Category Archives: Nonfiction

A Home in Italy

by Natalia Nebel

First Room in Italy

At my grandmother’s house in Italy, I shared a bedroom with my sister Clara. My bed was near two large, glass doors that opened onto a balcony. A clothesline ran across it, and every late morning Marisa, my grandmother’s cleaning lady, hung clothes on that line, and every late afternoon she took them away. The practical use of what I considered our balcony bothered me, felt invasive. Our room had an armoire and a large chest of drawers in it, both filled with blankets and sheets, only a little space set aside for the few clothes we had. We weren’t poor, but my mother had been a child in Italy during World War II and she’d retained a frugality brought about by food rations and heatless winter nights. She never became comfortable with the prosperity that marriage to my American father gave her. Continue reading

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Talisman

by Anneli Matheson

The day after my mother’s memorial service I sort through her jewelry box. Like her, it’s colorful and disorganized.  Gold plumerias and pearls rest beside costume brooches perched atop tangled silver chains and errant earring backs.  After her cancer diagnosis my mother rarely wore jewelry, fearing the metals were polluting her body.  As I hold one of her favorite pairs of earrings, the gold filigree drops with the red stones I pretend are rubies, I’m tempted to bifurcate her life into Before and After the Diagnosis. Continue reading

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Women Like Them

by Lana Spendl

When we were students in this new town, my friend Annabel’s house stood on a hill. A cracked staircase led to the front door, and inside, incense and music drifted in air. Throws beckoned from every corner. Sepia photos stood in old frames. And always something held magic for Annabel. Always something deserved to be opened like fruit with her hands.

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The Green Coat

by Samantha Steiner

It was a weekday, sunny but winter, and I was in my hooded green coat. I approached the subway platform just as a man was leaving, but he wasn’t leaving, he was walking toward me. He had a hand on my arm, stroking the fabric of my coat, and his head leaned too close: a thin face, a deep umber, salt and pepper scruff, eyes that emanated permanent confusion. Continue reading

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Holland Park

by Cynthia Belmont

I lived in London for half my junior year of college and only spoke to my parents twice. It was the 1980s, before the internet and mobile devices, when you were truly on your own. Overseas calls were expensive, and I enjoyed crafting my life into hand-written letters featuring scenes that amplified its splendor. Continue reading

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