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Fantasy

Pianissimo

When we hear they are coming, we bury our music in the backyard, deep underneath the roots of the sycamore tree where the forbidden music cannot break through the earth. We know the punishment for carrying music inside of us. We know that if we are caught with music, we will be sent away to […]

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Our Cousins, Whom We Do Not Use As Directed

We are the alive ones. We have grown fewer with time. Our cousins stay near us in the form of objects although they are not of us any longer. The conch on the mantel was of us once. The tasseled ottoman was of us once. The carven bell was of us once, and we ring […]

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Quilting With the Rejects

Rex could teach anybody to quilt. He didn’t care if you’d never sewn before, if you’d never held a needle. He had a gift, knew the fabric, and inherited a lifetime of needles from his grandmother. Quilts came together easy under Rex’s careful eye. It didn’t matter if you had no money. Goodwill was brimming […]

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Trinkets

Her first gift was palm-sized and heavy, wrapped in black silk and tucked into my hand as she passed. I’d seen her before, her face always hidden behind cheap sunglasses, and she’d ignored me the way everyone ignores overweight, anxious men having a cigarette before work. As though they might catch my appearance like a […]

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Ivy

The neighbor’s house is covered in ivy, and the children who live there are covered in ivy too. Well, the child who lives there. There was a miscarriage. There is only one child. The mother told her daughter, You are a big sister, even though the aunt called her brother “a fistful of unviable cells.” […]

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Three is a Sacred Number

K’loth bends his face to the basin and washes. The first washing of the day is for the Gods. One is the Goddess. Two is the God. Three is the Shadow. The water drips from pale blue tentacles above his mouth that move in the motions of prayers he has said every day since attaining […]

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I Will You Back to Time and Space

You are ten years unborn on the evening of the day that will soon become known as G-day. I am washing dishes in the kitchen of our newly bought terrace, cleaning the residue of dinner from our finest boot-sale porcelain. I bring two glasses of wine over to the sofa, where your mother is yawning […]

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Slaked Lime, Iron Knife

A beautiful woman robed all in white, lips red as rubies, followed the young, pale-skinned priest as he walked though the forest. The priest knew she was a yakshi, a demon that tore men’s throats out and drank their blood to quench her thirst. She was said to live atop a palm tree. When darkness […]

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A Good Egg

He climbs the spiraling stairs. Bowtie dangling from his fist, he climbs and sits atop the castle wall, where the torch-dotted city folds to dark shapes. Below, vastness, empty, as he feels sitting here. His feet are heavy, pulling downward. He doesn’t need to fall to crack into a million pieces. At tonight’s wedding, he […]

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Ghost of the Pepper

In the cool of the morning, I walk between my rows of peppers, brushing my fingers against the glossy leaves of Anaheims, Brazilian Starfishes, and Carolina Reapers. I grow peppers the way my mother and grandmother before me did—I grow them for the dead. Grandma taught me about peppers, how they gather up the anguish […]

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