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Prosa

San Francisco, California, USA, 1993

San Francisco, California, USA, 1993

by Valerie Jeremijenko I only saw you once while you were growing up. It was in San Francisco where your mother moved to try to claim you back, though as you know the court cases were long and protracted and she was too argumentative and confrontational for them to ever rule in her favour. You […]


Night Sounds

Night Sounds

by Abigail Allen She awoke in the middle of the night to the sound of a man’s voice. The man was singing in her back yard, near her bedroom window. He usually woke her by scraping his fingernails across the screen, but this time he was singing. He had a tenor voice. Was it Schubert […]


Threeways Roadhouse, Northern Territory, Australia, 1986

Threeways Roadhouse, Northern Territory, Australia, 1986

by Valerie Jeremijenko In the way of dreams and memories, we were hitching by the road again, this time by the exit of the Threeways truck stop with the woman within watching. The boys, like the sense of time, were long gone and the road stretched lazily through the undulating, dusty desert while behind us […]


Hands

Hands

by MK Ahn Auntie stands here washing buckets of vegetables under freezing water, looking at the lines in her hands. Each has a memory—a smell, a sound, a picture. Like that scar on her left pointer finger, smelling of onion, of Uncle’s favorite pot roast covered in half moons of vegetables. She is cooking, Eva […]


Saturno: Avenida González Suárez, Lote 101, Quito, Ecuador

Saturno:  Avenida González Suárez, Lote 101, Quito, Ecuador

by Ana Hurtado The fog descends at seven. In Saturno, from apartment 14C, Pablo’s family can see the Andean mist take over their González Suárez neighborhood: with goosebumps on their skin, the volleyball team from the all-girls escuela católica waits for their after-school bus outside as traffic becomes imperceptible, the tainted palm trees that align […]


Prologue to “A Sibling’s Story”

Prologue to “A Sibling’s Story”

by Valerie Jeremijenko Doha, Qatar, 2007 It was shortly after I began my first yoga studio when a junior teacher, an expat wife, who wanted a different shift, or something told me I was ‘not very yogic.’ I looked at her, surprised. I was balancing on a tightrope that could easily become a noose, selling […]


Keweenaw Fugue

Keweenaw Fugue

by Donna Vitucci At the top of the world, winter winds take down so many you find them bent along the highway, en route to Schutte’s Bar, flannel spanning their trunks but limbs crippled, stiff on the snow, shoved off and piled in culverts like slain lumberjacks. How he made it to town in the […]


The Undercard

The Undercard

by Clara de la Torre The Budweiser Girls were doubling as cocktail waitresses and ring card girls at Night of Champions, a popular black-tie fundraiser held in the second-floor banquet room of the Lubbock Country Club. Two of the Budweiser Girls had just entered the ladies’ room, an old-fashioned privy and boudoir combo reminiscent of […]


Abelista

Abelista

by Barbara Robidoux The bees love the smell of the old woman. When she stands next to their hive Abelista places the palms of her hands against the walls and feels its vibrations. They communicate through pulses. Workers have short and frequent pulses while the queen’s pulse is long and drawn out like a sigh. […]


Resolved

Resolved

by Richard Trauger The tormenting began in the spring. He would stand behind a wall or beneath a tree, always hidden, waiting for one of us to come close. Without warning he’d let loose a loud noise, or hurl a stone. As word spread about the problem a few came to see for themselves. Our […]


The Backpack

The Backpack

by Carol Severino “But we’re old enough to be your mothers,” I warned the two young Cuban guys flirting with us fifty-somethings at the hotel pool on a hill overlooking the sea east of Havana. At their request—they claimed to be broke like everyone else in Cuba (although somehow they had managed to scrape up […]


Boundaries — A Lyric Essay

Boundaries — A Lyric Essay

by Artemis Savory Idaho is borderless; there is no fee, no permit demand to enter Sawtooth Wilderness. Where the Salmon River snakes beside Route 75—deer sprint—across the highway. The town, in summer, is 100 people, a few restaurants, dirt roads, two bars for dancing. Open mike and failing darts at Kasino Club. Lawless Rod & […]


Bear Market

Bear Market

by Jared Smith The hunter sat by his fire and waited. The crackling pine made it hard to distinguish the noise made by the one watching him, but he knew it was out there. The smell of garbage and food waste broiled in the California sun gave it away, the stink almost strong enough to […]


Borders

Borders

by Hugo Dos Santos *** The Ms went to church regularly, but only on Sundays at noon. And during football season they went earlier to the ten o’clock mass in order to be home for the games. We went every Sunday at the same time, year-round, and we prayed every night before bed, which we […]


Compulsion

Compulsion

by Casandra Lopez I have a compulsion to undress my pain on the page. I can’t seem to stop wanting to split myself open to figure out the hurt. I am reminded of doctors performing surgery on Brother on Bullet Night. Mother saw him laid bare as a newborn baby on the gurney. Chest opened […]


Lisboa: Five Years (after Clarice Lispector)

Lisboa: Five Years (after Clarice Lispector)

by Oona Patrick Lisboa is built on the ruins of the horizon. Lisboa is the image of my claustrophobia. In Lisboa, I can’t breathe. “All the Patrício men have bad lungs,” the old schoolteacher told my mother. They got it from here—where they couldn’t breathe. Lisboa is charcoal eyebrows and dust on my shoes. Lisboa […]


Fine Weather

Fine Weather

by Anya Achtenberg Today is the day, I can feel it, so I snake the plastic bag with my good clothes out from under my trunk, where it got a good iron job with the weight of all my worldly shit and the sit down of friends who stop by. Then I huff and puff […]


Mannish Boy: An Excerpt

Mannish Boy: An Excerpt

by Tomás Q. Morín She’s in her forties. Eyes red. Her hair is often brown, like wood chips or railroad ties or the stitches of a boot sole, like a leather belt, a fake leather belt, like the spears of wheat on a penny. Sometimes it is black or blonde or red. It is hardly […]


When We Were Small

When We Were Small

by Donna Vitucci

Once a neighbor teen strung me up, noosed rope from a tire swing around my shoulder and tightened, me a small fry girl a human tire swing. When you hang, by armpit or neck, the rope burns, skin wilts.

I screamed. […]


Rupture

Rupture

by Donna Vitucci The dad sat on his patio and sipped his early evening cocktail, minding his girls as they played in the yard turning gloomy. Neela and Coco, they were, with names like gorilla baby names, and with the sweet malleable mugs gorillas have before they elongate, grow second teeth, puff up linebacker-ish in […]


Cradle Song

Cradle Song

by Michael Díaz Feito

An old guitarist, teetering along Calle Ocho’s dotted blacktop, strummed gorgeously, drunk like we were. A portable tape player hung from his neck. It unspooled a solo voice, which the old man accompanied only with his guitar, because he was mute. In other settings, he was familiar. At the fairgrounds by the Everglades, or maybe during a dull segment on Sabado Gigante. But at 3 AM, for such a clownish figure to emerge from the dark street—It jarred us from our stupor. […]


Soap

Soap

by Avital Gad Cykman

Little bursts of laughter explode between the twin couches and around the table. I didn’t clean after last night’s visit. Crumbs of salt crackers and laughter still roll over my floor.

The laughing sound does not belong here. […]


Testimonio #27

Testimonio #27

by Philip Garrison

She won’t ride in a car unless she can sit in your lap. She vocalizes – it sounds like bad yodeling! – when bathed, and barks when not offered a table scrap. Or when she wants in the door, or out, esta chucha tan delicada! Favorite meal processed pork liver scraps, favorite snack ditto. Aloof, rather feline, utterly Latina, her Husky-look deceives the unwary. […]


Family Ritual

Family Ritual

by Jamie Figueroa

The skin is sung off. Bodies are prayed over by the families of the deceased for three days. This ensures the bodies will not bleed. While the family whispers prayers that stalk the deceased into the great beyond, cedar smoke swells around the Harvesters, purifying them, causing temporary blindness. […]