Maneuvering

by Rosalia Scalia

We all sit on the floor in a house in Northern Virginia eating roasted goat, curried vegetables, and steamed rice during the Festival of Lights party. Next to me, Soros, who came to America almost a year before I did, eats with his fingers like back home. I use a plastic fork provided by the host, a white American lady whose name I can’t remember or pronounce. Wanting to embrace new ways in America, I practiced using a fork and knife before coming to the party. She worked in my country as a veterinarian in the Peace Corps, and now back home in America, she stays connected to people from my country by hosting holiday parties for newcomers, and everyone who’s attended in the past is invited. A lady from my country lives with her, but something doesn’t add up with them. They hold hands sometimes in the house, but not in the same way ladies hold hands at home. The lady from my country should already be married, but she’s here in America going to school when she should already be a mother. All the traditional foods from my country cover the buffet table, cooked by ladies who have been in America for a while, and I can’t stop eating it. It tastes like home. I don’t realize how much I miss these dishes until I’m eating, and the tastes and variety cause a rush of memories to crash into my brain. I put the plastic fork down and begin eating with my fingers, like at home, and lick the sauce from them. I came to the party with a friend of a friend of a friend, a guy I met for the first time tonight, who’s lived in America almost forever, long enough to own a fancy car, stylish clothes, a beautiful house, and an American nickname, Max. Continue reading

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City of Bridges

By Lori D’Angelo

Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, my hometown, the town I was born in, the town I lived in until I was 18 years old and then again for a while later, is the City of Bridges.

Pittsburgh has 446 bridges, more than Venice, Italy, which formerly held the record for the most bridges. Bob Regan, then a visiting professor at the University of Pittsburgh, figured this out by counting them and writing a book about Pittsburgh’s bridges. Continue reading

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Halona Blowhole

By George Held

On the east end of O’ahu
there’s a seaside outcropping
of lava in the midst of which sits
a great eye-hole – formed
eons ago by molten lava tubes
during volcanic eruptions – Continue reading

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Wild Roosters

by Jane Hall

Roosters roam the island of Kauai
feral descendants of red jungle fowl
that rode outriggers from the Marquesas,
perfect posture, each step a performance,
the epitome of the word cocky.
Feathers glazed copper and teal and inky black,
vulgar beauty of iridescence, roosters
roosters, roosters around the dumpsters,
on the tennis courts, and in the vacant lot
behind the shave ice stand. Continue reading

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Drowned

By Patrick J. Murphy

The wind came in off the plains to the town of Milan, Ohio and curled around the clapboard house of Thomas Alva Edison. It reached the walls and climbed to the eves outside the attic window. When it howled, the bed seemed to move, as if it were carrying the boy away.

“Pitt.” His older brother slept against the other sloping wall, a long shape sprawled beneath a wool blanket, hardly a comfort, barely a presence.

“Go to sleep.” Continue reading

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