For summer, some Various Instructions

Our new series debuts online this week

Just past the summer solstice, the world is still its strange and hopeful and terrible self, and thankfully, writers and artists are still practicing their craft, making work we are delighted to share with you. Beginning this week, each week we’ll feature new work in our Various Instructions department, from returning contributors as well as writers and artists new to the magazine. To hear when new entries are posted, you can subscribe to our newsletter. The first—a meditation on learning to cook for oneself amid the trauma the United States visits on Black people—comes to us from Destiny O. Birdsong:

Then carefully, and without clattering it, you lift the lid from the crockpot and dip the slice of bread into the gravy, because dinner will be served soon and all you need is a little taste. It’s like touching the hem of a rich garment. And maybe the hem of the garment is what human love is: flustered sometimes, yes, and flawed, but adjacent to the Divine, made by hands that will one day die, but took time out of their allotted years to make a meal that fills you with something that will keep you alive.

Read it here.