selected by Sarah Broderick

Birding

We weren’t supposed to say anything about Aunt Linda’s birds. Our parents would take us to her house every three months or so, for some holiday-related obligati...

Philomel

I had decided not to post #metoo on my wall. Anyone who loves me knows that I’m a rape victim. In fact, people who don’t love me know—social workers, teachers, ...

Whiskeytown, California

My children lie to me. Dominic & Finn, 8 and 5, try to sell me on all kinds of bullshit about their capabilities. Currently, they are peddling the farce tha...

Like Falling Asleep

My daughter was born blue. No oxygen. Her cord was pinched in the squeeze before birth just long enough to change her color. She came out and the nurse whisked ...

Driving Home with Invisible Todd

There were deer eyes everywhere. Staring out from the brush at the edge of the trees on the other side of the guardrail like white Christmas bulbs glinting in t...

Caveman

I remember thinking it would be funny to disappear from the trail when my parents least expected. We walked in a line beneath the pines with Mom in front and me...

The Leavings of Mouths

This mouth is different. I lift the heavy whisky glass into the light and examine the imprint of the lips more closely. I am used to seeing the leavings of mout...

Crushed

Ashley fell in love like it was nothing. She liked boys with crooked smiles and long, greasy hair. But she wasn’t picky; often, a quick look was all it took to ...

Why I Envy Pocket Watches

Click the button and the clamshell of the pocket watch opens to reveal the time like an oyster revealing its pearl. Time may be less valuable than a pearl, but ...

Ocean Beach, 1963

My brother and I stood waist-deep in the Pacific on a cold day in November. Along the shoreline, signs screamed, People Swimming and Wading Have Drowned Here, b...