Sexting You say words work when hands can’t reach. So I try, send you messages that set a scene: the tool shed out back, windows steamed, wood grain from the work table pressing patterns into my bare thighs. You write back: We’d knock over the bag of seed for songbirds, use the foot stool to get a better angle, grab the twine to bind us. I tell you the next door neighbor, pruning her shrubs, might hear us faintly, might think us an exotic bird decrying its cage, or perhaps ju
Liana Aghajanian is a Detroit-based journalist specializing in narrative storytelling and international reporting. Born in Tehran and raised in Los Angeles, she came to the U.S. with her family as a refugee. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, The Guardian, Foreign Policy, Newsweek and other publications. She is a winner of the Write A House residency, a program for writers in Detroit. Her project, "Dining in Diaspora," explores the intersection of forced migration,
The Devil's Book There’s no fun in witchery these days.
Sure, I shudder cops with invisible needles,
but magic’s no calling. I simply asked to die
on my own terms. Meanwhile, the Earth’s sick
of our ego. It will outlast us. We’ll burn
ourselves out and no one will grieve
and good riddance—
Devil take us.
Alex Brenner was a finalist for our 2017 Short-Short Story Contest. Her piece "Shpykiv" originally appeared in The Southeast Review 36.1. Shpykiv Stefania hated English. The hard R’s hurt her jawbone. The W’s were impossible. She did not want to spend her entire life asking for vater. It was easier to remain mute than to speak and betray her mind, which thought firmly in Ukrainian. Yakov did not understand. He implored her to speak in English, but it was so painful to use a n