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My Body Has Failed Me and Now I’m About to Die

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By Cecilia Hansson 

translated from Swedish by Kira Josefsson

It starts like a great spring exhaustion. But after a couple of days the spaces between my ribs begin to tingle, and my head hurts like I have a migraine. 

I think about the Easter eggs, the cake that needs to be baked, and the family excursions we had planned. But once the pressure over my lungs...

Militarizing the Police

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By Roxana Robinson 

In 1990, after the fall of the Soviet Union and the Iron Curtain, the United States no longer needed a powerful physical military presence in Europe. Congress passed legislation allowing the Department of Defense to release six billion dollars’ worth of surplus military equipment to our local police departments across the country. This consignment included...

Around the Bend

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By Saskia Vogel

I think about the role smell plays in memory, touch as a communication. How will it impact the baby to have only us? (For how long?) I discipline myself to stop thinking about California as a point of arrival or departure, of...

Flattening the Curve

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By Aydin Behnam and John Casquarelli

You must believe me. I had never done anything like this before. Yes, it was his first time coming to my unit. It was my fault. I started it all. I read it in an old book I found in the attic and I mentioned it to him. The book said that it used to be an old custom. I’m so stupid! I should have known better. He had a way of...

Corona in Istanbul

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By Zeynep Camuscu

            I have been sleeping. Midday naps to kill some time. Without a constant occupation, quarantine in times of Corona has meant that there’s much more time to spend. From mid-March to May, we stayed at home as a family, but we weren’t terribly concerned. The only thing that kept my physician father...

The Blue Vial

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By Mui Poopoksakul

I found it on May 19, I told the detective.

            Coming home from the post office and waiting for the elevator, I checked our mail as usual. Nothing but a vial with blue liquid. I couldn’t be bothered with whatever free sample someone had dropped in our mailbox and chose to ignore it.

...

Something New

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By Caille Millner

A few weeks before my city issued a shelter-in-place order, I gave birth to my first child. While I was learning how to be a mother, the coronavirus pandemic was decimating economies and cleaving communities. It was disproportionately killing Black Americans and laying bare the brutal costs of the country’s collective unwillingness to invest in everything from basic...

Pain and Coping

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by Christine Henneberg

Recently an old knee injury from my twenties flared up. The knee aches every time I walk down the few steps into the garage. In bed at night, I can feel it throbbing; it distracts me from the book I’m reading. I blame it on the fact that the pool is closed and I haven’t been swimming. Instead I’ve been walking a lot—almost exclusively with the double stroller. I...

Living Between Two Worlds

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by Cheryl Pearl Sucher

It was the middle of January and my Kiwi husband and I were packing for our annual holiday to our other home in New Zealand. The Covid-19 virus was wreaking havoc in Wuhan, China but seemed confined to that Asian province. However, in the short time between preparing to leave and the actual date of our departure, January 28, Wuhan was cut off from the world as...

We Are Dreaming of the Future Season

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By Steven Cheslik-DeMeyer

J and K, the owners of the house, come out to greet us when we pull into the driveway. They live next door in another house mostly hidden by trees. J, a big man in jeans and suspenders, keeps at least ten feet from us. K hovers another ten feet or so farther back. With her straight grey bob, she doesn’t exactly remind me of my mother but she...

White Fantasy: Laura Ingalls Wilder, Covid, and the Myth of Self-Sufficiency

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It’s pure fantasy of course, this American myth of self-reliance. It’s also, let’s face it, unapologetically white. Much has been made of the racism in Wilder’s books. In 2018 the American Library Association removed her name from a children’s literature award due in part to her crass portrayals of indigenous peoples and people of color. Laura’s mother’s insistence that “the only good Indian is a...

Uncertainty Ever After

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By Jon Roemer

Late February/early March felt like a horror movie, the fast, almost tidy way the pandemic was unfolding and the way cable news filled an expository role. It looked like a Soderbergh split-screen concoction, like Contagion on replay from a decade ago. Until the spectacle got repetitive, the numbers got close to home, and angry people started filling my streets.

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