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Alexis Schaitkin

Alexis Schaitkin’s short stories and essays have appeared in the Southern Review, Southwest Review, Crab Orchard Review, the New York Times, The Best American Nonrequired Reading, and elsewhere. She received her MFA in fiction from the University of Virginia and lives in the Berkshires with her husband and son.

Natural Disasters

For the entirety of our brief time in the state, what few trees there were seemed to me to have a wavering, shimmering quality, as if they were projections you could slide your hand through. In lofty moments I think I saw my own presence there the same way. I loved Oklahoma because it had nothing to do with me.

Living Relics

There is bamboo in the water. There are azaleas, too, and lilies and lupine. There are weeping willows and alders, ginkgos and poplars and Japanese quinces, hollies and irises and two wooden walking bridges, one of them dripping in pale…