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poverty

Illustration by Sergio Garcia Sanchez

Mary When You Follow Her

In the autumn of Maria’s eighteenth year, the year that her beloved father—amateur coin collector, retired autoworker, lapsed Catholic—died silently of liver cancer three weeks after his diagnosis, and the autumn her favorite dog killed her favorite cat on the brown, crisped grass of their front lawn, and the cold came so early that the apples on the trees froze and fell like stones dropped from heaven, and the fifth local Dominican teenager in as many months disappeared while walking home from her minimum-wage, dead-end job, leaving behind a kid sister and an unfinished journal and a bedroom in her mother’s house she’d never made enough to leave—

Lord of Childhood

We are all enchanted. But we have to pay for it.

You know that part of town where the miners once lived? Sooty frame houses, porches whose floorboards spring up? Rusty screen doors that close with a thrum, then a series of clicks, then a squeak?

Illustration by Melody Newcomb

High Pursuit [private]

Blood pulls up in a near-new new Caddy, heaven white, with flesh-colored guts and the white walls on his tires thick as rulers side by side.  It’s the kind of ride that hurts my feelings to look at but I can’t keep from looking at it, from hawking him as he parks and cools out wearing a grass-green velour tracksuit—unzipped so you see he’s shirtless—and reptile cowboy boots. He swaggers across the street and up the pathway, the same path that from the time I was a wee bit has been my chore to keep swept and weeded, like in the few years since he night-schooled his way to a diploma, dropped out the only college for miles, and got booted out the house, he’s become a grown-ass man who believes in himself so much you can’t convince him not to. He stops just short of the porch and cheeses. I set my magazine (I stay in these custom-car magazines) aside and stand. 


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By Juan Carlos

Prince of Peace

San Salvador’s upstart mayor, Nayib Bukele, has promised a new way forward for a city besieged by decades of violence. His biggest obstacle, however, may not be the city’s gangs, but the city’s idea of itself.

Photo by Dawn Whitmore

Tent Revival

For three days, thousands of uninsured Americans converge on the Wise County Fairgrounds for the largest pop-up clinic in the country. Most are poor, many are in pain, but all have faith in a level of care that neither the government nor private industry can provide.

Photography by Ryan Spencer Reed

RNC CLE

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.

Illustration by Victo Ngai

Once Bitten

Hundreds of thousands of cases of dengue fever have been reported in Puerto Rico, and yet little attention has been paid to the problem. In 2009 and 2010, the eighty-eight recorded dengue cases in Key West were the serious inducement needed to find solutions.

The Surrogacy Cycle

Promising an escape from poverty, transnational surrogacy has left many Indian women with little to show for their efforts. What went wrong?

Illustration by Gosia Herba

Efficient Breaches: A Romance

As he fished the curds into his mouth, they gushed with the holy taste of rosewater. When the curds were done, he let himself drink the buffalo milk left in the cup, and, for the rest of the ride, Narayan could taste the grease on his lips. 

 

 

 

The approach to La Rinconada, a gold-mining town nestled under a glacier in the Peruvian Andes.

Dreaming of El Dorado

Senna has pounded rock; she has ground it to gravel with her feet, she has teetered under heavy bags of crushed stone. But she was never lucky as a child miner; she never found even the faintest glimmer of gold. Today, with her father dead and her mother bordering on desperation, she makes fancy gelatins and sells them to men as they come and go from the mine shafts that pock the unforgiving face of Mount Ananea. When she is asked why she slogs through mud and snow for a few hours of school every day, as few children do, she says she wants to be a poet. She is fourteen years old.

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