Contributor Name

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Analeah Loschiavo

As it happened: You were hired to attend to a dinner party held in a lakeside cabin on a foggy night. You arrived alone and were instructed to bring your own cleaning supplies. For this inconvenience, you will be reimbursed.

Jack Kirne

‘Two quarter-pounders, no patty,’ a small man behind the counter shouted. I almost let out a sigh of relief. Then, I remembered that one of the meatless burgers was mine and felt even more depressed.

Jen Soong

One ordinary autumn day, when I was ten, I fell out of a tree. Not a particularly large tree. An oak, maybe. The kind with solid branches outstretched like arms, perfect for climbing. Playing with my friend, I lost my balance and forgot my grip. For a brief second, I was flying, flapping my wings like a fledgling. The next I was lying on the ground on a damp bed of glowing leaves, my arm twisted askew and looking up at cotton ball clouds across the expanding sky.

Kendra Guidolin 

“You’re even more beautiful in person,” he tells her, and she wonders if this means she doesn’t look good in photos, a fact that her sister’s former modelling agent should have noticed since Sonja usually looked better in photos than in real life, mostly because of her smile, which she knew to whip out for the big bucks.

Aruni Kashyap

I was talking about 2011, when peace had returned to the state after the long insurgency, but we didn’t really know if it would stay for long and I had to take a decision regarding my life: to leave the state to study in Delhi, or stay in the city, study here, pursue a career here. You know, peace in this state is like weather. Really unpredictable. 

Nirushan Sivagnanasuntharam

A little later that night, as I was packing to leave, my mom stopped by my room on the way to hers. “You are a disgrace to your family,” she said. “Look what you’ve done. Now your dad doesn’t have a job anymore. What is he supposed to do? Ever since you were a child, we tried to teach you the importance of studying hard so that you can get a good job. All for what? For nothing. You have ruined us. I hope you’re happy.”

Max Taxe

I have been barred from my local nursery, even from looking at the cute little succulents that are supposed to require less maintenance. I had to create multiple fake Reddit usernames to post pictures of withering plants and find out what ailed them so no intrepid internet sleuth could pin the mass genocide of local fauna on one person.

K-Ming Chang

That’s why I told my daughter not to marry a man whose mother is alive. Best if the mother is a goat or dead. That’s the only requirement I have: don’t marry a man unless his family’s on fire.

Greg Parker

Mother’s eyes search my sleeping body

watching, for the rise and fall of my chest, praying

Meher Manda

Faiz and I broke up a week after my mother’s death. It wasn’t a painful conversation. It was what it was. I hadn’t loved him for a long time and I was too passive to break up with him, he said. I had become monosyllabic around him, hadn’t even bothered to invite him to my mother’s funeral. Yes, he used the word invite. 

Kiley McLaughlin

The third mother will be sent for by a man on the mainland who is seeking a wife. After she arrives, she will imagine getting into a bathtub and pulling a mattress over herself, and then she will do it. Two weeks before this, when she meets her smiling white in-laws for the first time, the sky will turn to bruised green, and they will usher her down into their basement.

J.P. Moran

I know you may not believe me, since I’ve already admitted to lying, but the very true kernel of this story is that my father has, or, before his death from prostate cancer, had, a collection of clown art.

Matthew Torralba Andrews

Father Cleary was fully robed. He leant against the rear counter, facing the sacristy entrance with his arms folded across his chest, as if waiting for Benjie. Benjie knew he must have heard the sound. He averted his eyes and held the cracked chalice at his side, away from Father’s view.

Namrata Verghese

Once, my mother dropped a Roomba on my head

and said, “I wish you were a boy.” A decade later,

I respond, in a whisper: “I wish I were a boy, too.”

Miracle Thornton

Cat shit on the floor this morning. Mom stepped in it. Mom held Cat her by the neck, gripped the saggy skin meant for a mother’s mouth and ripped her off the couch. My stomach shattered as Cat screamed something low and feral, like the time a gopher got caught in Stranger’s lawn mower. The whole block heard; a patch of his grass was dead for weeks, stripped with ammonia. It took four boys to get out the blood.

Jewel Cao 

“Are you nervous?” she asked, and I answered: “Yes, very.”

Margaret Zhang

I don’t think of the faces in the soil,

or the oranges in my pockets, ripe

and bright as the storm.

Jonathan Andrew Pérez

She, a feeling, dries her tears, when it arrives.
Puddle-lashes: foreign as, We cannot go back.
We cannot return to the Grunge.

Devonaire Ortiz

Magnolia portoricensis, evergreen sending seeds

all over america. All throughout the city a million

children think they know their names.

Stephanie Jean

Ha finds Pipi Longstockings

In a black and white pothole. She runs.
Gets a tin can, then scoops herself out.

Serrina Zou

How I have only witnessed white

women die & return to haunt as ghosts. How ghosts can only

be white.

D. Arthur

I wonder if the stain judges me when I flop onto my drenched mattress and set my Tinder to everyone. I only swipe right on couples bold enough to look for a third, but shy enough to only post photos of their torsos, no heads. I swipe right on chests that remind me of Noah.

Terra Travis

Mia didn’t recognize her own body. She only knew it was her own body because of the familiar abrasion. She identified this scraping as soul against skull. Mia believed in the soul since no one had ever told her otherwise.

Carson Faust

I was born in Ridgeville, South Carolina, in the house that my mother was raised in, but there were never any pictures of her on the walls. Grandma took them all down when my mama walked out on us. Grandma said she burned them all too, but I don’t know if I believed that. She must have kept a picture of her only daughter. I never looked for it though.

Kyle Raymond Fitzpatrick

The You men are for the end-end of a night, when B’s hand is between his legs. He stares at them and squeezes himself. He thinks about the You he can be with. He imagines himself on the You. He touches himself and imagines that the You is touching his body. He imagines his own hand is another hand. He feels himself become someone else, as if he is watching himself and the You enjoying each other.

Stephanie Choi

There was the way you said turmeric,
& how you stressed the wrong syllables
With your FilAm accent.

Hana Mason

Remember the way you’d tell the story differently every time, how you couldn’t remember the first thing he ever said to you, so you’d make it up. The easy version: he had you at hello. The soppy version: did he know you? He felt like he’d seen you before. Maybe in his dreams. The funny version: did it hurt, you know, when you fell from heaven? 

Dinkinish O’Connor

She stood face forward in front of the hole, those carpenter ants now drumming fire through her body, her mouth slightly parted, the pinkness of her tongue peeking out, her eyes slanted, her heavy lids hiding machetes she wanted to cut Jackson, Junior’s soul with.

Rebecca Hannigan

I miss a lot of things. I miss people as soon as I leave them. This happened today, when this friend of mine—the one with his head bent over his fourth taco—and I met for coffee, during which I found myself wanting to be alone.