Skip to main content

fiction

Cover illustration by Agostino Iacurci

Ways of Attention

June 27, 2022

Joy seems hard to sustain these days if you’re paying close enough attention to the world around you. A somber mood with which to kick off a Summer Fiction issue, but it lands amid crises both familiar and new.

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.

Reunion

He was doing the dishes, midmorning, when he noticed the white car drive by, and drive by again. A quiet street, on the way to nowhere. At eleven, the school bus would show up, to deliver lunches to the children who couldn’t go to school. Otherwise, almost no cars he didn’t recognize.

Man, Man, Et Cetera

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.

The Bodies Correcting

If there was a shack by the side of the river, what would it look like? How big would it be? If we opened the door to the shack by the river, what would we find there? There’s no light in the shack except light that eats through the gaps and the cracks in the day, but now it is night. 

The Cold

When it began, I do not know. If I kept a journal or a diary, as some of you do, perhaps then I would know. But I don’t, and so I don’t. When the cold began to pursue me.

Enlightenment

Harvard, 1966. Abel Jones is in his third year. He is an exceptional student, head of the class. He is studying history. His area of focus, the eighteenth century. England and France. Still, there are days when he is lost.

Illustration by Ryan Floyd Johnson

Tiger Ghost

Bridget is on her way to Mong Kok to buy a goldfish. She’s been told that they bring good luck.

Pages