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February 2018

Ursula Villarreal-Moura | Fiction

He returns every evening at 6 p.m. and asks if she’s found a job yet. She has a part-time job, but it isn’t enough. Her husband expects her to work in a respectable office and wear high heels every day. He has a fantasy of them meeting at a pub for happy hour, both of them exhausted and full of work drama. Their twin martinis escape valves, sour tonics.

Rani Neutill | Fiction

She lives in a small room in a family’s flat. This is enough for me, she thought, upon her arrival. I don’t need much more than this. But she did. She really did. There was so much more that she was going to need from this universe, her world, so much more it wouldn’t be able to give her.

Martina Carla Louis | How I Became an Amerikèn

Citrus flavored water. Luscious cream fabric strung from wooden rafters. Orb-shaped lights emitting a soft warm glow. Three DIY photo booths. A cadre of high school musicians paid to play my favorite classical tunes. Fried pork chunks served with plantains and pikliz, bruscetta and braciole representing both our cultures. This was the “perfect” engagement party I envisioned.

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Gwaze Tafadzwa | Fiction

We call the Kiosk, ‘the monster,’ but it is tamer than us, taller maybe, wider, inhumanly still, yes, but it doesn’t drink or yearn. My name is Takudzwa. My name tag says Ku. If someone asks and I am in a mood I’ll say, like the Klux. There is a girl at my work. I want to steal her from the monster, the work. I try to make her laugh with my inability to do my job, but it’s only funny to me.

Aram Mrjoian | Fiction

I waved to the crowd and they raised their smartphones en masse to capture the moment. More people were showing up by the second. The shoulder of the road was lined with cars as far as the eye could see. I walked back inside and the audience let out a collective groan as I closed the door. Sanders was smoking a second cigarette in the house. I could already tell the stench was going to cling to the furniture.

Chika Onyenezi | Fiction

I met Arthur at the light-rail station on a Saturday night. I was on my way home. It was raining, the weather was cold, and I had run out of cigarettes. I saw him smoking and asked him for one, and he gave me without looking at me as if I was vagrant or something. I stood by the lamppost, and started smoking. I was listening to Eartha Kit’s, C’est si bon, with my earpiece.

Cornelia Barber | Essay

People always say time heals, but at first time colludes in further injury…two weeks, six months, and it’s still not over. He is still dead. Each marker of time elevating the pain to a new level of self-consciousness. “This is real. And I am still here. And I am not dead.”