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Father’s Flow

Insolent pattern, this: the spackling of corrupted metal where his lips wetted it every night. Insolent comfort, too: the way the boat extended an internal pipe of dragon-nail or chitinite or some such, it didn’t matter, from the tumble of planks that made the walls of the hold. This is where Anefthyn suckled. This is […]


The Farewell

Millie’s daughter came back twenty days after her death. This was not surprising, since everybody came back twenty days after their death. What was surprising, though, was that Ariana chose to come back as a young woman, even though she was only ten when she was struck by a passing car. The driver had been […]



It was a smell at first, a reek climbing out of Cheta’s body. Like the stabbing whiff of rats’ urine. Something, sharp enough to draw blood, clawed at his skin while he slept. Then it stretched out even though Cheta was not willing to cede any space for it. It prowled his physical world as […]


Swim the Darkness

We don’t choose the skin we live in, she’d said. Our little fish girl. She knifed through water like a hungry seal, sleek and black. Our little fish girl, swimming the darkness. It had started as a small pinkish patch of skin on Olivia’s cheek. It was diamond-shaped, the size of a small button and […]


A Game at Clearwater Lake

We were in fifth grade the February we played hockey on the lake. It was Ryan, Becky, a few other girls in our class, and I. It was my idea. Recently, I had seen curling on TV for the Winter Olympics and thought we could figure out how to do it with real stones and […]



They were up in the mountains when the storm broke, under a clear blue sky. “So what the fuck happened in New York?” Renzo asked him, thumping the steering wheel. “All this dancing around. Why don’t you just come out and say it?” He flicked his eyes, dark and full of Iberian fire, at Drew […]


Nothing is Wasted

He was sitting in one of the booths at the Conqueror, tending a pint, something golden and silty, alone, his phone facedown on the sticky table, his gaze fixed on some invisible object in the middle distance. The door swung to behind me, shutting out an afternoon of implacably overcast sky, of unrelenting drizzle: I […]

Listen Read


I am not a horrible person, I murmur to myself in the basement at night when my family is at home—half my family. Voices of actors and actresses from a Cantonese drama drift down the stairs, mingling with the words in my head, the ones leaving my lips, as I sit with my legs folded […]


Linden in Effigy

Our mothers were fearful that summer. They sewed rabbit skins into our clothes and threw the scraps from our haircuts into the fire. When they said I love you, it sounded like a warning. Meanwhile we swam in swollen creek beds and hemmed our hand-me-down dresses so they would ride high. We cast adoring looks […]


The Land Beneath Her

In the afternoon they went out for a ride. When they were young they used to ride for entire days, til they were sore and starving, stunned by the tawny and ochre hills,  by the strength of their own bond and attraction. Right then, it was almost okay again: the cottonwood and vine maple gone […]