In the four months since my husband died, I dreamt of him only twice. In the first dream, he ate berries, reclining in a shadowy room while our girls played on the floor. What a thrill to see him eating. No tumor blocking the way. No feeding tube. No puking in pink plastic bins, no constipation alternated with atomic diarrhea. His hair had grown back. His body, too. And his clothes: no gown, no
Sumi waits outside the dorm for thirty minutes before Mary, a fellow grad student, shows up. They’re late for the brainstorming session at Wray’s house.
The radio in Mary’s car crackles, volume on high since the windows don’t roll up. There’s a grassy smell inside the car. Sumi wonders if it’s marijuana. The taxi driver who brought her from the airport last week said he could smell weed five miles
Carol brought the baby home and put him in the bassinet, then sat on the edge of the bed staring at him. He slept peacefully while she toyed with a loose thread on the floral quilt. She was young, but not foolish, and she, along with her husband, Dan, both wanted this baby. But what struck her that day, what she hadn’t really thought about until that very moment, was the permanence of this baby.
We were half way through the second course before she mentioned it. Quite in passing. Not that she came out and said it directly. Just in passing as if it was something I already knew. Something like oh my husband would have done such and such or my husband would have said such and such. That seems reasonable, I told her, I would understand that. As if I knew him. As if she thought I knew about
Like a Tranquil Island
Of course I ran out of time, just barely
begun before I had to board, right as
I discovered at last the best part of
the city, the place where the artists were
thriving, painting their window frames purple,
using five colors to coat one house, the
way I always imagined we would be
living before a bus became a
metaphor for what
It’s my nineteenth birthday and I’m swimming with ten friends in a quarry when this old man with a big beard comes charging across the lawn. He’s one of those tall guys who makes himself seem taller by walking stooped, like he’ll become gigantic if he rears his head up. Plus, when your eyes sit inches above the waterline, everybody on land seems tall.
“Who let you in?” he says. “Who
THE HEART IS A JUNK DRAWER
Each second can be a new beginning. Let’s crawl into the back seat and make rough sense to each other. Read epistolary love narratives by the oven light. Tell you my story using letters? Sounds like every story to me.
I haunt lonely paths, look for you in empty rooms. The world intends to give me sharp edges. To remain soft is a radical act of rebellion. A forked path
He measured life in years and fifty-two had gone. Sometimes he thought, on a different scale, one driven by a number that valued richness and fulfillment, but that number was too low for his liking. He had done little worth remembering, and since it didn’t matter, years were used. One lonely evening, he wandered about his house in search of a photo or note worth saving, but found none. From
We are pleased to announce that effective immediately, writer Tamara Grisanti will be taking over all NWW social media activity, chiefly on Facebook and Twitter. As a former and future contributor, we are delighted to have her with us going forward.
The White Sheet
The dead come to me vulnerable, sharing their stories and secrets. Here is my scar. Touch it. Here is the roll of fat I always hid under that big sweater, and now you see. This is the person I’ve kept private, afraid of what people would think. Here I am, all of me. Scarred, flabby, covered in bedsores. Please be kind.
When a body comes to our funeral home, it comes draped in a
Mattie clutched her bag. She clutched her bag so hard her arms tensed and ached. Her bag was a sea foam green that she wanted to squeeze the color out of. The pain in her arms from the squeezing didn’t compare to the ache, the throb in her temples.
She would be called back soon, this woman said. They would help her very soon.
She hadn’t slept since— hadn’t slept for two weeks, not really.
I was meeting the man who previously owned the house I now called home. After moving out of the house, almost immediately, his wife died of a brain aneurysm. His children were now grown and at colleges on different coasts. It had been a few years. The reason for the meeting was to give him a box of photos I had found in the bottom of a closet in a room I hardly used in the house. The pictures were
It was the middle of the night, or it wasn’t. Do you remember how that works? Now, the psychoactive drugs portrayed on each new series seem to be about madness, as if that were an end to everything. But you remember the day when we waded into the school pond? How does memory come back to hallucinations, or even the recall of a dysfunction, or the loss created by not being conscious of who was
I need to speak out about death and humanity,
don’t I? The world ends in three hours. All
I have is you, a limp carrot, and a change bucket
on the kitchen counter. The flesh on my elbow
is ragged and hooded. I can almost pull it
over my head like a wimple. I don’t want to see
the aliens land. I don’t want to watch any
rabid volcanoes emerge by the garden shed.
Survival’s no longer a given,
Leslie squinted at the menu and willed her stomach to coöperate. She’d done her regular half hour on the stair master, and sat in the steam room for a good 20 minutes. That had always worked before to sweat out a hangover. Maybe she was getting old. Thirty and change was when things caught up to you, she’d always heard, but didn’t want to believe. The overhead light caught on the heavy silver