Issue 46



Contributors: Sean Cho A., Emily Adams-Aucoin, Sarah Ghazal Ali, Lisa Ampleman, Emma Bolden, Erica Lee Braverman, Robert Evory, Alan Yenming Fang, William Fargason, A. R. Fierberg, Sara Gray, Jeremy Halinen, Hanna Henderson, Jay Julio, Maya Kanwal, Christen Noel Kauffman, Tala Khanmalek, Grey Wolfe LaJoie, Alexa Luborsky, Andrew David MacDonald, Nick Martino, Kevin McLellian, Carling McManus, Matthew Moniz, Weston Morrow, Jane Morton, Danielle Pieratti, Vikram Ramakrishnan, Ark Ramsay, Doug Ramspeck, Aumaine Rose Smith, Dena Soffer, Melvin Sterne, Beth Suter, Lauren Tess, Sun Tzu-ping, Jonathan Vidgop, Sara Moore Wagner, Matt Whelihan, and John Sibley Williams

Interview with poet Aimee Seu. 

Cover art by Gabriela NighanOrder your copy today!


We Were Happy

“Now, when you go out of the house,” I say to my two new American students, “You move your object to the lower shelf.” I put the pewter fish on the lower desk shelf to show them. “You see? Here. I am the fish, so when I leave, I put it here.” The white girl is nodding, but the black one looks confused. Liz. Kiara. I must learn their names. “And when I come home, I put it again on the top shelf, like so.” I demonstrate. “Okay? You understand?”

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That should have been the end of it. An unexciting stop on an otherwise interesting journey. Unfortunately, I had not kept an eye on Ruby. While the rest of us had been gnawing fried bread and swatting flies, she had been chatting away with our hosts in a manner that was far too loose and animated to be strictly decent from a Kyrgyz perspective. They seemed taken with her — the man, his mother, his sisters, and his aunts. So taken that when we all stood up to go, they said she should stay.

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They went every Friday. It was something he looked forward to at the end of a hard day at the end of a hard-earned week. Not something they had to discuss. Five o’clock would come. Flora would put on a nice dress—maybe the pale blue one that uncannily matched the color of her eyes—and he’d pop his gingham fedora off the rack, adjusting it to just the right tilt in the wood-framed mirror in their entrance hall. In the mirror, wearing that hat, he could see himself as he’d once been—an infantryman in the Korean War who viewed the Pusan

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