The Orchard Will Bloom

Ma squeezes her worn collection of Erben poems into my overstuffed rucksack. “Food feeds the body. Poetry lifts the soul, helps us endure. Treasure it.” Last moments in our flat. Heydrich, the Butcher of Prague, was assassinated yesterday and Nazi reprisals have started. Ma has bribed our way onto a truck filled with potatoes, scheduled … More The Orchard Will Bloom


Josh always watched the lottery alone, his door locked to keep out his roommates. He’d been playing the same number for ten years, and after writing down Saturday’s numbers, he checked his ticket against them ten times. He had thought if the moment ever came he’d scream, maybe dance. Now he sat holding his winning … More Numbers

Fifteen Seconds in the Vacuum of Space

Fifteen. He fumbles toward an outstretched hand. Fourteen. He misses. Thirteen. Panic. Twelve. The vessel spins away, replaced by a thousand-million stars and utter, utter blackness. Eleven. He exhales. Ten. Oxygen spills like blood from an open wound. Nine. Decompression. Eight. There is no time to think. Seven. Just sensation. So cold. Six. His saliva … More Fifteen Seconds in the Vacuum of Space


jazz singer the blues in her rose tattoo Disaffected youth, covered with tattoos, push through the clouds of incense and cigarette smoke espousing political sentiments that hurtle for the most part into the freezing yawn of space. This colony as a whole is unrecognized by the Federation, and this club is dismissed as a catch-all … More Space


Click–scroll–click, click. He glanced for prying eyes, then perused the ads: – bottoms – tops – curious – cars A rumble – not ready to look. What would Kara say? He couldn’t explain it. Stumbled across one promising big – rumble. Aimed the arrow, hesitant, when a voice shattered his isolation. Smith. My office. He … More m4m


A circus of torment. Immigration court waiting room crackles with distress. Emotions somersault and contort when considering high-wire rulings, no net below. Creased faces dissolve into phones. One hearing ends; the courtroom empties. A family and overworked pro bono attorney enter together, a stunned assemblage. Huddled in a corner, salty rivulets stain cheeks. We’ll appeal, … More Contortions

Life on the Other Side

We eat bananas and listen to The Beach Boys. We shop in shiny supermarkets and aren’t afraid of our neighbors. We’re happy. And yet, when I’m tucked up in bed with my American face cream on, I’m sure I hear tapping in the walls. “Psst!” I whisper. “What if they’re listening to us?” “Go to … More Life on the Other Side