Scoundrel Time

The Question

My relationship with Misha started over an argument about religion. It was 1993, and back then he and I were participating in an orienteering competition in the woods near the town of Narva, Estonia, where he grew up. I grew up a few kilometers...

Kadonnut

I had just slipped down a lorazepam when a stranger came to talk to me in the bookstore. This was sometime in the late nineties, in Helsinki, and I was looking for a copy of Prozac Nation. I was thousands of miles away from my home in San Diego and...

STILL SMALL

What did you feed me other than myself, Waiting for dawn to tell us apart. I saw Everything everywhere: how the barn would fall To mud, the soil take back each nail, oil rags Dragged under rock and layered leaves, trees Spindling as the clearing...

I Think I Know You

You couldn’t bring dogs to the Esalen yoga retreat, so Jewels needed a dog sitter. Maybe if she’d been living in Los Angeles for awhile, she’d have had an obvious friend to ask, but she didn’t, as she’d just moved to the city, after two years up and...

Country of Under (Excerpt)

The following is an excerpt from Country of Under, a novel that tells the becoming stories of Pilar Salomé Reinfeld, raised by her undocumented father, a descendent of Bolivian Mennonites, in a Mexican-American community; and Carlos/Carla/Río Gomez...

A Prelude to Violence

He moved here because he wanted somewhere safe for the kids, away from the traffic and dangers of the city, but it’s the third time the blue Toyota has roared past the front garden in ten minutes, and Frank is furious. ...

Remember Our Names

Life is devoid of meaning a philosopher once declared, and what is life for if my dreams are obliterated with my city and children are dying. A single, relentless shot, and I become the next number on the long death...

Vito Bambino Decking and Carpentry

was what my father renamed his business after it became clear his Slavic last name was hurting his bottom line. That summer, we started getting calls from “Good Looking” Matt who wanted him to hang crown molding for his...

Where the Men are Hiding:

In trenches, alleyways, tunnels, bodies of water. Atop mountain ranges, under bridges, tucked into caves. I come across a pack of uncles in the river. They’re scared shivering. I want to pet them, say There, There, but...

Two Poems by Judy Halebsky

Writing a New Year Haiku is a Thing first word, first night dream, first glimpse of Mt. Tam “cast your bread upon the water,” my mother would say to mean take your chances, do something, try   a new year haiku—which...

The Aayrouni Olives Always Grow Best

Was it the bomb or the daughter that came first? The vow and a promise to fig trees and ripe lemons, brown pools of sugared dates, my father’s eyes burned with memories of air raids. A ceasefire buried in sumac and...

You have a DNA match!

“Each match holds a different part of your story. Compare aspects like ethnicity, common ancestors, and communities to start assembling your family’s bigger picture.” Overnight in my inbox they arrive stacked like...