Issue Sixteen

Camber Sands

Today it’s hotter at Camber Sands than anywhere in Death Valley. I’m eating olives stuffed with anchovies because I’ve drunk all the wine in the plastic wine tumbler. Maureen doesn’t like olives. Too foreign, she says. Reminds me of that Israeli guy, did I tell you...

One Away From Enough

When the cotton candy colored sky spins out shadows that land in the hungry crevices of old brick that line these cobblestone streets, I begin to wonder what my brother had eaten that day. Perhaps beef stroganoff, his favorite? Probably not. A paper cup of chocolate...

Shay’s Lot

The house burned down. One person died. Don’t ask me about that person, his name or how old he was. I’m telling you right now, I won’t talk about it. I fucking can’t. I cannot think about it. At first, everyone treated the fire like it was a sad accident, just one of...

Aspects of Poetry

My friend’s mother talked on the phone for hours, pacing the kitchen, smoking cigarette after cigarette, pausing and frowning in dramatic caesuras, then replying in a burst of diatribe or praise. She’d hush us—vamoose, I’m talking—and then, after a brief apology,...

Gag Order

silence. you promised. lips pressed thin. don’t tell, you think. but—the heaviness of it. the weight of words distended, when once upon a time you oozed innocence, unblemished and soft, trailed by truth like perfume. light exploded through your pores, your dreams,...

A Meditation on Bitterness

I am five and I go to a co-ed school. It is the summer after I’ve passed 1st standard, first in my class. I am seated in between two nuns who are about to start interviewing me, and my parents are made to sit across from us on a separate sofa. We are here seeking to...

Eat and Eat

You are asleep when I get to your room. I watch your back rise and fall, your face toward the window, toward the Domino Sugars sign lit in the distance. The thick window slightly tinted so the sun doesn’t seem too bright, so it doesn’t need a shade with a cord. I...

There is Something I Need to Tell You

I do my best to avoid images of violence or death. When a slow-motion car crash is recreated on a tv show or a hockey replay presents a gruesome injury, I cover my eyes. If I’m with company I look at my phone, where violence has become unavoidable. I have seen the...

Skippy

I come back home out of breath and unbearably sad. I look for Skippy. “Skippy, where are you?” I say. “Skippy?” I search the common room, the kitchenette, my bedroom, under the couch, the windowsill, my desk, and for reasons I cannot fully justify, the freezer. Skippy...

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