Category Archives: Nonfiction

Here Be Monsters

by Catherine Jagoe

Getting pregnant upends your life even if you planned it. An accidental first pregnancy, at 38, was like a detonation, blowing everything I thought I knew about my body, my life, and my career sky-high. The embryo as limpet mine. Continue reading


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Living Near St. Catherine School

by Jonathon Medeiros

I don’t recall the question or the response I gave, but I remember the frustration rising in the nun’s face, creeping up her neck before turning her mottled brown cheeks dark purple. She asked again, her words clipped, her lips tight, her long black habit shivering with her consternation, as the class nervously giggled. And another response from me, possibly the same response. I don’t remember saying the wrong thing on purpose. I wasn’t trying to be smart or funny. There was clearly a gap between Sister Scholastica’s query and my understanding of her desires, a gap that distressed me as I watched it yawn open— Continue reading

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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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