Our 44th issue—our first since converting to an annual publication—features the prize-winning pieces of both our Editors’ Prizes in Poetry & Prose as well as our inaugural Short Prose Prize. Its 205 pages include the original fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction of Bruce Bond, Jacob Appel, Aldo Amparán, Moncho Alvarado, Jessica Yuan, Sophia Veltfort, Megan Pinto, Dana Alsamsam, Steph Karp, Daniel Barnum, Barbara Daniels, J.A. Gray, Monica Fields, Wendy Noonan, Emily Alice Katz, and many (many!) more. Featured interview with Booker Prize shortlister C Pam Zhang. Cover art by Uzo Njoku. Order your copy today!
Baba was tiny. Not short—diminutive. So tiny she had to sit in a booster seat at the table. So tiny she had to hold my pinky as we walked, even in her five-inch platform Mary Janes. You could barely hear Baba, she was so tiny and far away. She would ask for a cup of tea and we would help her to the bathroom. She’d say, “Have you seen my slippers?” and we’d sit her down, drape a towel around her shoulders, and trim the wisps of hair ducktailing at her neck. As we strolled through the mall she’d call
I’m lying on a gurney, being wheeled down a long hallway with overhead fluorescent lights, while chewing on—what I think—is a tooth. If I had to guess, then maybe a bicuspid, the ones in between the canines and molars. A nurse with short curly brown hair is holding my hand, her fingernails pressing into my skin, and I don’t mind at all. She says something that I can’t quite make out, but when she looks away, I surreptitiously spit out the tooth. A year ago, I had all of my teeth. They weren’t perfect but my wife said she liked
That Andrew ventured into the guest room at all was unusual. It was the room where his daughter from his first marriage stayed when she visited, and he thought of it as hers. He always suspected she would intuit any betrayal of her privacy and add it to the tab of disloyalties he’d run up since the day she was born, when he’d looked at her wrinkled little face and felt, faster than joy, the horror of an irreparable misstep. (For years he’d dreamed of incurable illnesses, ice floes separated from the landmass, rivers of lava he could not outrun.
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