by E.H. Jacobs
I don’t know when the nickname “Pelican” completely replaced my father’s given name, but that’s what he’s been called since before I was born fifty years ago in a community hospital in Brooklyn, a hospital whose name has disappeared into the chasm of memory. My mom, his second wife, the one who stuck with him long enough to procreate, called him Pelican–not honey, or dear, or even asshole, which was how I heard his third wife refer to him. The first time I remember actually hearing his name was when I accompanied him to a doctor’s appointment and the assistant called out “Earl?”–and I looked around to see who was being summoned–before she called out “Earl Roberts?” and I saw him stand. Continue reading
by Greg November
In August, astronomers discovered a hole in the universe: a billion light years across with no matter in it. I mentioned this to Jonas as we ripped up carpet, some of it practically new, in yet another old-timer’s room. It was the summer they kept dying. Continue reading
by Sam Grieve
I was married to my husband for twenty-three years, seven months, nine days, and fifteen hours. He died at three o’clock on a February afternoon. A Tuesday. I have always liked Tuesdays. Continue reading
by Tani Loo
“Do you wish I were a boy?” I ask my father.
The question lingers in the air, as I grip the gold container of six by one and one-eighth drywall screws. I move the screws around with my right hand, fingers sorting through and arranging them, so that they are all facing the same way. He doesn’t answer my question at first. Instead, he holds out his hand for a screw, and I pass it to him. Continue reading
by D. Dina Friedman
As my mother lay dying, we sat around her bed listening to a Bach Brandenburg Concerto on a no-name discount CD.
“Look, she likes the music!” Aunt Elissa gushed. And sure enough, something in my mother’s body had loosened—a small slackening in the muscles of her mouth, which continued to draw a rattled, but rhythmic and regular breath, like the pulse of counterpoint fueling Bach’s twisted knot of repeating melodies. Continue reading