He curls up on a sidewalk, safer than shelters, a blur of distemper rushing by. A terrier barks, “get a job.” A doberman kicks him. When a pack of lassies hand him loose change, he scurries after them, tail between his legs. Longing for a nuzzle, a lick on the face. Karen Crawford lives and … More Stray


Walking downtown on Saturday morning, I saw a homeless guy wearing my t-shirt. “Hey, that’s my shirt,” I said. He started to back away. “No, I don’t want it back. That used to be mine. That was a band I used to play in. The Hammerheads.” He did not look at it to verify. He … More Philanthropy


When the snow fort collapsed, the boys left their brother and ran for home. They left him because they were scared, their mother said. They were getting help for him. They left him because they were cold and weren’t thinking straight, their father said. Hypothermia. They had been out all day. Their grandmother asked, “How … More Crystalline

Dear John

“Who knew that taxidermy had so much to it?” This was her breaking point, this question, the kind of question he always asked, after the fact, after the wiring started a fire, after the experiment with the water pipes, after the brake fluid all over the garage floor, this time with a pile of flesh … More Dear John

Aqueous Humor

She found a pair of glasses in the woods, round with gold frames. Whose glasses could they be, off the mountain path, in the moss, clean and unscratched? She took off her own glasses with smudged lenses, held them next to the ones she had found. She put the found ones on, and though they … More Aqueous Humor


Finally the lamp fell. It landed on the burnt earth in a puff of ash: a thump too quiet to break the silence. Remnants of the world that was fell like snow, drifting in paradoxical laziness upon the air. The child’s eyes were wide. Her tears hadn’t had time to congeal, much less fall. “What … More First


Beethoven fills the curtilage as she opens up a tiny alabaster box. Heads turn, looking for the sound source. “May I ask, why are you selling it? This work’s quite exquisite.” His calloused hand beckons, revealing a dark number inked on his left forearm. “Some memories are better left forsaken.” Andrea Damic, born in Sarajevo, … More Memorabilia

A Flower for Sophie

Throughout the clement seasons, Johanna S. sells flowers from her stand on Hauptsrasse, near the pharmacy: a carnation for the watchmaker; white roses for the Bernhauser twins; multi-hued tulips for widow Meisler. Every morning she lays a sprig of rosemary on the shiny brass stolperstein, or stumbling stone, set amidst the cobbles beside her watering … More A Flower for Sophie