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A Collection of Eyelashes on Paper

My son trims a curtain of lashes, immures them into a stray year.

A Common Story

“I think he does not care for art; I fancy he has not even read Pushkin.”

A Crow Flies Cleanly over the Cornstalks

The almanac tells them when the moon passes into ghost weather.

A Dark Place

There was no sense in brushing off or any other civilized thing.

A Different Ending

The peanut seller tore sheets out of paperback books to make the cones.

A Dream of Ease

I shoved them one by one, easy as pie yet with care, just shy of mercy.

A Farmer’s Life: Xiwuqi, Inner Mongolia

For my vacation last summer, I visited the Bateer family in Xiwuqi.

A Human History in the Wilderness

My grandfather committed my grandmother to a mental asylum.

A Journey along the Atlantic Slave Route

Neither blood nor belonging accounted for my presence in Ghana.

A Lebanese Feast

Lebanon’s dreams of a homeland were fading with every rocket launch.

A Lot Going On Up There

The hawk moves out of the way to let a little hot package of breath rise up.

A Marriage Contract

They went to pray for the dead. It was important to shed some tears.

A Matter of Appeal

Felicia knew why he was there. He was waiting. Waiting for her.

A Matter of Vocabulary

“We see you tryin’ to hide. Ain’t no use tryin’ to hide in God’s House.”

A Mother’s Son

“Maybe you should leave the rumba to those who know how to do it.”

A Portion of Your Loveliness

My daughter’s favorite game is Holocaust. She’s quite inventive.

A Separate Set of Signs

Is she dreaming of the rivers soft with codling in her hometown?

A Shrine at the Inn

It was true. We would probably never visit that place again.

A Small Blip on an Eternal Timeline

I grabbed him by the face and told him life only comes to a person once.

A Taste for Winter

She is very rich. She will leave me everything when she dies, he says.

A Wedding Story

The chocolate was old, dusty white, the way chocolate gets after many years.

Across the Sea: A Sequence

The stones here carry the island’s low cry inside them. A landlocked grief.

Adventures of a Would-Be Filmmaker

Since I am in my seventies, it is now or never, and I know it.

After Music

“I’m torturing you,” she said. “It isn’t fair.” Now I saw there were tears.

Afterlife

Mostly he was in a hurry, so he’d just stick it in and away we’d go.

Alimony

I’m mourning in the armpits of a lover we once called a family friend.

All Good Here

Since his mother’s fall, Ali had been stopping by every week to help out.

All That Floats

Devanand Simon was twenty-five when the bodies fell from the sky.

Allegiance

“It was not wartime sentiment that moved me to ask you here.”

Amanda Strayhorn, Reverend’s Wife

She countered the reverence of his efforts stroke by stroke, tit for tat.