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Fiction

Recent Issue

Late Blues

Once long ago—before Georgia was born, before getting married, in the days when apartments consisted of pee-stained futons and speaker wires tracing across the floor, guitars laid lovingly in their plush cases, overflowing ashtrays, no artwork, no plants, only temperamental cats for decoration—Carrie wrote a song about divorce that became a college-radio hit.

Birds of Paradise

There is no work for Logan, not today, not in this L.A. neighborhood where he’s been wandering for hours. Since the riots began he’s steered clear of the Boulevard, wary of the Guardsmen stationed outside CVS, of the rivers of broken glass and blocks of boarded-up storefronts splashed with angry graffiti.

Fight Week

On fight week, Kayla feels every muscle in her body harden. Electrical currents race around in her bloodstream; each movement is animated by a force that feels uncontrollable, uncontainable. Her coach keeps telling her to rest, to sleep, but how is she supposed to sleep?

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The Little Blue Horses

December 3, 2020

Rochelle and her mother lived in a large town that was on its way to becoming a small city. On her way to school, Rochelle often stopped to watch the crews of construction workers erect a new house in the hole where, only a few days before, one of her neighbors’ houses had loomed in sour glory, a car parked on its front lawn, silk flowers sprouting along its foundation like hair plugs. 

The Math of Living

December 3, 2020

I’ve been working for the Chicago Tribune for about a year when it strikes me that I will go home in six months. The ticket has been booked, and I’m ready. My boss has reviewed the JavaScript code and made his updates for the day. The code is in production. 

Polly, Looking

December 3, 2020

Polly’s problem after the accident, really one of her largest problems, was an inability to prune what she saw and what she thought, to stop her brain. She was both too easily distracted and too attentive. When she’d gotten out of the hospital, she’d gone on a looking binge. Ned brought her photography and gardening books, stacks of Sotheby’s catalogues he found at the local Goodwill store, piling them everywhere as a hedge against her glitches in language. Polly spent one unnerving afternoon flat on her back in the yard, watching trees encroach on clouds. There hadn’t been much to do but observe.