Fall 2014

Falling Waters Under the City Geocache

Nashville Public Square parking garage waterfalls— a Green Roof Award for harvesting rain, hosting picnics, concerts, second dates, an oft-overlooked spot where city planners preserved underground water currents, integrated park, seep, Ford, Toyota, Volvo, pigeon coos and stone profiled time, wildcat sirens plummeting from the

Landfall

I am thirteen, standing in front of the full-length mirror in the bathroom, naked. Florida summer heat presses hard against the house, seeping in through thin walls. It’s hurricane season. The window unit chugs and sputters in an attempt to trim thick waves of heat into wisps of cool relief. It’s failing. The air is stagnant. My hands…

Black Holes

My cousin and her husband, both astrophysicists, wear puffy coats and shiny sunglasses. They step out of their SUV, arriving at our house for the weekend. I haven’t spent much time with Laura the last twenty years. I only see her at my mom’s annual Christmas Eve party. Laura’s seven-year-old daughter fumbles out of the car and…

Jude

The only thing of mine to survive the fire was a picture of Holly Hobbie Mommy made before Jude was born, her belly swollen as she stood in her sister’s kitchen. Her hair was cut in a shag like Jane Fonda’s in the picture on the Frigidaire, but frosted. Her long-sleeved oxford shirt, a man’s going-to-church-shirt, hung…

Lost in the Flood

Zachary’s mother spent all morning on Mrs. Crawford’s hair and that evening they laid her out in the viewing room for the mourners to pass by. People complemented his father on the fabricated vitality in her cheeks, the shine of life painted on the cold skin. Zachary stood by listening as long as he was able, then sat…

Fall 2014 Editor’s Note

In his poem “Digging,” the Nobel Prize-winning Irish poet Seamus Heaney depicts a writer at his desk, a pen resting “Between my finger and my thumb,” ready to begin his day’s work. But the narrator becomes distracted by the sound of a spade striking gravel, and he looks out to find his father’s “straining rump among the…

Riding the Elephant

A note from the author: This is an extract from a journal I kept while I traveled through South Asia some years ago on a writing assignment. I always keep journals when I travel, because some of the information might be useful later if it’s a research trip for a novel, or if I’m on assignment as…

Waiting for the Invasion

In other years I watched the sky for birds flying south in formation. This year they pass in unbroken lines through my sleep, driven down on machine wings. I know the voice you use for telling children not to fear every droning sound that scatters their play like shrapnel or…

Fault Lines

Randall is moving away from his living wife. With the reckless, innocent grace of a liberated animal he scrambles toe-and-hands up the face of a huge rock; this must be Africa because none of the trees look right. The two boys are little and hold onto her hands, watching their father. When he straddles the top Randall turns…