Monster

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The last couple times I took my boys to the playground, there was this guy there. He looked harmless, nice even, a baseball cap, jeans, T-shirt. He could have been my age, maybe ten years older or ten years younger—his long, untended beard made it hard to guess. While my boys hit the slides, the swings, and the monkey bars, I’d sit, let them do their thing, on hand in case they fell or decided to wander off. The guy with the long beard, though, he was all in, rotating kids on the little merry-go-round, refereeing games of tag, and playing this game he called “Monster” […]

On The Social Interactions Of Bottlenose Dolphins In Maternal Bands

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Me and Marty were just about wrapping up the day’s log on the social interactions of bottlenose dolphins in maternal bands is how we happened to be out on the water at the time. Out of nowhere, one of the bottlenoses plumb took off out into deep waters. Like it remembered it left the oven on or something, it plumb took off out of the feeding ring, which if you know anything about maternal bands of bottlenose dolphins is out of the question. Dolphins aren’t so much a march-to-the-beat-of-your-own-drummer type of cetacean. Certainly not come feeding time. But sure enough, the rest of the bottlenoses about-faced and followed the one on out into deep waters, leaving untouched a whole school of mackerel they already went through the trouble of tracking and encircling. Not to mention leaving us scratching our heads, me and Marty. […]

Between the Shores

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Nicoya and Daniel are born in the same hospital in Jerusalem on the same date. At 2 a.m., their fathers exchange smiles in the nursery. When Nicoya is three months old, her mother takes her on a bus to the assisted living home where Nicoya’s grandmother lives. In the back of the same bus, Daniel sleeps against his mother’s chest for two stops before he is carried off the bus and down the street and into his home, eyes peacefully closed all the while. […]

Web Exclusive Interview: Michael Powers

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In February’s Web Exclusive, “Lake House,” a couple has retired to a remote location. We know there is tension between them, and between the narrator and his adult son, but the origins and causes of this tension are only hinted at, the way a painting focuses its composition by suggesting some elements and detailing others. Our more detailed image is that of a drone silently making its way across the treetops […]

Gorman, CA

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On the way to the wedding in Los Angeles, they ran out of gas. They were a couple, a man and a woman. The woman was driving them down from San Francisco, where they had spent a few days—it was their first time in California, and they were both from somewhere else.

The man promised they would make it to the gas station. “How could you know that?” she asked. He didn’t answer.

The car was a rental, and it was shitty, and the woman had to press the gas pedal all the way to the floor to make it up and over each mountainous slope. Soon the odometer began its inevitable decline, the needle wilting towards zero, and the woman felt a similar inward wilting, a sinking feeling of coming trouble. […]

The Sun and the Pacific, Flowers

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In the afternoon, I was usually lying in the hammock reading Don Quixote while avocados fell on the roof and the grapefruit tree blew its scent around the yard. Bougainvillea and jasmine grew on all the walls, and several varieties of palm snaked up in the sky. The medians were a riot of rosemary. I remember oleander and trumpet vines and sidewalks littered with jacaranda blooms. Hibiscus and giant agaves. Bella donna. There was a tree that made wooden flowers; I have one still, years later. […]

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