Past Life

One hundred seventeen in the desert, so we coil up Mt. Lemmon highway to cool off. I start to doze, then a flash in front of the car, a thud. Tan and white spots disappear under our tires. “Oh, God, she’s still alive. What are we going to do?” I barely get the words out … More Past Life

No One Knows

“It’s embarrassing, Mom.” “Then just sit out on the playground.” “You can’t, Mom, you have to go to the lunch room.” Richie is nine, and lives in a hollowed-out school bus that sits on a vacant lot hidden by trees and thick brush. He holds a beat-up Spiderman lunch box in his right hand as … More No One Knows

Cast Away

Ze paused. Smiled through the window. Warmth. Light. Love. One mother cut the turkey, the other handed out plates. Ze shivered, and pulled zer shawl around zer shoulders. Remembered coming out as trans and non-binary; remembered the anger, the shouting. Ze closed zer eyes, gritted zer teeth, and walked on through the snow. Heading home … More Cast Away

The Atheist’s Daughter

Several attendees suggested his suicide was a flaw in his philosophy. It seemed plausible to them, he would’ve lived longer and happier if he had surrendered to a higher power. She knew it wasn’t true. Rather: his pain was a flaw in the design delivered by evolution and not curable by prayer or things floating … More The Atheist’s Daughter

The Crumb

This is how you know you are poor. When the TV remote drops between the couch cushions, and you reach down and find food crumbs, you don’t share them with your sister. You squirrel them away in your pocket and save them for after bedtime, when the house is quiet. And long-sucking the flavor from … More The Crumb


As was his habit after excessive indulgence, he turned the tap to cold at the end of his hot shower. The jolt forced him to take deep breaths when his heart rate increased, releasing a rush of adrenaline—an instant recovery from his hangover. Holding him under a cold shower until he apologized for a perceived … More Self-Discipline

Anatomy Scan

She’s in the waiting room when I arrive. I touch her shoulder. “Okay?” She nods. In the dark examination room, a technician spreads jelly on her abdomen. Rocking the wand to and fro, white shapes bloom on black screens. The tech sings, “There’s baby!” Her arrow clicks several points, taking measurements. Skull, spine, legs. Cursors … More Anatomy Scan


A pastor’s daughter rips five pages from the Gideon Bible in a motel room. She’s been there shooting heroin with people she hardly knows. Despite years of Bible study, the teachings on the thin pages confuse her. She doesn’t understand their meaning so she stuffs them into a pocket to read later. Eventually, she gets … More Revelation