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Literary

My Mother’s Death – A Sonnet 

Line 1 14 lines to talk about my mother and her death? Too many, too few. And I’ve never been a poet. Not really. There was that one poem I wrote in 4th grade, the one about the class I was in. It was a rip-off of some poem about trees. My poem started like this: I think that I shall […]

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Green on the Inside

There is sunshine today and dirt beneath the woman’s fingernails. She is digging in the garden, a large hole, the size of her body, carefully measured. When she displaces a bit of earth, large clumps erode from the sides and fall into the bottom. This makes the process slow and cumbersome, but she doesn’t mind. […]

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So This

We go to the animal shelter on a Thursday. I want a dog. Liev says Thursday is the kind of day for getting a dog. We’ve done all the paperwork, been approved as “pet parents”—which is what the shelter calls it and Liev tried not to roll his eyes too much when they said it […]

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Mamita

The morning after the storm, Carlotta climbs onto her roof with a mug of orange tea and looks over Hialeah Bay. It stretches, glittering, to every horizon. The waves swept the flooded yards and streets of chemical slicks and litter. The winds blew away the stench of moldy homes and rotting plants. And the rain […]

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Now Watch as Belinda Unmakes the World

She begins with the grass that runs along the border near the bottom. She’s careful, as the tea-stained linen cloth is beginning to fray from the hundreds of times she’s pulled it in and out of the canvas shopping bag where she keeps her sewing. She pulls each stitch carefully, her movements a kind of […]

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Nothing Less Rare, Nor Precious

The sparrows left my chest the day I brought you home from the hospital. At first, I thought it was the crying–you were a loud, red-faced little thing–but they didn’t come back even after you quieted down. I began to miss the brush of wings against my ribs, the soft prick of little beaks and […]

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The Knives of Her Life

The night my step-dad found mum in bed with another guy was the same night he gave me his Swiss Army knife—the one he’d spent hours whittling wood with outside on our balcony. He jammed his clothes and books into a knapsack and told me he was sorry I wasn’t his for the taking. I […]

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Opening Move

You ask Teacher to put you in the Open category of the chess tournament, instead of the Girls category. You point at the other representatives she’s sending. “They’re in the open category,” you say, and you’ve beaten them all before. “There are very strong players in Open,” Teacher says. “The top-rated player in Open has […]

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Heartwood

When we boiled sap in the sugarhouse, I couldn’t breathe. I stood next to my father while heat billowed from the stainless steel evaporator, sap moving through the flues. It frothed with leaves and slowly became syrup. The maple smell, intoxicating and sweet, reminded me of Violet. I shoved logs in the firebox, then pulled […]

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The Magician’s Assistant

The magician comes home, but his assistant has disappeared. He checks in his hat. He checks up both sleeves. He checks beneath the Table of Death and the Goldin box where he used to saw her in half and once, after too much wine, let her saw him because, she said, one of him wasn’t […]

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