HELENA RHO Strangely relieved but feeling thwarted, I try to block out all emotion. I hold my breath. We knock on her door again. Ring the bell insistently. I stare at the peephole of the blank white door, willing darkness to hint that she is inside looking out. I see not a flicker of shadow. … Continue reading THE CRANES


Gretchen VanWormer When we were little, my sister Heidi and I used to wake in the morning and find tiny bottles nestled in the soft pink blankets at the foot of our beds—presents from our mother, who worked the night shift in the NICU. I wondered at the impossibly small bodies our mother held in … Continue reading POPS OF RED

The Other Land

Pamela Baker Your father’s truck smells of sweat, oil, and stains too old to remove. You climb in anyway. The truck is how you get to the “other land,” land that’s mostly shale and bad for building on but good for growing trees. It’s the land farthest from the house you grew up in, land … Continue reading The Other Land


Jo-Ann Berelowitz From 1972 to 1973 I lived in Hillbrow, Johannesburg. The view from my flat reached across the financial towers of the CBD to the squat block homes of Soweto to the gold mine waste dumps spectral in the hazy distance, their ghostly presence veiling their primacy in generating Johannesburg, Egoli, City of Gold. … Continue reading Epiphany


Hollie Box (Woman-with-Sign) January 5, 2017 My house empty, I mash the volume button on my beaten-up BOSE past 60, like a convertible driving teenager. Only I’m not trying to look cool; I’m standing in my underwear, hoping to hear talk radio over the shower. Stepping face-first toward the nozzle, high-pressure streams prick my face … Continue reading (Woman-with-Sign)

Mountain of God

Amy Collini The drive up the mountain takes place at dusk, the jagged foothills of western Sicily jutting up alongside the road, looming ochre and then blue in the fading light. We rock from side to side as the taxi hits each new switchback, and I marvel that I’m not carsick. Instead, I’m filled with … Continue reading Mountain of God

Time Inside a Troubled Room

Laurie Blauner Time Inside a Troubled Room I was looking for someone who understood, someone who took their time. Instead of bursts of light and noise talking directly to the brain, screeching colors, tasting of chocolate, the odor of lemons, sound of people speaking over one another, the touch of glass, plastic. We are sensory … Continue reading Time Inside a Troubled Room