Fiction

Under One Roof

First came the murmurs. Then footsteps above our bedroom, where no feet should have been. Josh guessed we had squirrels in the attic. “I hope not,” I said, lying next to him the first night in our new rental. “Seeing as how we don’t have a key to the top floor. Anyway, it’s just the […]

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An Ocean the Color of Bruises

The budget hotel is empty and desolate, the lady behind the check–in counter drained of color. Her eyes are wide and fraught as she looks over our reservation form. “Two bedrooms with double beds?” We nod. Rich passes her his credit card. “Five keys?” We nod again. She hands the keys to Rich with a […]

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Snow Day

22. Tea for Three Published 1934, Harem House Press, 128 pages Gudrun hated her name, her mother, and bad art. She loved her house, a wild turkey called Murray who had decided to live out his sunset years in her garden, and Cold Palace Brand No. 1 Silver Needle Tea, which, by the time the […]

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The Words on My Skin

The traits that make me who I am are written on my skin. My biggest words are in my mother’s handwriting—smart, loving, resilient, organized. She wrote them on my back because there’s no way I’ll ever be able to reach that skin myself. Mother’s largest word is considerate, written in her father’s blocky letters, filling […]

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El Cantar of Rising Sun

On the Avenue Count the houses of worship: From Tyson Street to Tabor in Olney, you can walk a straight avenue of redemption, rising with the sun. Baptist, Buddhist, Catholic, Episcopal, and Evangelical—every people to their house. Only I visit them all, as part of this mester de juglaría, this cycle of irregular meter and […]

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Travels with the Snow Queen

Part of you is always traveling faster, always traveling ahead. Even when you are moving, it is never fast enough to satisfy that part of you. You enter the walls of the city early in the evening, when the cobblestones are a mottled pink with reflected light, and cold beneath the slap of your bare, […]

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The Drowning Line

To Anna–Maria, my roots, my strength It’s the satellite phone duct–taped around my left bicep that wakes me up. Not the late October noises in the deep night, nor the ice–cold water that cleaves my body in half at the abdomen. It’s the desperate ringing, muted under layers of plastic to keep it dry, and […]

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The Plague Givers

She had retired to the swamp because she liked the color. When the Contagion College came back for her thirty years after she had fled into the swamp’s warm, black embrace, the color was the same, but she was not. Which brings us here. The black balm of dusk descended over the roiling muddy face […]

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