Nonfiction

The Words

Allie Coppola

I’m in the place where words can’t reach me. I come here sometimes. When words become superfluous I return to the room with no windows and I close the door. It is underground and smells of must. It’s dark and cold and moldy. I’m allergic to it all. I cannot hear when I am told it will get better. In the dark room of the sad place, do not try to speak to me; I cannot hear your words. All I have are […]

The Words2022-06-26T23:57:47+00:00

Mouse in the House

Jim Ross

Until the doctor fixed my left ear, it couldn’t hear. The minus, was not hearing. The plus,  was not hearing.  

I can give you an example of a minus. I have to sleep on my right side most nights, even though sleeping on the left side is supposedly better for digestion. Sleeping on the right feels better with my back the way it is. That means that the pillow snugly embracing my downside ear (that’s the right one) muffles any noise. And the upside ear (that’s […]

Mouse in the House2022-06-26T23:57:47+00:00

Waiting, January to January

Marie H Curran

I’m not sure where to begin. Ten years ago, or weeks ago.

Both were Januarys.

The January of ten years ago began with a head cold, and January 2022 began with a desire to avoid a head cold.

Ten years ago, when the then head cold rolled in and worsened, and I began struggling to stay awake at my accounting job, I ended up at my GP’s surgery. A place I wasn’t overly accustomed to. As one GP had said only weeks […]

Waiting, January to January2022-06-27T01:51:14+00:00

An Invisible Wake

Julie Wittes Schlack

A mobile in motion leaves an invisible wake behind it, or rather, each element leaves an individual wake behind its individual self … a slow, gentle impulse.

–Alexander Calder, 1973

Feet and knees aching like an old woman’s, I’m seated in the Boston Museum of Fine Arts exhibit titled “Hyman Bloom: Matters of Life and Death.” It’s my first visit since my mother died.

I’d come to see the photographs in the Howard Greenberg Collection, a stunning collection of 447 […]

An Invisible Wake2022-06-28T03:30:52+00:00

“Let’s Pretend”

Julia C. Spring

On Saturday mornings my big sisters and I would get as close as possible to our huge cabinet radio, so tall that only when we got to third grade could we see the words in Webster’s Unabridged International Dictionary, Second Edition, splayed open on its top. Our beloved ritual was listening to “Let’s Pretend”—at 9 a.m. when we lived near Boston in the late 1940’s and at noon after we moved to Seattle in 1950, due to the time difference between the two coasts.

Cast members’ […]

“Let’s Pretend”2022-06-26T23:55:00+00:00

Driven

James Macdonald

I’m being driven in a white van. It’s 4:45 a.m. on my first day of shooting a low- budget remake of the iconic horror film Chainsaw Massacre. Outside my window the Red River appears and disappears as the pink Louisiana dawn creeps over the dash. I close my eyes, lean my head against the cool, foggy glass, and pretend to sleep. My driver chews sunflower seeds and spits the shells into a Styrofoam cup. He asks if the radio is too loud, which it […]

Driven2022-06-26T23:55:07+00:00

Faith

Traci Elliott

We lived in a duplex on Ashley Circle, in the not-quite-as-nice neighborhood then, Mama managing the trailers up the road. I walked past the circle of them on my way to the bus stop every morning, the cache of less-than-we-were tucked in behind the pine trees. In the summertime, my sister rode her Big Wheel in our driveway, pulling the emergency brake, fishtailing, gravel arching into the air, heat shimmying over the asphalt. We spent some weekends with Daddy at his second wife’s house, with the pool table in […]

Faith2022-06-26T23:55:10+00:00

Different Kinds of Pills

Jenna Klobucher

I come from a simple family—we sing in deafening harmony on road trips, we take too many photos at unremarkable events (lunch at McDonald’s, second and third days of kindergarten). So for a long time, nobody could make sense of my sister’s outbursts. She cried at school, she cried at the beach, she cried even when we got a new puppy. Her raw, red eyes emptied uncharted distress and she recoiled bitterly at any semblance of joy. These tormented sobs racked her scrawny bones for a while as my parents […]

Different Kinds of Pills2022-01-19T23:07:11+00:00

e.

Ash Taylor

I remember when the great oak tree on my elementary school campus was felled. The district said the tree was diseased, that it was rotting at the root, and they brought in monstrous yellow machinery to remedy the situation. First, they cut away all of the naked branches, then they ripped the trunk straight out of the ground, leaving nothing but a patch of dust behind. I was eight, and the loss of that tree was the biggest tragedy I could imagine.

I remember, a week before, I sat […]

e.2022-01-19T23:07:19+00:00

I < HEART > NY

Anu Pohani

The 1980s

Our flight lands at JFK at 3 p.m. It takes us a few hours to get all our luggage, load up and truck across the two bridges home. “I hope there’s no traffic on the Tri-boro,” Dad says to no one in particular. We eat the snacks in Mom’s handbag, reserved for emergencies. Still hungry, we start to bicker. There is always traffic on the Tri-Boro Bridge on the Cross Bronx Expressway. Typically, the George Washington Bridge entrance is where things clear up.

When we […]

I < HEART > NY2022-01-19T23:07:27+00:00
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