Story: Jennifer Genest

side work

Side Work 1988. The most popular song, “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” by Bobby McFerrin, was what my manager, Scott, would sing, ad nauseum, whenever we had any sort of gripe. This was funny to me, at fifteen at my first job—a waitress at a Deering Ice Cream and Family Restaurant in my home town in … Continue reading

Story: Renee G. Rivers


What’s in a Name? “How will you take his name and continue to teach? Teaching in the inner city is hard enough without dealing with that name.” Mom was right, but there were a lot of balls to juggle: finishing graduate school, finalizing the house deal, planning the wedding, interviewing for jobs, and yes, rearing … Continue reading

Story: Kristen MacKenzie


Ting One thought of the flavor, and my tongue is a terrain that doesn’t fit human dimension; it’s the Bonneville Salt Flats, the Sahara Desert poised at that moment when the first rain starts to fall, soil prickling, heat shimmering, thirsty. It’s summer 1996, and I’m in Jamaica beginning a marriage that would match the … Continue reading

Story: Aniket Sanyal


Stretched Green The morning he woke, the sky was stretched green. It was not normal they said. Someone could get hurt; lose an eye to the blinding nature of it all but he didn’t care. The morning he woke there were patterns made of tendrils and an atlas to be found amongst the foliage and … Continue reading

Story: Eric Zipper


Julia I. Julia I found her behind a dumpster, six months after the world ended. She had a dirty old dishrag clutched between her tiny fists, her eyes like cloudless sky. She danced, spasmed, flailed away from me, pushed herself against the cool green metal of the dumpster, but didn’t make a sound. I half … Continue reading

Story: Katie Martin


Checking-In My mother and I drove west from Phoenix all night, rolling down the windows so the July desert air could pummel our faces and knot our hair. We played a Liza Minnelli CD and sang so loud that our pinched voices smothered her contralto one. We turned off the radio and listened to the … Continue reading

Story: Desmond Webster


Game of Life The leadership style of a man is as distinctive as his fingerprint, and my grandfather dealt with absolutes: you did what you said, and said what you did; the sun always rose in the east; and tobacco should be smoked only in a pipe and never rolled in a cigarette. My grandfather … Continue reading

Story: Ellen McGrath Smith


Varicose Veins Channel-Surfs Before Meeting Her Internet Date I won’t be stood up. I’ve stood up way too much. Toni Brattin’s Beauty Secrets has no cure for vermicular. What if he turns out to be a serial killer? Why can’t my legs be Paris Hilton’s? What of my eyebrows and nosehairs? I tweezed until I … Continue reading

Story: John E. Keats


A Part I watched the brunette’s pale breast escape from the vertical pressure of a clinging, turquoise strip. A high sun scalded the concrete and the crowd surrounding my apartment complex’s pool. Most of us were stuck to slimy cushions on slatted, wooden recliners. Children splashed in the water. Adults swam quivering laps. The exposed … Continue reading

Story: Gessy Alvarez


Morsels Fort Tryon Park. A troop of children swing like acrobats, slide like boulders, climb up the monkey bars and shout from the top, “Look at me!” Mami pushes the stroller. Little sister’s arm dangles from the side. She hiccups the last of her tears. I fly around them. My arms stretched like the wings … Continue reading


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