Titles are hyperlinks unless otherwise noted.
My college roommate stopped going to classes after one week. Kyle lasted through Math 113 on the Tuesday after Labor Day. That afternoon, he slunk back to our dorm, bookless, and flung himself on the bottom bunk.
“Polynomials can lick my log,” he muttered as he toed off his sneakers. “Me and algebra are done.”
He lived on Main Street up in Pine Knoll, in a white clapboard house with a small barn in back. When we went to pick him up we often found him sitting out back in a wicker chair just inside the barn doors, a glass of wine in his hand, tapping his foot to the big band music playing on a boom box beside him, usually smiling as he saw us approach from across the lawn before finally raising his hand to wave.
Astrid climbed the spiral staircase and, keeping her knees bent, made her way to the back corner of the train’s deserted observation deck where her mother sat knitting and frowning at Nebraska.
“This state is endless,” her mother said, an expression of abject disgust in the turned-down corners of her mouth. “And boring. I have to agree with you on that.”
Meaningless (Times Three) by A. Loudermilk
I tend to think in threes. or at least notice them a lot. Nothing sacred, really, but threes. I never trust my second guesses, but third time’s a charm. and it’s true a third party usually gets my vote, like a third option deconstructs a binary, like a third wheel makes us not just another married couple. For Louie if it’s ever threes, it’s threes because he grew up in the Catholic Church with Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. So maybe it’s threes for me because I grew up in a house with Mother, Dad, and Nanny aunt?
SPRING/SUMMER 2015 issue / online soon
Among the ruins of the old city, I briefly pause to clean my knee where gravel pierces deep into the wound and tiny shreds of skin curl up to reveal red velvet beneath. Salty sweat moistens the edges of the abrasion leaving behind a barely perceptible sting. With the cleanest corner of my shirt, I gingerly dab around it, brushing blood and dirt away.
I know what you see. I know that your eye is caught by the window mended with Saran Wrap and duct tape, the wounded bumper that we could never afford to repair. Your surreptitious examination of Rafael, my husband—his mouth dropped open and from which issues a soft, halting snore—does not escape my notice. I am old, cataracts cloud my vision; I am not blind. Yet. Yesterday, dizzy, I fell to my knee crossing the street to the hospital. But I can still see the angry swelling that reddens and raises the skin around the scrape.