The Defense Cascade

A twenty-three-year-old writer is sitting in her St. Louis apartment on a winter night when she begins to feel unusually cold. She repeatedly takes her own temperature with a green plastic thermometer.



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Velvet

Violence was a family tradition. My father, his father, his father’s father.


photo of a silhouette of two people holding hands

Haunted at Home

Haunted, some might call it. I say, At home. The past is here, ripe and palpable, reaching out to us. Hoping we reach back.


The Geographies of Violence

The woman is still wiping blood off her face when a throng of villagers envelops her. You can no longer reach her amid the swarm that surrounds her.


black and white photo of a silhouette of an airplane in the sky

Holding Patterns

I do not fear strangers. Everyone in the world exists to protect me from disaster I can sense but not perceive.


Smile

“Basmah” means “smile” in Arabic. That’s what my ex-wife named our daughter; she said that maybe she could teach me how to smile. Our marriage lasted for eight years. I tried my best.