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

Before This Decade Is Out

I. The floor slants from the door down to the window, so that if the occupant is struck with a sudden compulsion to fly through glass and air, this room provides an adequate runway. I lie flat against the wood, … Continued

Earthlings

Outback sunshine penetrated the linen blinds and stretched out across Jacob, casting stripes of shadow at his feet. He laced up his boots and filled the pockets of his cargo shorts with his keys and wallet and strapped in the … Continued

Border Crossing

A young girl stood in a desert canyon just north of the border between the United States and Mexico. She was wearing a short, tight black skirt and a low-cut red blouse of soft, clingy material. On her feet were … Continued

Walser on Fire

1. Jean lingered in Tyler’s, a music shop with a bar in the front. Used guitars and banjoes, all for sale, hung along the wall by their necks, their wood darkened in patches where fingers had strummed, tuning knobs like … Continued

Runaway ||| The National Virginity Pledge

THREE WEEKS AGO, the day Willy escaped, we were sitting together on the living room floor, watching Malcolm in the Middle, popping extra buttery popcorn in the microwave. We dumped all the popcorn into a plastic bowl and mixed in … Continued

Soucouyant ||| Virginia Quarterly Review

1. The mouse before me is dead, its body emptied of organs. Dead but still innervated, so still blinking in this world. I only harvest from their core—heart, lungs, liver, and the rest—but soon I will have to work with their … Continued