Hunger Pangs

By Rachel Nevada Wood
We are sitting in the kitchen when I ask her if she still loves me. As she answers, she begins to remove all of the things I don’t like from a paper container of fried rice —the peas, the carrots, the chicken...

Centum

By Vimla Sriram
Her kitchen appears unused. No plantain peels huddled in the corner. No orphan mustard seeds – until she wanders in between medication to make adai for her American grandson.

A Gray Inchworm on a Gr...

Michelle Ross
How easily the runner could have crushed it. The inchworm’s camouflage, which conceals it from predators, makes the inchworm vulnerable to the human jogging along neighborhood sidewalks, the human who does not intend the inchworm harm.

On the anniversary of m...

By Karen J. Weyant
my student emails me to say that his own mother has died, and I type the obligatory I’m sorry because I am...

All The Lies I’ve Told ...

By Mel George
The playground is closing now. The ball pool isn’t open. We have to hold hands in the car park.

Ctrl + alt + delete

By Chelsey Clammer
Consider yourself a task I have ended. Our relationship, a 404 not found. Our connection now disconnected.

Biracial

By Anri Wheeler
“You don’t look biracial,” he says, certain. We’ve just met.

Carriage

By Sarah Swandell
The day of the appointment, I hit a bird with my car.

As Close As I Came

By Dina L. Relles
I spent the better part of a drive trying to say what love is and still can’t.

Monster Neck

By John Meyers
When I was young I never thought about my neck. It was smooth and supple like the rest of me. Now my neck is a monster.

Gifts

By Kevin Simmons
When she opened and heaved and birthed our daughter onto our mattress, I knew we’d never be rid of that bed—the one my dad offered to us, newlywed and broke...

Durable Power

By Ann Gelder
I found the form giving me durable power of attorney for my father’s health care. He died eleven and a half years ago.

First Run

By William O’Sullivan
I was an only child my 15th summer—my brother away acting, one sister abroad, another home but waiting tables, dating, college-bound.

Immediate Family Only

By Laurie Ann Doyle
The very least he owes me is a body. A thumb, a wrist bone, the big barrel of his chest. But there my father sits: gray soot in a gold cube.

The Fish Room

By Jennifer Anderson
I snuck down there evenings he worked at the sawmill, to the lath and concrete room where he gutted perch, tossing tails to the cat.

Required Summer Reading

By Kimberly Tolson
My grandma kept her pocket paperback romance novels in the scary spare room on the second floor, directly to the right of the J-shaped staircase, the one we’d ride down on the old dishwasher box.

Calling Mom Home

By Elizabeth Boquet
I call my mom once a year, on the day she died. Five times I have pulled up “Mom Home” in my contacts. Five times I have pressed the phone icon.

You Couldn’t Wait...

By Jennifer Handley
Concrete steps rise from pebbly cracked sidewalks, but go, absurdly, nowhere. Into the boards of a fence, or the sunless dirt beneath a low tree limb.

Backyard Aristotle

By Leonard Kress
In this morning’s backyard drama the tiny green bird has crashed into the glass of the sliding door and lies feet up and claw-splayed on the brick patio.

Lil

By Stephen D. Gutierrez
Our neighbor Lil looked like a TV Indian, all sunbaked and leathery. She wandered the streets brokenly, ill dressed, barely attuned.