Scoundrel Time

Say His Name

Joe Bishop’s high school English teacher posts on Facebook that the body cam footage of his death is no better than a snuff film, and the cop responsible should go to prison for murder. This post ends her...

Refugee Song

Under Mylar blankets the refugee children dreaming of pupusas stare through the diamond shaped holes of the fencing that surrounds them. We want you to go home, we tell them, then put them in private prisons...

Stranger Than Fiction

Outside my window The appearance of many cobs Without webs The naked Old lady dreams under her oppressive coverlet Her small head empty At this hour What if the rain fell sturdily The brain waving to a person...

Born and Raised: Learning to Leave Steel Country

Trump thanks God for the uneducated. I thank the uneducated for chasing me out of my dead end of Pennsylvania before it was too late, even if my exile made mockery of a Springsteen song: I had no hemi-powered...

Text and Flame

The news brings such terrible stories—   The girl who kept texting a friend to give up the weight of his worries, and bring his own life to an end. The woman who fought against fire found dead in a national...

Self-Portrait as Mass Extinction Event

I am the asteroid, the volcano, the poles shifting, the parasitic nonnative species. I am the Sumatran tiger, stalking prey in deforested villages. I am the dodo bird, awkwardly attempting flight. I am the carrier pigeon, fantastic plumage a sign of...

(Favor) in His Sight

(Homewood Cemetery) Before I moved to Pittsburgh seven years ago a friend sent me a recording of a comic Yiddish patter song from the 1920s or ’30s. It was like one of Gilbert and Sullivan’s rapid-fire recitatives, only in Yiddish. I...

kayfabe

who will prosecute the wind’s unconstitutional surveillance of skin? hands up if they told you snowflakes speak for diversity. * I held my breath like a basketball passing through the projects to pan-am plaza. my sister concealed steel blades, a...

Prayer

There ought to be a prayer for the little exhaustion of light where bullets worm clear through the apples clinging to limbs. There ought to be a prayer for the flesh they pass through, the space left, bits blown into grass, that they resemble teeth...

An Interview with Chaya Bhuvaneswar

Scoundrel Time’s Elisabeth Booze talks to Chaya Bhuvaneswar about her work Chaya Bhuvaneswar’s debut short story collection White Dancing Elephants was praised by Laura Van Den Berg as “powerfully intelligent prose.” Lauren Groff calls her a “bold...

First Gods

They had the number, Lalita divined. Now, sitting with her father and mother at the restaurant, looking at her father’s face, its flat surface smugly composed for once, instead of explosive with rage, Lalita was sure of it. Her parents, having never...

Transept

Unlike me, she made a choice, chose Indian over Chinese, because she felt she looked more Indian than Chinese. It “takes strength” to choose. At age five, while playing near her feet, my grandmother knitted sweaters for me because she was always...

Genesis

Then Adam, to reluctant Eve  Said, come, my love, it’s time to leave This wilderness, why grudge and grieve?— We’ll name the creatures as they pass— White oryx, bonobo, wild ass, The dodo, lynx, rhinoceros. Eve hushed her pair of squabbling...