The Library

I work in the public library destroying books. For six hours a day, I stand in the basement over two trash cans, or trash barrels, really, given their size. I use a boxcutter. It’s a lot like shucking oysters. That’s … Continued

Soutine

Chaim Soutine was hungry. This he felt as he made his way through the crowded damp streets in the early afternoon, head down, hands jammed deep into the pockets of his thick dirty coat, past newspaper boys shouting out headlines … Continued

Locked

My mother wants to be a mother when she grows up. I’m ten when she tells me this and five years later she gets a bump and bumps me out. I go to my daddy who doesn’t know he’s my … Continued

Emilys We’ve Known

Of the Emilys we’ve known you are the prettiest. You have the longest hair and the brightest face, the smallest face, the smallest face and the brightest; the longest hair. Had you been born in the eighteen-hundreds people would’ve written … Continued

God of Nothing

This morning I scrubbed a charred spatula. It wasn’t light out yet. I hadn’t been able to sleep through the night so I made myself get out of bed in the dark, made myself go downstairs and hit the kitchen’s … Continued

The Temptation of Saint Ravine

I watched through field glasses as a teenage kid stepped to the edge of the ravine. April had finally arrived, and the mountains had begun to sweat off their snowpack. Already, the creek ran heavy. The kid stretched his calves, … Continued

Hedgehogs

Translated from Hebrew by Jessica Cohen It was a Saturday. The guests at the Green House were fanning charcoal and slabs of slowly charring meat with squares of cardboard, and the cats were going berserk. They scampered around the vacationers’ … Continued

Backyard

Translated from Chinese by Fiona Sze-Lorrain For a long time, I have not stepped into the backyard That small damp path facing my back grows in secret, as if beyond time wutong leaves rustle and fall in silence, a golden … Continued

The Multiplication of Use ||| Paper Darts

Laura Beekman wrote it out in preparation for a police report: Laura looked back over the list as she waited on hold, wondering if she should have included trademark symbols. Everything about this list filled her with despair. Pampers, Ziploc, … Continued

For the Love of Leprechauns

1 I’m driving on one of those dark, peculiar backroads in upstate New York, coming back from a land-development community meeting, when I hit something in the road. The car skids a little, after the thump, and as I screech … Continued

The Occupant

Translated from the Spanish by Kit Maude The dream, that he had traveled to some far-off place to verify whether a man did indeed bear a striking resemblance to his father, didn’t come as a surprise. Amadeo Soto was used … Continued

Poor Historian

It was a cliché: doctors’ exams escalating to full-blown sex, the murmured questions and soft touches that got more searching and finally obscene. I wanted to be the kind of woman who explored porn, but I wasn’t, really, so my … Continued

Between the Lines

Translated from Portuguese by Julia Sanches I sat on the sofa and she sat in an armchair in front of me. A small table separated us. On it stood a jug of mate, a bucket of ice, and two glasses. … Continued

Intervention

The corner deli kid, Omar, was happy. It did not suit him, Jenna thought. She was used to Omar being fat and miserable, with his underbite and her coffee. But this morning he was rosy-cheeked. Different after two weeks of … Continued