Ending in Light

There is a willow tree on Belle Isle that hangs over the Detroit River. At sunset, I would tightrope its thickest limb and jump into the water, breast-stroking there against the current so as not to float away beneath a sky bruised with Easter colors. Instead of God, I’d think of great blue herons and… More

Reflections on the Art of Radical Interruption

On the morning of November 9th, I woke up feeling nauseous. My typically strong digestive system convulsed. The specter of a strange new world, where “President-Elect Trump” was not the punch line of a sadistic joke, made my insides feel liminal, neither here nor there. How do you coherently articulate liminality? How do you express… More

Finding the One: A Tortoise Retrospective

Tortoise’s story begins, in a sense, to the sound of Coltrane’s golden lamentation, Africa/Brass, its frenetic drone finding the ears, and fingers, of Doug McCombs and John Herndon circa 1988 in Chicago. The two are playing with Michael Cerzigan in a band dubbed “Simple”, and while the trio never manages to perform beyond their rehearsal… More

Circles

In July 1862—in the midst of her most productive year as a poet—Emily Dickinson writes a letter to her “mentor” Thomas Wentworth Higginson in which she says, “My Business is Circumference.” A short time later, perhaps in the very same month, dated only with “Friday,” she writes in a letter to Dr. and Mrs. J.… More

The Girls We Love

Alaina Symanovich I stretched out on my stomach, burying a pillow beneath my ribcage so my small breasts wouldn’t grind into the mattress. At thirteen, what I lacked in mammary tissue, I made up for in soreness: chafing under my sports bra, wincing beneath the blast of the showerhead, yelping when I bungled catching a… More

Counting

Our Aunt Fanny began her measuring that summer while dusk stood outside her bedroom windows, preparing to stoop and slide through the screens. She was our father’s maternal cousin, daughter of Senator Joe B, as our grandmother cared to call him, because of the way he clunked ice cubes in whiskeys too fine for the… More

Boy in the Crosswalk

‘Anybody who voluntarily takes an antiviral every day has to have rocks in their heads. . . . There’s something to me cowardly about taking Truvada instead of using a condom. You’re taking a drug that is poison to you, and it has lessened your energy to fight, to get involved, to do anything.’ Larry… More

Caminito

…the sign on the corner building read, beside which a street light arched like a back and two tangueros strode across the cover of the leather-bound journal that was to be my first purchase in Buenos Aires. “Little road or journey,” it signifies, though the flight to South America is not diminutive. Distance is not… More