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father

Illustration by Chad Wys

Sporotrichosis

Standing in the lobby of the state-of-the-art LEED-certified Sidwell Friends Upper School, staring at a giant tile mosaic of the word stewardship, Curtis Apple was ready for some bullshit. 

Everything Splashes and Sinks

 He lost his religion in church. Twelve years old and Nimi knew there was no God. His mother had left them by then, just like his father, though she had left for a better reason. They were living with their grandmother, he and his brother, Abiye [...]

Muster’s Puppets Presents

Claire was coming over with her boyfriend—her partner—and Joan was baking mince pies in preparation, though she couldn’t remember whether Claire liked mince pies. It was difficult to keep everything straight with four children who changed their [...]

Tonsure

Forever you find

              your father
in other faces—

a balding head
              or beard enough
to send you following

<i>Mullus Surmuletus, The Striped Surmulet</i>. (Courtesy Rare Book Division, The New York Public Library, Digital Collections.)

The Grand Temptation

Maybe Cape Cod is fertile ground for existential transformation. Something about the metals in its sandy soil catalyzing metaphysical shifts—I don’t know. All I know is I had my entire worldview rearranged when I was visiting its shores.

Pediophobia

10.

Dad, you look like a doll
I wouldn’t want to play with, boxed
in your casket. The mortician
tried to paint you pretty.
I wanted to be pretty, too, but mom says
makeup is inappropriate for funerals.


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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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