On the Common

Dan Forward The fading fall made the city came into a more vivid focus. The cold breath of oncoming winter lent outlines to the environment, a sharpness indiscernible in warm months. Every brick in every façade could be counted with ease, every branch of every tree–now bereft of the motley foliage indicative of the onset… More

Monitoring the Situation Closely

Kris Saknussemm There’s something very important to be said for investigating problems as completely as possible before you reach any conclusions. I was reminded of this the other day when an old friend e-mailed in from his latest post in Latvia. Clive was born to be a hotelier—actually born in a hotel, trained in London… More


Ryan Millbern Taylor sat in the corner of the bar at the Holiday Inn in Galvin, talking to a man who called himself Sydney. Her pockmarked legs were crossed, her top foot bouncing to the beat of “Papa Was a Rolling Stone.” A strobe light pulsed in one corner and shot up into a rotating… More


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