– continue reading "A Case for Forbidden Words" by Ifreen Raveen
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3M ago
There’s a dog curled up, sleeping. There are crows, screaming. Behind the dog, below the crows, there is a wall. There is one word inscribed on the wall. Azadi. Behind that wall is a military camp. Ask the men of my country what lies inside that camp. And they will tell you about death. About traces of their blood, their skin, their flesh, their bones and their ghosts hanging from the walls of the camp. Calling for help. Calling for ..read more
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– continue reading "Jubilee" by Marguerite Sheffer
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3M ago
Listen to "Jubilee" read by Tierney Oberhammer. I fell in love with an improv comedian, after the apocalypse. Neither was what I had planned for myself. When the attack came, we were both with different people, people who died horrible deaths, too horrible to mention to each other, except now, tonight, just once, for the first time, after curfew, after lights out, in the glow of the ship’s vending machines and emergency exits, in his cabin, without clothes, naked, in ..read more
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– continue reading "Under the Rose" by Dana Brewer Harris
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3M ago
Listen to "Under the Rose". Her birth was so violent, she must have thought it was death. I told McMahon, “Take her out and leave her at the bakery on Bancroft Road. They get in early. Wrap her up real tight, and watch from the car until they find her.” But he wouldn’t do it, and ended up giving her to a lady he knew in Pennsylvania. After about a year, she sent a photo of “Baby Marion” crawling in ..read more
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– continue reading "Recipe" by Maya Jewell Zeller
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3M ago
To make a tilberi you need wool and if you can’t find wool, you can use your husband’s pubic hair, and if you can’t find your husband’s pubic hair because he shaved it all off and fed the remnants to birds, you can use the hair of a whore, and if you can’t find the hair of a whore you can use dryer lint stolen from bougie lake cabins where people leave their dryers on as they depart so that ..read more
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– continue reading "A Three-Hour Tour" by Didi Wood
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3M ago
Listen to "A Three-Hour Tour". It’s pellets from your sister’s mouth as she spits fuck that, fuck them, they’re not injecting that shit in me, and you wonder if six feet really is far enough, even out on the lawn of your mother’s nursing home with your N95 properly fitted, and no more mandates, no more isolating, no more free tests sailing into the mailbox monthly because everyone says it’s over, thank god, and your sister ranting about how they’re ..read more
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"Things the Rain Says[i]"
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7M ago
When the phone and the computer and the Amazon Alexa I own just in case I injure myself and need to call 911 all tell me it’s raining, I open the door. It is not raining, so I lean against the storm door and cry. A moth and a fly buzz against the screen in a polyphony of wings. In the Portuguese version of Little Red Cap, a woman has two daughters. [ii]Their grandmother promises a red cap to Maria ..read more
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"The Title of Our Memoir"
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7M ago
My sister and I got drunk last night and played like we were girls. Under the small-town stars in my backyard, we took off our clothes, giggling and shushing each other as if we were trying not to wake our parents though it is my husband who is asleep inside the house. My sister’s husband is asleep across town, unaware that she is cheating on him. The night she told me, she’d asked to have a sleepover. We were smoking ..read more
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"Noir Story"
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7M ago
It started like any other dumb relationship. No particular red flags. I’m reading this book on Afro-pessimism, he said. A white guy. He closed the book on his thumb to keep his place and held it up to show me the cover. Oh, yeah? I topped off his coffee. How about you? You’re a person of color, he said. Helpfully. Would you call yourself a pessimist? Canada’s burning, I said. Maui’s burning. Our president just signed away Alaska. I wouldn’t ..read more
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"Chicken"
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7M ago
On the farm we had 20 of them, each as big as a rat terrier. Our yard wasn’t ours—it was theirs—and in it they hunted bugs, running wide legged and severing worm heads with their beaks. “Chicken” is the wrong word to describe someone who is scared. Visitors came. “We want to see the chickens,” they’d say, and I’d retreat to my room, chew on my hair, and watch from my window as twenty birds came streaking, screaming. We heard ..read more
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"How to Talk to Your Children About War"
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7M ago
You don’t tell children about beheadings, or people burned alive, or crowds cheering at pictures of the dead. You don’t tell them about the indiscriminate nature of bombs, how they’re supposed to be aimed at enemy soldiers but sometimes miss, and they sometimes kill civilians and people accept that pretty easily. You don’t tell them how some child’s parents promised to keep them safe when the war started, and then those parents were later stabbed or blown up or shot ..read more
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