Yellow Bowl

BY RACHEL CONTRENI FLYNN If light pours like water into the kitchen where I sway with my tired children, If the rug beneath us is woven with tough flowers, and the yellow bowl on the table rests with the sweet heft of fruit, the sun-warmed plums, If my body curves over the babies, and if I am singing, then loneliness … Read More

Move to the City

BY NATHANIEL BELLOWS live life as a stranger. Disappear into frequent invention, depending on the district, wherever you get off the train. For a night, take the name of the person who’d day yes to that offer, that overture, the invitation to kiss that mouth, sit on that lap. Assume the name of whoever has the skill to slip from … Read More

Wonder Cabinet

BY TINA CHANG I opened the silver pronged evening and translated the great song of the Industrial Age. Each night I hoped it would tell a different ending. Each time it sang a song, sadder than I would have imagined. I heard it, not only when I put all my perspectives away on shelves, until the shelves caved in. What … Read More

What’s wrong with

making love to your husband who no longer lives with you the night before you leave for your weekend retreat just because he, having agreed to overlap your early departure to care for your small son, appears in the bathroom naked and erect as you sit steeping. What’s wrong with slipping under the lifted wing he has made of the … Read More

Dear sparkly superball,

My son has made for you a Mommy’s house–– primary-colored shack of Legos with two cactus flowers stacked alongside the racecar flag. And Daddy’s house, a press of plastic, pastel blocks that seem to be all fingers wanting to weave. This compound has no door, so we lift then lower the roof when it is time for your nap. We … Read More

Self As Kintsukuroi Art

BY TERESA MEI CHUC I tell myself what I could not before: I am gold as sun as daffodil petals and dandelion flowers gold as rivers that run along the sides of this pottery sealing illuminating its brokenness in the coming into myself again I let the fractures in my heart be cracks through which light shines    

For a New Beginning

— John O’Donohue In out-of-the-way places of the heart, Where your thoughts never think to wander, This beginning has been quietly forming, Waiting until you were ready to emerge. For a long time it has watched your desire, Feeling the emptiness growing inside you, Noticing how you willed yourself on, Still unable to leave what you had outgrown. It watched … Read More

The No-Fault Divorce

I don’t know why I feel so unlovable. I don’t know why I’ve always been more comfortable with men who reject me than with men who embrace me. And I may never know. But I do know that happy marriages are not built upon quicksand. You build a family on a solid foundation. And when each partner is themselves solid, a … Read More

With That Moon Language

— Hafiz Admit something: Everyone you see, you say to them, “Love me.” Of course you do not do this out loud, otherwise someone would call the cops. Still, though, think about this, this great pull in us to connect. Why not become the one who lives with a full moon in each eye that is always saying, with that … Read More

Drawing the Line

In marriage, I couldn’t figure out how to get things to feel equal between Pete and me. By the time we were divorcing, I was completely depleted from the tremendous amounts of positive reinforcement I poured into trying to motivate him to contribute—and positive thinking I tangled myself up with in trying to appreciate what little was offered. The fact … Read More