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children

Litter

Nadia knows, when the mother leaves them, that they will die. They lurch from side to side, low on the ground, ears folded over into crinkled triangles. Claws soft, mouths brown with dirt, meowing in the damp soil of the flower bed.

Man, Man, Et Cetera [private]

You schedule the U-Haul for a weekend when your husband plans to be in the woods. You do not repeat your argument that camping isn’t medication or therapy. That it cannot, in other words, fix him. You make him a sandwich for the drive to Mendocino. As his car pulls away, you know it’s the last time you’ll see him.

Of Scamps and Imps

 

Summer is the time of the child, a time to go barefoot in the grass, splash about in the creek, outrun the neighbor’s bull or the neighborhood bully. It is, even more gloriously, the time of the scamp, that subset in the Venn diagram of childhood, a creature of joyful and boundless energy.

Children in America

December 3, 2020

go to the library to learn how to administer NARCAN
to stop their mother or father’s heart from overdosing. 

The Miracle Girl

On the first day of her stigmata, Xiao Chun’s palms bled so much that the school sent her home early. Xiao Xue sighed at this turn of events and gathered her things to follow her sister. Xiao Chun was already prettier, smarter, and more obedient—she just had to be holier too.

Wong Daifu, the village doctor, made a house call when he heard about the strange condition. He squinted at the puncture wounds, which were not round and smooth but thin ovals with fringes of red, protruding skin. “And you’re sure she didn’t hurt herself accidentally?” he asked.

Be Gentle

“Once upon a time, in a faraway land across the big sea, there was a very old city,” the old man with the very thick glasses said in his very thick accent. “It bordered on some woods and there, in a little house close to them, many many years ago, a boy was born.” 

Holiday Review

We stayed one night at Karl’s place in Jimena de la Frontera in southern Spain. Let me begin with the PROs.

More Fire

Kwasi woke up somewhere over the Atlantic Ocean. What time was it? He looked out the window for a sign of land but there was only blackness and wisps of gray. The boy in the aisle seat who had fallen asleep on his shoulder woke up and looked blankly at him. He looked like he could have been Kwasi’s son. They had the same high cheekbones, the same sleepy, almond-shaped eyes. The boy’s head weighed on him like a great stone, but in the moment, Kwasi felt thankful for it. “It’s okay,” he said. “Go back to sleep.”

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