Scoundrel Time

Facing an Uncertain Future, a DACA Recipient Dreams of the Past

  As an honors student at a prestigious East Coast University, Marisela Vasquez* felt forced to lie about why she did not study abroad. “That was the hardest conversation to have junior year–I would...

Resisting Division: Legislation You Can Support

Maybe you’ve noticed it, how quickly we other those with whom we disagree, dehumanizing them into enemies. During this exhausting year of resistance, it has become easy to adopt an us-versus-them mentality—the...

Where You Belong: Reflections of a Naturalized Citizen, After Charlottesville

  If you were a young woman newly arrived in America from India, you likely had no memory of persecution or war. You did not flee in fear of torture, dictators, or imprisonment. Perhaps you had a fear of...

Factory Men: Migrants in Patras, Greece

  In Patras, Greece, I met Taimor, a 17-year-old Afghan migrant camped out in an abandoned furniture factory. The boy already had the beginnings of a beard and, as the mother of a 17-year-old myself, I...

“In the increasingly convincing darkness / The words become palpable…" —John Ashbery

“Let us go forth with fear and courage and rage to save the world.” —Grace Paley

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My First Friend

Drowned. That’s how I liked to think of my parents. Ironic, as they were competitive swimmers. But this was how I imagined it. I am four years old. We are vacationing by the Caspian Sea. My grandparents are relaxing in their reclining chairs, their...

In the Dark Times

In the dark times Will there also be singing? Yes, there will be singing. About the dark times. —Bertolt Brecht There will be prayer, too, but to a different god, and dread will lurk in the songs we sing. Doom in the timpani no matter what the tune...

The Blanket Room

—After Italo Calvino and Dorianne Laux When I’m inconsolable, I like to go to The Blanket Room™. A new one just opened at the Maple Heights Mall. They wrap you in a blanket and turn out the lights. Then someone comes in, brushes the hair from your...

Drops Vanish

I remember very little of my childhood, and less as I grow older, each memory lingering like drops of dew on a mirror dropped, forgotten, in a garden. What do I remember? I remember my brother’s feet beside my face as they pumped up and down against...

Four Poems By Amanda Newell

For Adam, my student, in Walter Reed “Take One!” says the sticky by the AFG decals, but I don’t, though I want to, because—really— I have no claim to sacrifice, no stump swinging like a wind-wild bell, no appled fist, no marbled skin. Quite possibly...

Sanctuary, City

A “new” Lotería card appears spray-painted on a viaduct in Chicago’s near Southwest Side.   While reading Night with high school freshmen on Chicago’s largely Latino Southwest Side, I often had to explain new vocabulary like...

The History of Wrongs

will take a while, doodle all you want. Dot a pupil on each pearl stacked to distraction on the margin. Argus froth out a hundred eyes of which by turn did sleep always a couple and the rest… Scribble the obvious. Life, friends, is… I cross-hatch...

Before & After

7 November (the day before Election Day 2016) Hitler analogies have always disturbed me. As a daughter of two Holocaust survivors, I take this subject very personally. Usually the comparison is intentionally hyperbolic and over-simplistic, designed...

Donald Trump Addresses the Girl Scouts

  Thank you. Thank you. I’m thrilled to be here, thrilled. Fantastic. I should say Toffee-Tastic. (LAUGHTER) That’s a Girl Scout cookie, and I love those cookies. Thin Mints. I could eat them all day. You know, some Girl Scouts came to the...

My Trip to Greece

Written by Mostafa Fadi, with an introduction by Dana Sachs I go to Greece regularly with a small aid team, Humanity Now, and on Lesvos Island I met Mostafa Fadi, a 26-year-old refugee from Syria. At the PIKPA Camp, which shelters 85 people, Mostafa...

Casino in Coharie Nation

Around a hairpin turn, not quite hidden inside a forest that has been trampled for tourism, strip malls disguised as native villages, façades of man-made wood, green confetti like grass littering the parking lot, wind catchers and arrows, tiny...

Eve Speaks

“ . ..and when they were in the field, Cain set upon his brother Abel and killed him.” –Genesis 4:8 Not the exile, nor the ceaseless toil, nor the pain of childbirth or the shame of nakedness; not the withering of blossoms, or the slow...

Comey: Cut-up

And then the nature of the person To lift the cloud Criminal in nature Turning Grandfather clock A whole lot of personal pain Lifting the cloud Being somebody who loves this country These were lies The nature of its work As a cloud Grandfather clock...