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When We Were Girls

I’m lying on the edge of the lake. My head is cupped by ice-crusted mud. My hands and bare feet tingle. A cop is there, hovering over me. She’s a black woman in her thirties, her eyes wet and shining from the cold wind. She wears a knit winter hat, dark blue with a police […]

Love and Trouble

I opted to change my status from “virgin” to “non-virgin” on January 16, 1991, the same night that George H. W. Bush’s White House announced Operation Desert Storm, a U.S. military operation with the aim of expelling occupying Iraqi forces from Kuwait. I was a senior in high school, and it was my boyfriend Kal’s […]

Any Other Night

I am pumping gas after work at an intersection I have frequented many times after dark without incident. I leave the pump unattended, am sitting in my car scrolling on my phone while the meter ticks off dollars and gallons beneath the fluorescents. I hear the click of the pump’s auto shut off and open […]

Dear Parents, Know This

Somewhere in your epoch of child-rearing—with babe on hip or perhaps much later—you will shatter completely. You will be destroyed. How could it be any other way? When your children cry, I do not need you; when your children cry I do not want you; when they cry, I need you and I want you, […]

Sales Force

Sold A saleswoman and her customer meet in an alley. They kiss as if they already know each other. “Your skin still smells like easy money,” he whispers, running his hand through her hair. “Damn right it does,” she says, nuzzling her nose against his wool coat. “Beautiful, soft wool,” she says. “Where did you buy […]

Across the Valley

I’m a cosplayer, but not the usual kind. I’m a person pretending to be a robot pretending to be a person.