Morning Cup

Coffee brews the same as it always has and will, and you– –feel your stomach plummet at the thought of facing the day’s unstoppable tide of responsibility, gnawing feeling you need more but how are you a life and a caregiver all at once, ache of neglected possibility driving thoughts to distraction, briefly overwhelming guilt … More Morning Cup

The Moment of Truth

He looked at the mangled body but did not flinch. He’d seen too many like her, ripped apart by an unspeakable hatred. He considered walking away, pretending to call his wife for an imagined emergency. He fantasized about never having to see the daily devastation of his country that left him so drained and exhausted. … More The Moment of Truth

Gymnast, 12

People, I’m going to be an Olympian! Things I like: pineapple smoothies, fried fish, Simone, Sunisa, and McKayla. Magenta. Diet Mountain Dew. Which my mom won’t let me drink because, caffeine. Reggie gives it to us at the gym. My stuffed elephant collection. Orange. Benjamin, my brother. Gold medals, Tsukaharas— I learned them last year. … More Gymnast, 12

I Knew an Eggshell

I went to open mic night and read names of off-white paint to a crowd of espresso drinkers. They clicked in frenzy, their teeth stained Bone as I whispered “Alabaster, Gypsum. Pacific Pearl.” Just winking grays and purples in disguise. The morning Sara checked into a center outside Calypso, I spent three minutes staring at … More I Knew an Eggshell

A Pool of Thoughts

The word around town was that the kid two streets over had jumped off the diving board the wrong way and broke his neck when he hit the water. He died, and the public swimming pool closed down shortly afterwards. No one talked about the pool—or the boy—and we carried our thoughts (and fears) around … More A Pool of Thoughts

Champlain Towers South

He was a block away when the tower came down. He pulled over and watched the dust roll down the street. His wife was visiting her sister in Baltimore. Not only did he have to take orders from his father nine to five, now he would have to move back with his parents. He had … More Champlain Towers South

Redemptionist

“Cash, credit card, easy monthly payments. Redemptionist accepts them all.” Hard to price a soul’s salvation, he thinks. But the rubes are always eager to pay for his signed Church of Holy Mercy pardons. “I’ll even trust grandma’s good word.” Wary chuckles from his audience. Outside the meeting tent, lightning shreds the sky. “Come along, … More Redemptionist

Still

Be still, he yells at me from behind the wheel as he savagely cuts the engine. In the back seat, I tremble while the state trooper peers through the window and asks terrible, irrelevant questions of my new father-in-law. Where were you and with whom and what time? My husband’s mother is silent, but her … More Still