In the Pines

Only her brother knew she’d been alone in the woods. Te busqué, he said when he still knew how. I looked and looked, but you were gone. In the memory, he says these things in English because neither of them remember their Spanish anymore. They don’t even remember to call each other.

Radio Sky

She listened for the phantom hum and squeal that probably was tinnitus but that she liked to believe was a frequency she could tune into like a dog or a bat.

Before All This

When Teresa laid wide awake in her sleeping bag on the floor next to Andreia’s bed, breathing her ice-cream breath and asking her to tell another story, sometimes Andreia wanted to sit up, flip on the lights, shake the kid hard, and tell her: Don’t you know? People pretending everything is fine is the first-best sign that things are about to go bad.

Sexy Thing

Elise sat cross-legged on the couch, the trumpet across her knees. “It figures a hurricane would show up the weekend Kevin’s supposed to ask me out. You think Danielle will get close?”

The Garbage Patch

She helps herself to a plate of inari, some pickled cucumbers, then eel. She orders only one water bottle. This is all she can afford. She chews on it slowly, hoping to make it last.


In demanding a new dog, I broke my mother’s cardinal rule, which was to be content with everything I had. She told me that I was lucky, that other children from broken homes grow up with absent parents, or get sent to orphanages, or become juvenile delinquents, she yelled. She told me to accept my lot in life, and I tried, I really did, but I could not stop the gurgle of longing from rising in my throat. It shocked me sometimes, the strength and physicality of my desire.