“Beautiful Babette, the Wandering Nymphette” by Roxane Gay

Babette was a beautiful woman with a beautiful, old-fashioned name. Her mother, who never traveled beyond the county line for most of her life, loved the idea of France and words that ended in ette like laundrette, serviette, toilette, and marionette. For most of her life, Babette listened to her mother’s stories about a place […]

Two Poems by Kyle Hemmings

The Day Her Elephant Died When Slo’ Alice called to tell us that her albino elephant had died from an inverted hoof, I didn’t know what to say. All of us knew how much she pampered that elephant, although none of us could figure out how she got it into her house or what kind of clothes […]

Three Stories by Mike Young

Volleys and Cigars “Nice shot, Loy!” His name is actually Roy, but Phong can’t pronounce it right, or he can and he’s just trying to make all the white old men feel easy about his being there. Roy is tall but talks to himself. Meryle smokes cigars and slices a nasty volley. Dale used to […]

Talking with Furniture: Tom Perrotta

Tom Perrotta is the author of The Abstinence Teacher, Little Children, Joe College, Election, The Wishbones, and Bad Haircut, all of which are critically acclaimed. Cited as being “an American Chekhov whose characters even at their most ridiculous seem blessed and ennobled by a luminous human aura” by The New York Times, Perrotta has also been called […]

Five Poems by Cristin O’Keefe Aptowicz

In the Movie of My Life I Sometimes Imagine In the opening credits, I am riding the subway. It’s a montage of all of my morning commutes. My clothing and the books I’m reading change, but everything else stays pretty much the same. My weary character is messy but determined. The montage itself is supposed […]

Three Poems by Taylor Mali

From the Hands of the One Who Loves You Best For Jeanann Verlee This is a story about the dogs in my family, but not about how we named them after local bodies of water or even about how when I was 20 I finally realized that only WASPs did that, that the rest of […]

“Skins” by Rebecca K. O’Connor

The inside of Sabrina Allesandro’s house smelled of wet fur and dried leaves. I followed her down a long corridor, squinting against the sudden splashes of sunlight that sprang through parted drapes in an otherwise darkened house. “The sun fades everything,” she apologized, walking stiffly but waving her now knotted hand with the grace of […]

“98% of the Time We are Together I Will Be High” by Tasha Cotter

I was trying to side-step broken glass on a wet hardwood floor the night I met Mr. Right. We were at a frat party. Earlier I’d been dancing upstairs with everyone else. I decided to go to the basement where it was quieter and they generally played music I liked. Upstairs rap music was being […]

“someone.exe” by Brian Oliu

There is always a fear of no one, the yelling voices after cars failing to start on late evenings, the noise muffled through glass doors and windows, and then, nothing, no one except an anonymous log-in meant to get and put and not to synchronize, no way to write new things or to even acknowledge […]

Katie Eisenberg’s Famous Battle Cries: “Which Nobody Can Deny”

“When I die, I want -” Woah woah woah. Hold the phone, mom. Let’s talk about the fact that we’re celebrating your birthday, and you just said the words “When I die.” She kept talking, of course, because I didn’t actually interrupt her. That being said, I didn’t necessarily keep listening, though I did hear something […]