What is most striking to me now about all of the pieces selected for this community-themed issue, looking at all of them together, is how they themselves seem to be their own little community, populated by characters and caretakers, loved ones and ex-lovers, strangers and friends and old friends made newly strange, parents and grandparents and siblings and infants, workers and activists and onlookers, all wandering city streets and storms and salvage yards and driveways and little shacks where sweetness is made. It is amazing to see how they have found a way to live together like this, and to thrive—to be stronger, and more meaningful, more vital, more exciting, more everything, when experienced and enjoyed together. That is, we thought, putting this together, how community is supposed to work. Thank you to our writers for making it so.

This issue is also a product of an editorial community of writers and readers, who brought their own distinct truths and senses of the world to the selection process, filling it with laughs and passion and energy and honesty and a desire to look deeply into the inter-webbed and inter-weaved lives of others to see what glitters there. And glitter it does, we found, right at the spots where they are all joined together. Thank you, team.

To you, reader, we extend an invitation: Welcome to our community. We are lucky to have you. Come on in, and stay awhile. Make a home here, if you’d like.

—Michael Hurley


Bryce BerkowitzAmanda BrahlekMerridawn DucklerSamantha Leigh FutheyKyle McCordBrandon MelendezMatthew SumpterKara Kai Wang


K. C. FrederickDanielle LaVaque-Manty

Creative Nonfiction

Jessica McCaughey


Editor: Michael Hurley

Editorial Assistants: Aiden Baker, Emma Basdeckis, Jenna Beebe, Olivia Buck, Cameron Byrum Ramberg, Lor Clincy, Hannah Downing, Yuu Fabrigaras, Eryka Jones, Donna Kubica, Timothy Melvin, Shannon Morrissey, Zoe Pawelczak, Alexis Schroeder, Erin Threlkeld, Jacob Valentine, Michelle Villa, Frank Zuniga