With this theme, we asked our writers to show us what we cannot see, from the hidden lines that connect us to the secret walls that keep us separate.

We asked our writers to find the ghosts that haunt the edges, and to capture them before they disappear. We asked not just to see, but to be made to believe. And so they did. And so, we do.

What then lies beneath, behind, below? As it happens: loops and lives that endure as they dissolve; a clandestine rendezvous with God in a Taco Bell; “a minor war with minor consequences” that is anything but; a tender encounter between coyote and fox, and what it can teach us; a grandfather and his very last butterscotch; a dishwasher’s soapy musings; a long forgotten locket; and so, so many Elizabeths, tapping silent longings into their glowing cellphone screens. They are all here, as if pulled from a hat. Thank you, writers, for these magic tricks and revelations.

Our editorial team was tasked with similar astonishments; not to make the invisible visible, but to collect what is revealed before it disappears, like memory or a message on a mirror. Thank you, team, for your mail-order x-ray specs and your knack for transmutation. Thank you for your efforts, both seen and un.

And so, Reader, for you, a gift: If the box seems empty at first glance, reach in with your hands and see what you touch. There is what meets the eye or doesn’t, and there is much much more.



Michael Hurley

Senior Editorial Assistants:
Patrick Fitzgerald, Akira Ritos,
Emily Stutzman

Editorial Assistants:
Elena Brewer, Catherine Cabrera, Alex Carmona, Sofia Dietrich, Jackie Eaves, Yasmina Kacila, Mikayla King, Harrison Morg, Rachel Perkins, Jared Stickney, Jackson Thompson, Claire Van Der Laan, Jonathan Villa, Lou Zeh