Skylights

Jessica Johnson We left a day before my 17th birthday, just when the sun began pumping hazy orange light into a humid Friday morning. Mom was rushing from one room to another, making sure we didn’t forget any small toys or dishcloths, while Dad and I stuffed our sleeping bags into the U-Haul and Keith… More

At the Opera

Nora Bonner Sandy Harris died on her way to dress rehearsal two days before the opera premiere. Most of the ensemble didn’t notice her absence. She was nine years old. The other children in the chorus whispered her name while mothers fitted their wig-caps and buttoned their long red robes. Her costume remained on the… More

Lena's Trip Home

John Paul Jaramillo When the green line bus cried to a stop near La Veta, Colorado, Lena sat alone. Tired and nervous, she finally sank into sleep as most of the passengers read or conversed to pass the miles. Within minutes she woke to worry and wonder. She told herself not to think too much… More

Mexico City

Perle Besserman “Rosie had in fact approached the bar, placed one purple-veined elephant leg on the brass rail, and was preparing to launch one of her unsolicited performances.” The doctors in Mexico City learned early not to cry. Sergio, a visiting surgery fellow in our Roosevelt Hospital residency training program, would describe the operations he’d… More

Girls

Amanda Viviani Anne-Marie and Emily both wore eyeliner and purple iridescent lipstick by sixth grade; they blotted their shiny mouths in the third-floor girls’ bathroom and traced thick lines onto their lips. Except Celeste was the first to buy department store lip gloss and leggings. Celeste was always first, and she liked it that way.… More

The Question of the City

Sam Ramos Jerome’s collar put pressure on his windpipe and his backpack dug into his shoulders. It was the discomfort typical to every morning’s train ride and he soon forgot it. His thoughts drifted back to where they’d been since the previous night when Meg shut off the T.V. and arranged her body to face… More

Love

Marcos Soriano Cradled within his palm, slightly brighter in color than the pink of his skin, was a single pill. Roughly triangular in shape, and no larger than a child’s first tooth, the pill had cost him more than the equivalent of a year’s lease on his Volvo V70. It was love itself. He’d spent… More

Back From Boston

Ryan McCarl It began, to pick an arbitrary beginning, with a key that would not turn in a lock. I hauled my first load of bags and boxes into a Mass Ave complex, struggling through two heavy gates with my car against the curb. Up a slow, sweating elevator, and I gratefully dropped everything in… More

A Prayer for Becky Sims

Marcos Soriano “Teach me how to pray,” she says, and gets down on her knees. Becky Sims, a wispy, straw-haired freshman. Eyes blackened with mascara, a wash of rouge painted over blemished skin. You’ve only seen her once before, in the first meeting of your “Mystery of God” course. Now she kneels in front of… More