Interstate

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  We play games in the backseat, the children and me. Is it bigger than a breadbox? Smaller than a house? Everyone’s a good sport before lunchtime but, by afternoon, our minds are tired and the games become more brutal. … Read More

Listening to Birds

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  Because I am not Dave’s wife, I hold my ear to his daughter’s chest every day, when the other children are quiet, sleeping. I think of her as his second heartbeat. I watch my friends’ children while they work. … Read More

Tokoloshe

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  I.   There were no paved roads in Mbuzini until President Samora’s plane crashed into our mountain. Now I watch the taxis snake their way up to the monument twice a day. Sometimes I glimpse a white family in … Read More

Baby

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  My mom must’ve told me Leslie was pregnant a couple of months after we broke up, but I didn’t know how pregnant. I tried not to think about it, to be honest. Someone told me once that if you … Read More

Day Is Done

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  By the time the hearse pulled up to where the dead corporal was to be buried, Private Crane felt as if the rubber soles of his jump boots had melted. The boots hadn’t been broken in yet and the … Read More

Kicking the Stone

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  The bookstore café was lit by lamps on tables, the big windows at the front beaded with condensation that acted like a blind, dimming the afternoon light. Sylvia had secured the corner table and, as she waited for her … Read More

Half Hitch

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  Spring   What passes for weather is cold and slick, the spit and runnel of raindrops. Padilla Bay reflects early sprigs of forsythia, yellow spikes bouncing on stems. A hardness in the clouds, an unwavering blank grayness that enters … Read More

Away the Birds

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  Stevie and I, we live in Fischel’s attic now. It’s small but we don’t need much. There’s room enough for a wobbly nightstand and a chair we’ve piled over with clothes. Most of the attic is taken up by … Read More

Girls Girls Girls

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  Elkie trusts Don absolutely. He’s a cross between a boyfriend and a father, though Elkie knows boyfriends and fathers aren’t supposed to be the same thing, and he’s not at all like a regular client. But then one Sunday … Read More

The View from the Necropolis

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  The officials have asked us to redo the museum: walking through the ruins of the Greek settlement, they poke at the stones with their feet, render instructions to me without looking up. I stand at a remove from them, … Read More

You’ve Got to Be Good to People

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  Florian Davis was hit by a truck on Monday at 3 o’clock; she was just crossing Main Street. That’s what everyone said: “She was just crossing Main Street.” They said it as though it would have made sense to … Read More

Mastermind

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  It was the fall the NFL players went on strike, asking that their wage scale be calculated as a function of gross revenue—a demand the team owners recoiled from as if someone had upended a pitcher of urine across … Read More

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