Tag Archives: Nonfiction

Photograph: June 22, 1984

by Darien Hsu Gee

Of course we would go. We cut jagged strips from dishtowels to wrap around our heads—my mother stayed home. In Tiananmen Square, three weeks earlier and 7,200 miles away, other headbands bore phrases like liberty and hunger strike and denounce butcher regime and all power belongs to the people. Days in, student protestors sprawled limp on well-trodden paths, burnt eyes cast on the Monument to the People’s Heroes, the Great Hall of the People. Almost a million bodies packed into 109 acres of city square, a portrait of Mao gazing from the Gate of Heavenly Peace. June 4 had come and gone, image after image a totem to that day—the stark white 33-foot Goddess of Democracy, born from foam and paper mache. CNN’s Bernard Shaw’s breathy voice—Fifty-eight minutes from now, the government will pull the plug on all transmissions out of this nation. The lone man, plastic shopping bags in hand, fixed in front of a column of tanks on the Avenue of Eternal Peace. Continue reading

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by Esteban Rodriguez

I stole a green ball from the ball pit at Peter Piper Pizza. When my mother asked me where I’d got it, I said at my cousin’s birthday party, that it was under our table when we—cousins, aunts, uncles, friends—all gathered at the table after eating and playing and gossiping and sang to my cousin Eloy, wished him another happy year on earth.

My mother bent over with the ball in her hand, thrust it in my face and asked again where I got it, and although I didn’t have a thorough understanding of lying, I knew that the green ball would no longer be mine if I told her I took it from the pit, that while Eloy and his brother Eddie were starting a side war that required at least three ball hits to the face, I saw the roundest and shiniest ball in that pit and stuffed it in my pocket. How no one saw it on me at the table or play area or in the car on the ride back home with the ball bulging from my shorts was nothing short of a miracle. Continue reading

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Hawk Notes

by Robert W. Cording

After my brother died, my mother, the most rational person in our family, noticed red-tailed and red-shouldered hawks everywhere. Of the eighteen species in North America, these two are most common. Still, they arrived when she seemed to need them, unexpected gifts. Over the last four years, she has filled notebooks describing flight angles, call sounds, and, what I have the hardest time understanding, how these sightings helped her through her grief. Continue reading

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by Desmond Everest Fuller

To our left, the neighbors we never see keep an immaculate lawn. Grass that’s beveled. A resentful neatness in their flowerbeds, while dandelions strangle our yard in yellow.

At the old green house to our right, the rhododendrons and the camellias receive tender care. In five years, we barely receive eye-contact. The fence between our yards is decomposing. We have, on occasion, wondered about shame. Continue reading

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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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