Read

Baptism

Issue 49 by Joanna Grisham

Instead of confessing my sins at church, I found salvation in my bedroom. Like my father, I wasn’t a fan of altar calls or public confessions, though some kids reveled in the extra attention they got from adults when they participated in the praise and worship service. I felt like an imposter, and the attention made me uneasy. I felt closer to God when I was away from everyone else, alone in the woods or in my tree house.

Read more.

Read

Full

Issue 49 by Natalie Kim

The way that this forty-something-year-old blonde wearing turquoise cat-eye glasses thwapped my stomach – you’d think she was picking out watermelon. Her pinkish, Anglo-Saxon phalanges bounced off of my ballooned belly. I lay atop the medical exam table, under the singe of fluorescent lights, thinking about the belly I wanted back, the belly I had only a few hours before. A belly that melted into the interstices of my ribcage.

Read more.

Read

Carmen and the Boys

Issue 49 by Andrew Sarewitz

If you walk the West End on Commercial Street in Provincetown, inevitably you’ll pass Joe’s Coffee and Café. Early morning, there’s a line out the side door for takeout and inside, the structure that had originally been designed as a bank, has seating throughout. Outside, in front, are a number of wrought iron tables painted wet-black, some under blue umbrellas for shade.

Read more.

Read

Hadaka No Tsukiai: A Natural Communion

Issue 49 by Robin Lash

While I stared in awe at a huge spider sitting atop a thick, ropy, sparkling cobweb, light filtering down through Meiji Jingu’s forested path, Annie, back in our rented apartment, was fuming, wondering where the hell I was.
My sister and I had chosen to travel to Japan for ten days, neither of us knowing the language.

Read more.

Read

Fireworks in Hong Kong

Issue 48 by Carol Ann Wilson

How can I forget the press of the crowd, the feeling of being swept up in history that lunar New Year in Hong Kong? Throngs packed the walkway by the city’s harbor, and we were snugly pressed in the midst of them. We had stopped in Hong Kong for a few days on our way to Shanghai for research on a book I was writing. And those few days coincided not only with the Chinese New Year, but also Hong Kong’s last New Year celebration under British rule.

Read more.

Read

Charting the Distance

Issue 48 by Matthew King

In the dead of winter I deliver my child to a residential treatment center for substance use. It’s over three hours from home, through a winding mountain pass. J is fourteen. I adopted him when he was eleven. Before this, our longest separation was a four-night summer camp stint but even then, he called each evening. Here, he cannot call for one week. I cannot visit for ten days.

Read more.