CNF

A Perfect Day in Köln

As we greet him—Guten Tag—in the lobby’s intercom, we don’t know yet that Artur barely speaks German himself. Our couch-surfing host is a foreign PhD student—a theoretical physicist—and he gives powerful hugs. He obviously works out. He shows us around. He does not...

Open Mic

Rain staggers down the café windows like soot-stained tears over a cheek. I hiss air through milk. Lament the croissants suffocating under glass, the buck seventy-five in my tip jar. You take the stage. Belly-button ring glinting, a target for magpies and the boys in...

You Ask For Much (EndSARS)

It is October in Nigeria and you think of grief as a secret, sealed letter in the hands of a youth: "Give it to the Army, they'll know what to do with it." An invitation to death. You don't wail out here. This is ours, not yours. Like not yours but ours when ours is...

To Do: Put Brain Together

I don’t know what to write so day after day, month after month, I make to-do lists. Errands for my wife, soups I’d like to eat, credit card companies to call.      With a small X checking off accomplished tasks, my lists remain upbeat and optimistic.  ...

Family tree

My daughter decided to make a family tree the other night and asked me to fill in the names. She just turned nine, the same age my grandfather was when his mother and father and four sisters were killed as part of a plan to rid the land of us. I could have told her...

Solitary

The fireflies dance magnificently in the shadow of the Big House. Electric disco lights reflected joyfully in the razor wire; pulsating music I can feel but not hear.  It’s been eleven days. I can tell them apart. They’re unique; I’ve named them. Oddly, I can’t...

30-Day Notice to Vacate

Date: May 25, 2021 Tenant: Lucy Wilde Address: Non-permanent mobile Vessel currently located at Tsawwassen B.C., Canada Vessel identifying features: Female Height: 5’ 7” (and diminishing. Tenant claims it is due to excessive servitude and a condition known as...

Choosing Wisely

Most death choice is absence of forethought, or a not knowing, passive, not a choice at all. Living is an active choice we make every day. Get up. Eat food. The gray zone is vast and fuzzy between death choice and life choice. Drinking wine is a death choice some...

Four Pregnancies

Why is this happening again?             Words escape us. They rise in my chest, fluttering, flailing, and they falter. Leaving only the thick silence of what we cannot name....

What Matters

Your mother dies at 4am on a Wednesday. Does it matter that you have not talked to her in years?  That when you walked into her room yesterday, confusion confiscated her face. “Who is that?” she said, her lips pulled down into a well of deep disappointment. Your...

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