Issue 23 / Fall 2020


Creative Nonfiction

In Memoriam Ikea

“I blocked my mom because she wouldn’t stop threatening me. At first, I thought it was funny. I would show the texts to Massachusetts and she would look at me and would go back to knitting. I replied things like ‘love you!’ because I’ve been in the habit of saying that to people who don’t feel it back.”

Alex Juarez

One of Many

“I believe you and I both know you tend to present yourself as more dynamic than the man I live with.”

Melissa Wiley

I Am Disgusting

“Collective deception is powerful. Somehow, we’re raised not to ask this kind of question at the dinner table. No one wants to think about the screaming or crying of a cow when the server introduces filet mignon on a white cloth fine dining table, elegantly set up with a glass of red wine during a wedding proposal.”

Ching Ching Tan

Everything You Left Behind

“Things hanging in your closet: The dress you wore to your wedding. The bar mitzvah gowns. The graduation suits. The hatbox where you stored your mother’s jewelry. Brooches the size of hood ornaments. A ring as large as the Pope’s. How we laughed. How we joked about the housekeeper stealing them—half-hoping the housekeeper would steal them—until she actually did.”

Marlene Olin


The Trail

“And there in the recliner—Raymond made a sound—was José, mouth agape, eyes wide, covered in afghan.”

Jeff Frawley

The Rentahouse

“You move into what you all call, for some reason, the Rentahouse. Is this how your little brother Rufus says rental house? Or is it all of you, your brother and your parents, who slowly elide the words until they are one?”

Dale Trumbore


“A run might help clear my head. It might help me understand how you could kill yourself a few days shy of your fiftieth birthday.

Cliché, they tell me, like all the others who kill themselves at this age.”

Eneida P. Alcalde

Lady, the Mind-Reading Mare

“It seemed right to give the horse every chance to succeed, so Dr. Rhine pictured his beloved as he’d first seen her: skimming duckweed off an aquarium in the graduate botany lab. He saw Louisa’s mauve high heels perched on the stepstool she used to reach the tank. He saw Louisa’s crooked grin as she turned to say hello. He stared at Lady Wonder until his vision swam, the six letters in Louisa a mantra in his mind, a cheerleader chant.”

J. Bowers


Moving, Memory, and Meaning: A Conversation with Suzanne Roberts About Her Travel Essay Collection, Bad Tourist: Misadventures in Love and Travel

“I brag that I have a great memory, but I’m not sure that’s true; it might be that the act of writing it down solidified the memory.”

Krista Lukas

Book Review

Representation, Even in Sci-Fi, Matters: A Review of Malka Older’s …and other disasters

“As a white-passing woman of color, I often times do not find myself or others like me represented in Sci-fi. Sci-fi does revolve around race and Older here in …and other disasters plays with the mixing of already existing cultures.”

Angelica M. Ramos-Santa