86. This time you tell yourself you’ll stay put like you were told to. Sit with the engine idling and bide your fucking time. You won’t go running in there after them. Not this time. You know by now that you can’t stop them anyway. That all it’s going to gain you is a stitch […]

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If You Want to Erase Us, You Must Be Thorough

(Content note: mentions of genocide)   “Baobao!” The Protector-General’s fat little dog disappears around the corner. Aida, cursing, digs her heels into the ground and runs. Baobao likes to chase after anything that moves. Usually Aida indulges him—it’s fun to see Baobao’s fat bum wiggle as he hops after squirrels he’ll never catch—but the sun […]


If Salt Lose Its Savor

Restless and troubled by salt-dreams, Dion was up before dawn. The night workers in the dryhouse sang work songs. Dion yoked her buckets across her shoulders and waded out into the sea, the face of the waters still black and littered with reflected stars. Red bands across the eastern sky shot through heavy clouds that […]


Braid of Days and Wake of Nights

The seat beneath her was glossy plastic and not interested in prolonging their acquaintance. Shifting from thigh to thigh, Julia Popova flipped through newspapers in search of the logo and slogans for bourbon that she had labored over for weeks. New York Times, March 3, 2005—ESCAPED CARRIAGE HORSE. Reports to the Parks Department of a […]


The Spirit of the Leech

Fifteen-year-old Miles Blackwell slapped the mosquito that landed on his neck, squashing it against his skin before it could bite him. So much for the expensive, mail-order “blessed” bug spray that his mother insisted he use. He was starting to wonder if the Lord really had favorite brands. He needs to know, Miles repeated in […]


Where You Linger

(Content note for sexual assault.) We all make mistakes. As I sit on the floor of my bedroom, surrounded by the journals I kept in high school and in my twenties, and fill out the doctor’s form, I tally mistakes in the corner of the paper. Before marriage, before Dover’s and my quiet nights trading words […]


My Country Is a Ghost

When Niovi tried to smuggle her mother’s ghost into the new country, she found herself being passed from one security officer to another, detailing her mother’s place and date of death over and over again. “Are you carrying a ghost with you, ma’am?” asked the woman in the security vest. Her nametag read Stella. Her […]