Category Archives: Nonfiction

Are You Still Watching?

by Candice Kelsey

My head is the lawn of a country manor overrun by horses released on a fox hunt. I press a thumb to my occipital muscle with the rhythm of a gallop. Tally ho! the corpuscles scream as I manipulate the pressure point. I notice the screen above the mantle flashing Are you still watching? I select Yes, of course. Although this sixth episode of season one of Murder, She Wrote is evidence I am not watching at all. Lynne Redgrave and Angela Lansbury fill the silence three days after Christmas while my family travels. My anxiety forbids me to leave the house. Continue reading

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This Is Your Hand

by Cait West

This is your hand—dried, cracked, bleeding on a January day under a muted sun. At rest on your book, it twitches in sleep, and your glasses have fallen down your nose as you lie stretched out on the floor, too busy to sit on the sofa. You’re too impatient to rest, but your body has taken over anyway in this forced sleep while reading. It’s just like when I was a child, and you would fall asleep while quizzing me on my phonics. You would make up stories in your sleep, and I would crouch down next to your open mouth and wait for the words to whisper out. Continue reading

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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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