selected by John Haggerty

Annus Horribilis

At the end of what they called the terrible year, the annus horribilis—after the fizz and tingle of the first kiss (more like cheap vodka on his breath and some...

The Owl

Every so often, I see the image of that owl Andy Fuller shot and killed back when we were boys. We were friends due to proximity. We were the only kids who w...

Refinery Lights

The refineries at night look like a sprawling space station repair base, flares aglow against a dark sky full of choked out stars, tanks full of liquids I can n...

Spring in Chisinau

Gorgeous morning in the awakened city, fresh new green, the angled rays of the sun glittering in spider webs, birds twittering, the fragrance of buds, grass dre...

More Time

By the time you get around to picking up the pills it’s been nearly eight weeks, and the doc or tech or whoever she was—some white lady in scrubs—made sure you ...

The Rooster

My father came after my bedtime, but I could hear my mother talking to him. She said she would not let him in, and while he stood at the foot of the porch she c...

The Mouse and the Walnut Shell

Jenna pulls a pink plastic-wrapped wand out of her purse and sets it down on that container where you’re supposed to dispose of pads and tampons—that steel box ...

Grudge Match

I am mass. I am momentum. I am a big, shuddering kind of a man, arms swinging and trembling muscles in my red spandex. I am wroth, I am masculinity, I am ...

Tatau

When I was eighteen, and she was sixteen, I took my sister with me to get what would be my first tattoo—her name. I hadn’t known to research tattoo artists; ...

The Worm Eater

“Whose birthday is this?” Lara asked, as Essie turned the wheel to back into a parallel parking space on the narrow residential street. A passing postal truck h...