I just re-remembered: Mama told me and Mark not to say “cancer” in this house, everyone was keeping it secret from Baba Galya that she was going to die. Deda Vitya says, “Lina told me, after Galya died, that Galya told her she went to the doctor on her own and asked him how much time she had. Galya put cards under her clothes, and later I found them: ‘These are for Lina, these are for…’ So Galya knew, and kept it a secret from all of us…”
Over the course of my eighth-grade year, my exceptional hearing paid off, earning me a couple of eavesdropping sessions between mom and dad. They argued with low voices in the morning, careful not to wake me.
"Well, that shut me right up. He had told me before that I sounded crazy, that I was acting crazy. This time was different. I was crazy, plain and simple. I excused myself to use the bathroom and turned on both the sink faucet and the shower head. I was not going to let him hear me cry."
When I was boy, you were a planet. Then you weren’t. You disappeared from the solar system, relegated to “other,” to “dwarf.” But I remember you, distant one. You are part of a family of the forsaken. In the end, you revolved around the sun like the rest of us.
As a child in Ohio, I only heard so much about this war. I knew that there had been suffering. I knew that Ammah was affected by it—seeing her home after almost twenty years, her birthplace, broken apart in many ways. I understood that war meant irreversible change.
When your dentist pulls the wrong tooth, you will hold your own body at a distance. When your dentist lies about it, you will question what you know to be true—you will question your own sanity. When your dentist pulls the wrong tooth, you will sob for weeks about the pattern in your life of men taking something from you and insisting that they didn’t.
Did you know you can hear it? It’s the simplest thing. Adjust an old radio or analog TV; listen for the static between channels. There, nestled in the white noise between the country music station and talk radio, are the echoes of creation.
“Les escargots, s’il vous plait,” I said confidently to the waiter. “Such a tourist,” said my dinner companion once the waiter left with our orders. “Better tourist than exile,” I replied. “Better exile than stupid,” he said. You’re paying,” I said. (We ended up splitting the bill.)
i am the face of asian american racial justice, a mockery composed of: displacement and internal insistence on hegemonic modes of dominance, negation, and death familiar to the geopolitical histories of asia proper.
The news is full of apocalypse. The girls are full to the brim with confidence, lightening, fear. Facebook sends me into spirals of anger and anxiety.
I remember the dining room table, its vast gleam, the ring of faces. The kids have been excused. They’re watching illicit TV in the den or, if it’s summer, catching fireflies or playing flashlight tag [...]
When I walk into a restaurant, alone, I have to do some heavy scoping before I choose a seat. A table that’s up against a single wall is okay, but a corner table is better. [...]
JUST TELL ME WHAT YOU MEAN: SILENCE, OR MISUNDERSTANDING 1. As a young girl, I did really well in school. But at every parent-teacher conference, the same thing was always said, every year, from every [...]
Shit is only loss so far as it concerns the individual (for it feeds the soil, for it builds the earth). Even then I have transformed. Even then I am dynamic and in constant flight. [...]
I keep the postcard with me, and I let my grief travel.
It is February in Minneapolis, a month of frozen mud and sodden wings, except now oddly warm enough, it rains an iron rain. My wife, Christi drives. Her tires sluice. Exhausted windshield wipers perform accidental beauty; the patterns they leave fracture our light.
What does this say about me? Except for that I don’t mind pain, enduring pain, so long as it’s in view of others.
I’m fairly certain no one has been struck by lightning in the shower in the last fifty years, since water pipes
I would like to be romantic and call my eight-month stay in Paris a personal exile from Trump, but I moved because I’m a coward.
“Your presence is requested at an engagement party honoring …” * In Kreyol, dejwe explains the process of wasting your potential, of becoming ruined, of becoming a lost cause. Dejwe is the process of becoming [...]
What can I tell you about her home in Lahore? Only what she told me: We lost everything.
It’s a delicate process, but easy once you get the hang of it. If it’s done wrong, things curdle. If you do it just right, simultaneously whisking and adding warm to cold, it comes out smooth and resilient to hot temperatures.
i got the next round and after that she invited me back to her place. when we got there we were met at the door by 2 barking doggos. one was hers, a dark brown/reddish wiener dog mix who really doesn’t like guys.
On TV, we watched a Showtime series called Shameless. I’m easily bored by TV, so instead I looked around his apartment. On a shelf sat a colorful, glass hookah. Seeing it, I asked, “You smoke?”
But if I look at the etymology, I find the Greek, nemein, "give what is due" and that nemesis literally means "retribution". So why has it become intertwined in my memory with a forest of black mirrors?
This Skank Woman has no choice but to surrender to the hospital ambiance; the noise and patronizing nurses with good intentions, most of the time. The TV is showing the treatment of rhinos in Africa.
The Four-Day Win Family legend has it that one day I walked into the kitchen from the two-car garage, my hands cupped piously as if carrying a communion wafer. I approached my mother [...]
Flirting with suicide, I spent three apathetic years with Bulimia Nervosa, before I decided I wanted to live. A month into recovery, doctors discovered tumors on most of my major organs. My body is now [...]
Winner of the 2017 CA Non-Fiction Prize judged by Roxane Gay The hallways at Spence were blue and narrow. They wound one into another, and I couldn’t tell how many times I [...]
@Dopegirlfresh once tweeted that her first queer sexual encounter was like homecoming. I read that months before I had sex with a woman for the first time, but it stuck with me. Somehow it resonated [...]
Tendrils of dark hair dangle from her bun; refusing to be ordered and catalogued. She is wrapped in a dark sweater that has no end and drapes over itself. If she was a color, she [...]
Mez Breeze has been working for a good long while (since the mid 1990’s) to produce a splodge-like array of award-winning digital fiction, books, VR + AR experiences, games, experimental storytelling, interactive fiction, and othergenre-defying output that often can’t quite be categorized into neat little boxes (pssst: she secretly enjoys this fact).
Troy Onyango | The Ghost of Nina Simone; Or the Remains of an Existence Spiraling Towards the Nadir.cosmonautsavenue2017-07-17T14:49:49+00:00
The sky is the colour of a sketch artist’s thumb when the bus sneaks its way out of the bus station, headed for the port town of Kisumu – home; a place so distant it requires at least a week of mental preparation and enough love for those whose existence make up that word.
I never slept in this bed, though at one time I longed to. Instead it was left unconsummated. The summer when I imagined sleeping here, I went to have my tarot cards read over and over and over again.
“Guadalajara!” she said to me a couple more times in that locker room, with the showers thundering in the background and naked women slapping their suits down on wet benches. “Guadalajara.”
When I’m young, it’s the season of the rabbit—cute, horrible, skinny, sprinting under the sagebrush when a truck comes up the dirt road.
He, on the other hand, actually did meth, which was less cool that I thought. He looked more like a coke guy to me, but what do I know about what a coke guy looks like? As a child I smelled pot on my street and wanted desperately to call 911, so I'm not exactly what you would call "street savvy".
“Sturdier than the old one,” my mum said, “and it’ll keep the draft out.” A new door to cover the evidence that our house was not secure, but permeable. Walls like sieves, find a hole and enter.
I only remember my friends as having little teeth as so I can’t comment on their current state or the orthodontia sagas they may have endured. I should add here that I was also a thumb-sucker.
Post-coital tristesse (PCT) or post-coital dysphoria (PCD) is the feeling of sadness, anxiety, agitation or aggression after sexual intercourse. Its name comes from ...
excerpted from These Wild Horses for Steven In their third floor brick flat, the one tucked into the asphalt folds of Warwick Farm, past El Toro motel, down where the winding road straightens out opposite [...]
The sample was cheap and small and arrived five days after I ordered it. With no brand, no bottle, and no color, it looked like water. It was called Hg. I had chosen the sample [...]
Operation Desert Storm played on television. The picture was faintly out of focus, a smattering of grainy night scenes and bullet riddled stucco buildings. On screen, small details were nearly impossible to see. Faces and [...]
Excerpt from Donald Quist's essay collection Harbors from Awst Press. Available for order here. Lesson Plan Week 1 (Introductions) Course Title: ENGLISH-IV (Academic Writing for Second Language Learners) University Course Number: BG2001 Section: 434 (0:00) / (1:30) Greet [...]
Year One Move to Brooklyn the morning after Whitney Houston dies. Snow lines the ground, ruptured blood vessels line your eyes. Reason with yourself: if you move to New York in February and live to [...]
The feral twin brothers Rem + Rom come born from the Columbia river delta, fathered by a rogue member of the «Clueless + Lark» expedition + reared by a she-wolf, before morphing into [...]
In the vice of winter no one wants the raw, unless it is the orange yolk from an egg, and even then we drop it into a boil of stew. The sun is bright, and [...]
Excerpt from David Olimpio‘s essay collection This Is Not a Confession from Awst Press. Available for order now here. RELATIVE TIME You wouldn’t think a boy of six would be excited to get an alarm clock for [...]
Excerpt from Sarah Gerard's essay collection Sunshine State, out April 11, 2017 from Harper Collins. Available for pre-order now here. Lies I heard you tell yourself: Vitamins from fruits and vegetables are concentrated most densely in [...]
2 A few months ago, I read an article in the Times about a just-solved case opened in 1995, an anonymous car crash victim, the opposite of a missing person: found body, no identity. Facts [...]
SOURCE LEGEND From a ship in the middle of the Atlantic, headed in what he mistook for the correct direction—towards Africa—my black father panicked. A few days before, he’d received an urgent [...]
Dear Taylor, The apartment’s been shifting into a mild hell dimension for months now, so I’ve been leaving it more and more, finding new places to hide in. Except! Except maybe I should turn around [...]
On the phone we decide to check out the mansion of the condiments empire heiress—the intricate brickwork and the midnight guards who sleep outside for $10 an hour. I always say yes to a new [...]
HOLLER Now when the screen summons up Politician X, I do a start. Not because I'm dreading your elation at his latest surge, but because you're dead, and I will never holler at another human [...]
I asked my coworkers if they thought kissing was like washing the dishes. A few of us looked away, including myself, over a strewn pile of essays. The question hung in the air like a [...]
After I graduated from college with dual degrees in Art and Spanish, I fell asleep. I slept without knowing that I slept and that sleeping covered an entire continent of sleep for six full years. [...]
I tried to write this pretty, but five false starts in, I give up and state it plainly: I think I have something akin to survivor’s guilt. “Ridiculous,” my father says. “Guilt is for people [...]
After Ross Gay. After Eusébio. Everything had burned. And then: a game, an aria. And what a party we had, out on the Liberdade with thousands we didn’t know we loved, didn’t know loved us [...]
I don’t want to go home. I don’t want to have kids. I don’t want to see anyone, talk to anyone, grieve with anyone, pick up my phone, let them know I’m okay, even though [...]
I take the train to Elaine Kahn’s apartment. I mean Elaine and Kit’s apartment. But, I erase Kit from much of this, sorry. I get off at the 19th street stop in Oakland and am [...]
1. I haven’t dreamt of Abe Lincoln and Barack Obama playing one-on-one atop a gigantic bronze Marv Albert bust. That wouldn’t hurt my spirit. 2. What kind of husband will I be? 3. What kind [...]
Her white, spaghetti-strapped blouse is ripped in the middle, and a broken strap hangs off the shoulder of her body sprawled on the dirt ground: legs spread apart, jeans unbuckled and halfway down her thighs, [...]
Of the half dozen languages my immigrant parents knew, Polish was the one used for secrets−−anything we children were not to understand. A few years after they had both passed away, I visited my family’s [...]
“TAYARI JONES ON RON CARLSON” IS FORTHCOMING IN THE ANTHOLOGY A MANNER OF BEING: WRITERS ON THEIR MENTORS (UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS PRESS) EDITED BY ANNIE LIONTAS AND JEFF PARKER Ron Carlson taught me how to [...]
"Mary Gaitskill on the Old Guy” is forthcoming in the anthology A Manner of Being: Writers on Their Mentors (University of Massachusetts Press) edited by Annie Liontas and Jeff Parker The only mentor I’ve had [...]
1 One. The number most embodied, the number most claimed. “I am number one.”- Michael Jordan, Marilyn Monroe. The first chapter of Numbers is just documentation of a census of the Israelite community. There [...]
You move back home and Housecat is already there. You’re both back in the rooms you grew-up in. Figuring shit out, you both call it. Housecat’s four years and five inches ahead of you. Housecat’s [...]
There’s no homegrown cuisine in Washington, DC—no pizza, no bagel, no crab, no collard greens, no BBQ that embodies the District. The best DC can manage, when pressed on the issue, is either the half-smoke [...]
As Arthur Miller’s 1947 play All My Sons opens, the Second World War has just ended and Joe Keller has been acquitted of the crime of knowingly shipping faulty airplane parts to American pilots overseas. [...]
The first time I saw an amputee was in April 2006 at Bethesda Naval Hospital. I was twenty years old. The man was attractive, probably in his late teens to early twenties, with overgrown brunette [...]
In the early 90’s, just a few years into our marriage, when John and I were living in theobshaga, a shitty Russian university dormitory, on the windiest part of Vasilevsky Island out there on the [...]
"Imagine the marriage lasting, the lilies blooming in the black vase for years..." -Kim Addonizio, Tell Me It is Saturday afternoon in Lisbon, and I've stumbled upon bliss. Or whatever passes for it on a [...]
Outside, the sun fades below the line of the horizon. The sky is still pale blue, but it lacks the lightness of the afternoon. It is darker. Fuller. It has more depth. “The woman (her [...]
To the town where I live I’ve got many names and a tangled history, which occupies my centre as a giant Hephaestus of rough glass shards masterfully joined together. The massive sculpture-mount bears a modern [...]