)

Before leaving Amsterdam, I stopped by a canal hugging the red-light district. I sat against a tree and let my feet hang over the edge. I’d enjoyed a spliff at a shop not far away and felt just fine. Hundreds of boats passed, and I watched the people on them, happy and mesmerizing in the […]

blake levario in therapy (blake levario)

my therapist asks me, ​blake, can you please tell me: what have you lost and what have you found? i really don’t want to answer, but: a new oat milk brand. wellbutrin. i drink cappuccino. i fetishize my suffering on social media. my most recent google search: how to be gorgeous. i make typos when […]

A Year of Violence (Michael Aurelio)

During the year in which my girlfriend was brutally attacked and almost killed, I took up boxing. I wandered the streets of Manhattan. Dared cars to run me over. Stared down 6ft tall men hoping one would take offense and knock my lights out. I wanted to feel the shock and react to something outside […]

Fort Collins, Colorado: A Portrait (Johannah Racz Knudson)

We forget the connection between fort and fortress, as in keep out. Still, this town’s high on the best places to live lists, reason for another block of pricey apartments. Antifreeze-blue port-a-potties and little men on steel girders animate construction sites. In the shadow of mega churches, minor houses of God hang their crosses in […]

Wolfjaw (Elizabeth Muller)

I will live and die for the ocean, but goddamn if there isn’t something about a mountain stream. It’s not so much that the mountains make me feel small but that the world seems bigger with them in it. I want to gather them up in my arms and hold them close. You say, it’s […]

When You Can Strangely Summon Smells from a Long-Lost Time (Anandi Mishra)

smell of your mother’s presence, from behind her ears. smell of that favorite sweet cologne of a pretentious cousin from another cousin’s wedding. the smell of late December and early January rains that hooded your school’s assembly ground and made everything look so bleak, so British, you wanted to sing the national anthem while weeping. […]

Lines on the Road: A Map of My Fears (Courtney Skaggs)

Carcinophobia I realize I can’t run from myself, but I cancel an appointment with the breast clinic so that I can go on a road trip. I already know I have a “palpable, previously identified probable benign breast mass in (my) right breast at the 7 o’clock position measuring approximately 1.2 x 0.5 x 1.2 […]

Mean as a Striped Snake (Bodie Fox)

Chairhead My sister Blaine shoved her head into a chair in children’s church one time. Wasn’t paying no attention and just got down on the floor and stuck her head right through the back of it. She started squalling because she couldn’t get it out, so they had to stop grownup church to cut it […]

Center of Attention (Greg Oldfield)

Dear Paul, I’m sorry I crumpled up your David Robinson rookie card. It was a dick move. I was immature, insecure, manipulatable, and unable to express myself in constructive ways. We were twelve. I still want to blame Bobby Ritter. He’s the one who pulled the card from its plastic sheet and said, “Holy shit! […]

Write About Race (Gauraa Shekhar)

What they want me to write about: how, like every Indian family, mine harbored hope for a fair-skinned daughter. How, they thought of the names in preparation: Arjuni, Divyatha, Gauri. Names, that, in God-fearing Sanskrit, represented the most desirable trait for an Indian daughter—fairness. How, the sun tinged me with every successive playground visit, darkening […]

Dear Vivian (Sarah Little)

Dear Vivian, I am not you. You are not me. Not any longer. We spent  wasted  so much time being the same entity. Your mystique was oh-so-cool, so mysterious, like you’d force people around you to care about plumbing the depths of all your deep-dark-secrets. No one could understand, right? Least of all him. You […]

Hospital

On my final night in Montezuma, I sprained my ankle navigating ill-lit stairs outside a motel that sat perched on a cliff side. I started to slide off the edge but managed to survive by catching hold of a rock and pulling myself up as waves pounded a jagged shore in the darkness below. The […]

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