All tagged nonfiction

The Third Stage

In the dream, you are given a chance to undo your cousin’s suicide. He killed himself on Wednesday. A day that is shockingly recent. You feel like everyone has aged eons since; you keep looking at calendars and realizing, with shock, that it is only Thursday. Only, somehow, Friday. You wish that time would hurry up and place more of itself between you and your cousin’s suicide, like a pillow. Like a cloud.

Where It Happened

The woods behind his house, past the gray barn with a dirt floor. Inside there might have been an old basketball hoop. I only went in once or twice, because I remember thinking, this thing is going to collapse any second.

Operation Desert Storm

Fadel was the brother who stayed the longest, the one who called my grandma “Mom.” He wore strong, spicy cologne, the kind that chokes and stings, lingers long after he has left the room. My mom told me that when he lived with them, he got a brand new car every six months and threw away his undershirts after he had worn them just once. He was a good friend to my dad, Curtis, the dad who I never saw.

20 Tips for Your First Abortion

1. It does not matter if you were on birth control, if you forgot just this once, or if you didn’t think at all. It does not matter if it was your husband, your boyfriend, or someone who was really working those olive corduroy pants. You are pregnant. And you are the one that is freaking the fuck out. 

Drawing Class

I sniffed the right armpit crease of the polyester “Japanese” robe I was given, wondering how many had felt its itchy gold stitching on their bare skin before I had. From the conflicting musks, I guessed at least one woman and two men. I sniffed again. Three men. Four, even. Taking turns glancing at the clock and scanning the empty room, I was overwhelmed by the sensation of air sweeping my knees, cradling them cynically. I felt dry cracker dust fall in my cleavage from the stale matzoh I was eating and dusted it off with my pinky before Agatha sidled in, holding two long PVC pipes.

Castle Island

She fell off the pier at Castle Island and spent four days in the hospital with tubes in her lungs. My nana clutched her rosary beads so tightly she bruised her hands. Neither of them talk about it. I once asked Mom why she still loved Castle Island so much when it had almost killed her. We were a little ways off from that same pier, plucking hermit crabs out of the sand, letting them scuttle across our palms and plop back into the Atlantic.

Standing Profile

Figure 72: This shows the eleven facial profile fiducials that are most often used in facial analysis, and will be used in this chapter. The fiducials are numbered from top to bottom: (1)forehead, (2) glabella, (3) nassion(bridge of nose), (4) pronasale (tip of nose), (5) subnasale (base of nose), (6)labiale superius (top lip), (7) stomion(middle of lips), (8) labiale inferius(bottom lip), (9) supramenton, (10)menton (chin), and (11) throat.

The Age of Biology

See the slug with the throbbing antenna. It climbs up a tall piece of grass, the tallest it can find. The slug’s weight is lopsided, one brown-green antenna throbbing red. It climbs and climbs, up towards the sun, its arch nemesis. It can feel itself drying out, its protective slime starting to stiffen. It cannot stop.


The doctor wanted to break my fingers when I was three days old. My pinkies, which bend inward at the last joint, are deformed. They are timid digits that look to be perpetually ducking behind the ring fingers. If the fingers were soldiers, standing at attention, the pinkie would be the drunk one.

(Not a) Poem Addressing How Harmony Discovers Poetry

I am the fiction fellow at Emory University, where the other faculty are famous and older than me and do not typically want to hang out. I have found myself attending numerous poetry readings this semester, because some guy named Bruce Covey puts on a “What’s New in Poetry?” reading series in the campus bookstore, which is a fucking Barnes & Noble.

The Quick

When they run, their spines stretch and their legs release into full extension: a bow snapping to send an arrow. For a moment they glide above ground, a straight line from front paw to back, from quick to quick. 

Have you ever noticed how people who repeat themselves a lot are often the ones who seem most likely to interrupt? It's like they think you aren't listening to them or something, which is probably true because they spend so much time not shutting the fuck up that no one believes they have something interesting to say.