Mr. Sick July, 2014 A strong, sharp cough jerked me awake, grabbing me by the throat and wringing it so hard my whole body shook with it. I tried my best to keep quiet, the abrupt KHOH-KHOH tearing away the stillness of the bedroom at four in the morning. My partner, as far as I […]
By Brendan Wolfe
By Megan Saunders
Kirk Molitor is a man who relies heavily on the power of prayer. In the 33 years of being my father, he has sent many a request skyward on my behalf—arriving to school safely each day, marrying a Republican, a healthy fear of skydiving, and other such appeals….
The Long Middle
By Joumana Altallal
I jokingly admit to my friend Yasin, over coffee at a bookstore downtown, that all I really want is to write a good Muslim rom-com. Inevitably, we begin the conversation with The Big Sick. And then a single question: “Have you ever been in love?” I’m nervous to answer…
Death is an Outer Body Experience
By Rémy Ngamije
Do not confuse death and dying. Dying is internal. Morphine in the arteries. The heart’s countdown. Organs shutting down one at a time. The laboured breathing. A last flicker of the eyes. And then, what? Silence? I do not know. The dead are not talking….
The Art of Japanese Drumming – An Outline of Belonging By Jessica Watson
To Believe or to Know
By Joanna Greenberg
It started like this: the second love poem I ever wrote was for you. Before I wrote it, I wrote one to my depression. I was fourteen, and the poem was a long metaphor comparing my unpredictable moods to the weather…
Song for No One’s Backyard
By Steven Moore
Jim McCrumb always told the same stories to every new batch of student employees. Jim had been a manager at the university bookstore for a long time. He spoke gently. He smiled. He had gray hair. He liked surrealism…
The Shape of a Day
By Chelsey Clammer
Courtney and I slept together a few nights ago, but not like that. Girlfriends at sixteen, we were each other’s first love. Now, almost twenty years later, that’s not us, but I’ve been staying in the five-bedroom house Courtney shared with her mom…
By Storey Clayton
In retrospect, it seems likely that the school district administrators were bluffing when they recommended that I skip four grades. Oregon District 10 Superintendent Harold Riggan put the offer to my parents: “Storey is testing at an eighth-grade level…
No Baby, An Apology
By Bill Marsh
I dream sometimes about babies. I know these are babies I’m dreaming about because afterwards, when I stir awake with some semblance of recognition, I feel a hazy sense of having dwelled for a moment in fuzzy warmth, a zone of charmed interaction….
By Lauren Mauldin
Last week, I dreamt I was eating a bagel. Not a New York bagel, the outside crisp and sprinkled with poppy seeds, toasted flakes of onion and tiny, square cubes of salt. No, the dense, bready pre-sliced kind you buy in plastic bags…
In Memoriam of Rust
By Alexia Kemerling
“I just have regular old fashioned music on the radio,” Mike says. “I hope that’s okay.” He adjusts the volume knob and the bass line of “Under Pressure” fills the van…
A Country May: 14 Days
By Chila Woychik
1. From the brash and loud, we seek the soft Midwest melody. This is less provincialism, more self-preservation. Years in the city left us numb and sightless; now, every new day brings startle and flux and a cold slap of air where we need it most…
By Melissa Goodnight
Dana worked the morning shift at Skaggs Regional Hospital. As far as nurses go, she was friendly and efficient. She was a sturdy girl, with gentle hands and a welcoming hug. In the early morning hours, as the sun made its slow climb from behind the clouds, Dana could be found shuffling cords and fluffing pillows…
Take My Hand So I Can Walk
By Peter Galligan
April and I are married, expecting a child. We’re at Denver Health, the city’s municipal hospital, for an ultrasound. The room is dark. April is holding my hand as I sit next to the bed. Being terrified of having a child to begin with, I sit silently with sweaty pits…
By Shaun Anderson
The mission president told me I suffered from something called “spiritual dissonance.” He described it as a situation where what I know (I am a missionary, called by God, to teach others about the true church of Jesus Christ) and what I want (a relationship with a man) exist with internal discord….
By Wendy Fontaine
My daughter runs through the backyard of our rented cottage in Peachtree City, a southern town named for the fuzzy fruit that grow in every orchard. Stars appear in a darkening sky, and the air is sticky-sweet with the scent of magnolia…
The Measurer of Ruin
By Lynne Feeley
I am matching up misfortunes. In my left hand, I hold a Polaroid of a crumpled Saturn on rings of burned rubber and broken glass, while with my right, I tick through thick manila folders. I find the folder that matches the name my father has scrawled at the bottom of the picture….
By Mahdis Marzooghian
I Inpulsa/Negatio: I wish I could tell you I love you in every tongue ever spoken. Maybe then it will be enough. Maybe then it will convince you. Or maybe it will make up for the fact that I cannot be yours in this lifetime….
Everything Presses In
By Rachel Veroff
Swish. Swish. The morning sun flashes through birch boughs as I race my flickering shadow. Cold air stings my face, and my skis whisper across the icy crust of daylight like a blade being sharpened….
By Naomi Ulsted
I was watching television when my dad barreled into the living room in his boxers. He twisted and shimmied and slapped wildly at himself, his hands clapping sharply against his pale skin. My mother was at Grandma’s house…
By Elsa Valmidiano
Blight: NOUN 1. Any of numerous plant diseases resulting in sudden conspicuous wilting and dying of affected parts, especially young, growing tissues. 2. The condition or causative agent, such as a bacterium, fungus, or virus, that results in blight….
By Abi Newhouse
Olivia and I drove through the canyon in the dark. The only light came unnatural and electric from street lamps or the car clock or the bright headlights behind us. I followed the road, the curve of it, and the hill, and did all of this with tears dripping down my face…
Goodbye to All That
By Jordan Floyd
If Belle London were alive today, she’d be an intersectional feminist. She would frequent 25th Street in Ogden—where it all began, her Sin Alley, Two-Bit Street, the home of her once lucrative prostitution house…