On Oahu on Your Birthday, 2017

by Susanne Braham

I’ll remember, forever, one cold, November night.
Suddenly, you were a lifeless lump, slumped across our bed.
As your face turned shades of purple, I panicked,
unable to breathe life back into a mouth I knew so well.
Thirty-three years of kisses. Continue reading


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Alton By the Ocean

by Nancy Dickeman

Alton Grear stood at the ocean’s edge, fluttering like a sail in the wind. At eighty-three, his long body, lean and brittle, was still strong. Even though the waves made him wobble and knocked his faded orange swim trunks below his buttocks, he regained his balance, pulled up his shorts and tightened the white drawstring, all while the ocean swirled at his ankles, teasing him further out. Continue reading

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niki libarios

by Charles Pen Khek Chear

there were

the short jokes

the mahalos

and when my eyes close,

the smile. Continue reading

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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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