Nina Boals, “Hiding Matches”

As if coaching  words to swim  across oceans  for her mother, my mother shouts into the phone  to help her family hear  or understand.  For years, she’s been adding dollars  to add minutes  to buy time  she gets to speak  to family  who have forgotten all of the details:  how much sugar  she takes in her chai,  if she spells her name with a ‘t’ or a ‘th’.   I […]

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Alonso Llerena, “Servants of God”

selected for publication by Chet’la Sebree Servants of God after La Última Cena, Marcos Zapata, c. 1753 In the Last Supper painting that hangs at Cusco Cathedral eleven apostles and Christ flank the centerpiece  a roasted guinea pig A bath of light overflows behind Christ’s head In-between two candelabra a window encases the first-quarter moon amongst […]

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Amy Patterson, “The First Thanksgiving”

selected for publication by Robin Marie MacArthur Orderly trunks of maritime pine forest plummet to marsh grass and beach sky where the narrow double lane becomes the Dauphin Island bridge. A brown pelican glides outside the car window as I coast onto the island proper, guiding me to this first Thanksgiving at Mama’s without Mama. […]

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Penny Walker, “From Dust”

selected for publication by Craig Santos Perez sponsored by I-Regen at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign “Nahla,” the old woman says from the bed. “Nahla, it is past time. Kill me.” It is the same conversation they have had every day for the past six months. Nahla doesn’t answer this time. The generator-powered record player […]

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Mandy Len Catron, “The Octopus”

selected for publication by Craig Santos Perez sponsored by I-Regen at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign The second round of IVF failed exactly the same way the first did: the embryos simply stopped growing. Every other day the lab called with an update. Six embryos, then five, then three, then one. “There’s still one,” each […]

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