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CategoryFiction

 

My Name is Reaškkas

It means laughter. What I left (I want you to imagine laughter without a beginning or an end. A laughter that is untethered and limitless. A laughter that is impossible to smother or cage.) I got the name Reaškkas several weeks after I was born. Until then, I was munno …

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The Night Watch

Big flakes swirl around outside while she drinks black coffee. Flannel shirt, wool hat, fingerless gloves. The thrum of the ship is steady, familiar now that she’s been out on the ice for a few weeks. Night watch on the Research Vessel Ātarangi. ‘The shadow.’ An escape and an adventure. …

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Blackbird

His right forearm has a tattoo of a grackle, the louder, more annoying cousin to the crow and not much of a fan favorite, as far as birds go. Its long spindly legs stand straight up, running alongside the tendons and veins in his arm. Its body blooms, puffing up …

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Broken Pool Noodle

I’m leaving my fourth and final IVF appointment. We have no more chances. Well, more accurately, we have no more money. And even though I would never tell my husband, I’m a little relieved. My abdomen feels foreign to me. It’s become a bruise factory over the last two years, …

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A dirge for a sound long unheard

I I write you a love poem in a language far removed from my own. With words I’d never utter for you to hear.   When I read it for you, I replace five-syllabled words with memorized sounds. I want you to admire the poet.     II You edit …

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A Matter of Being

Hair “Mastectomy?” Joe, my husband of forty-four years, says robotically. Dr. Robeson, the oncologist, describes to Joe how my breast cancer works, and I watch as Joe tries to uphold his Baptist deacon stature. I remember the day he said, “I do,” there was a similar wave of stiff astonishment …

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Birdboy

After you were made, the Earth requested your mother’s body. Your father said, “She never heard you cry twice”—and, though this never fell from his mouth, you could hear it clearly in the silence that followed—”You killed her. You took her from me.” Maybe it is why he named you …

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A Girl Walks Through a Mirror

On the last day of the shoot, she appears in just one scene, which might more accurately be referred to as a transition—a CGI bridge between reality and the Shapeshifter’s Lair, as the script describes it. Her role in this scene is considered central, for her character (a peculiar girl …

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A Girl Never Dies

It might be more appropriate to say that she dies a million times—each time in a different way or at a different point in her life. When she first realizes this is happening, she’s fifteen years old, a sophomore in high school, walking home with her best friend Vanessa after …

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Pretty Knotte

This evening I had a conversation with the editor—I will call her Jan—of a small but reasonably prestigious literary journal on the West Coast. At the time of this writing, I’m just a few months past my fiftieth birthday. A little Googling leads me to believe that Jan is in …

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