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Illustration by Anders Nilsen

The Boys [private]

It happens. A close relative dies. One who lives elsewhere. And then some time has to be set aside, even if no such thing is possible. Because of work, because of a lack of funds when it comes to traveling. And also because of one’s own dear family at home, a husband and two daughters, who need to be fed and petted and listened to and sympathized with and tolerated. Even just ignoring them or quietly loathing them takes its toll.

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Ryan Dunlavy (left), Nerisa Garcia (center), and Jeremy Cabral (right), students from the Border Patrol Explorer Program, practice active-shooter scenarios and room clearing at the United States Border Patrol Station in Kingsville, TX. The Explorer program is a branch of the Boy Scouts of America and is sponsored by the US Department of Homeland Security. Photographed by Sarah Blesener

Beckon Us From Home [private]

In America, in 2018, the word “patriotism” has taken on a particular meaning. “Patriotic” equals militaristic, patriarchal, obedient, maybe xenophobic; it evokes guns, red meat, the NFL, and the Republican National Convention. No matter how hard Democrats and liberals try to reclaim the word—to make the point that you can be “patriotic” while also believing that there are problems with the country—they haven’t been able to do it. 

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Illustration by Sergio Garcia Sanchez

The Moving of the Water [private]

Mrs. Anwen Bevan, retired administrative assistant to a vice president in the Utica Mutual Insurance Co., devoted a portion of each day to strategizing about her yard. It was rectangular, fifty feet wide and eighty feet long, hemmed in by the yards of three neighbors. To the left and right, chain-link fences ran the length of her property. Between these at the far end was a ramshackle low stone wall, remnant of an early era of wall- and fence-making in this neighborhood. Mrs. Bevan did not want her yard to be overrun with trees, flowers, and vegetables, or serve as a haven for birds, insects, bees, or squirrels, as was the case with the Cavallo family on her left.

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Fosters Freeze

For a genealogy assignment I took a blood test. I found out I am O positive. My mom is A negative, which seems very fitting. My dad is B positive. This alone would normally frighten me. Needles should freeze in hell. I told my dad I was scared but wouldn’t cry when I got pricked. He laughed, pinched my arm. Oh, positive. After this, many things became apparent. 

Illustration by Jon Krause

June 25

Then twelve months passed and once again: the company picnic. A day greeted with joy, with dread, with stoic indifference, depending on who you were. 

Illustration by Chloe Scheffe

An Invocation of the Big-Eared Runt

The first time he appeared to Pablo was on the bus during the nine-thirty tour. It happened during a pause in the narration while they rode from the restaurant that had belonged to Emilia Basil (the dismemberer) to the building where Yiya Murano (the poisoner) had lived. 

Photography by Ryan Spencer Reed


Erika Meitner's poetry and prose, combined with photography from Ryan Spencer Reed, take us inside the city of Cleveland during the Republican National Convention.

Good for You

My wife and I, both in our late thirties, have a friend named Patricia who lives by herself in a very small apartment on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Her taste is Japanese. Patricia is the mother of another good friend, a woman more or less our age [...]

Illustration by Anna Schuleit Haber


This is how it is with my mind, heading out over the ocean, tipping one way so I see only water, shades of blue and green and cloud-shadow slate; tipping the other, all sky and complication of cloud. Ruckus of glinting refracted light. Some days, just empty gray, in both directions.