Monterica Sadé Neil

You’re My Sister In the seventh grade, my best friend, Jade, and I watched pornos at her father’s while he and her stepmother were sleeping. I don’t think we ever called it porno though. We watched flicks. Growing up in Memphis, Tennessee that’s what we’d heard. Flicks. Heard it mostly from older boys and men…

Kyle Mills

Delineation of Bigwater In the canon of traditional Appalachian music, there is a haunting old time fiddle arrangement known as the “Yew Piney Mountains.” It is likely that no one ever actually composed this tune, but rather, it materialized out of the mountain culture itself- slowly evolving with each generation that played the song. The…

Kathleen Minor

Brief Notes on American Heroes April 29, 2021 As I left my old college campus today, I got to thinking about the last time I’d made that drive in March of 2020, before I really knew who John Lewis was and before “pandemic,” had reshaped the everyday lexicon of American English. I was there to…

Jory Pomeranz

Seasons of Suicide “When someone seeks,” said Siddhartha, “then it easily happens that his eyes see only the thing that he seeks, and he is able to find nothing, to take in nothing because he always thinks only about the thing he is seeking, because he has one goal, because he is obsessed with his…

Mary Mandeville

ASSIGNED SHAME AT BIRTH I stand before my full-length bathroom mirror before donning the day’s needed costume. Doesn’t matter if I’ll put on workout tights, jog bra and t-shirt for walking dogs or taking a local hike, or whether I dress in floral tights, a skirt, sweater and sensible but cute shoes for seeing clients,…

Elizabeth Jane Kert

A BIRTHDAY DUET I had been waiting for the other shoe to drop since September 2014 when my 21-year-old son went AWOL from residential treatment in North Carolina. Max had unraveled about a year earlier as a college freshman in Olympia — a result of copious amounts of alcohol, various recreational drugs, mania, and complete…

Kristin DeMarco Wagner

Maintenance Entropy. Sheer entropy. The idea that everything naturally wants to devolve into chaos and decay, and that the very best you can do is to slow the rate at which it devolves. Bodies. Households. Families. There are millions of threats to peace and stability and order, to predictability and consistency and comfort. The fight…

Jamie Cattanach

Brioche I took the bowl out of the cabinet for my yogurt, paused for a moment, put it back again. I poured a cup of coffee. I didn’t put any food into my pack. I knew what I was doing. There’s something about moving without eating. Something about making the ask of your body without…

Tom McAllister

1987 I have this incredibly vivid memory of being young and walking with my grandmother and my parents along Main Street in Manayunk, the Philly neighborhood where both my parents grew up. It’s a warm summer day and we’re going to Overbrook Water Ice, one of my favorite places in the world (someone later told…