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 […]


Peridot and Rain

We never know when the market will come, though it comes twice a year; a stretch of three days, or five, or seven or nine, but never more. Overnight, the sound of wood and nail and turning wheel in the fields that are never plowed, never grazed, where no brambleberries grow, and in the morning […]


Nutrition Facts

I’m told that the recipe never changes. It’s the same taro congee day after day, no added powders or ingredients. The taste is supposed to be consistent with only a few shifts in nutrients. I palm the sensoring pad and the vending machine squeezes it out from the robot with the mixing bowl behind glass. […]

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