Calling Card

Mary Luce It was a chilly November afternoon in a southern town so small it…

The Wills of Twenty Strangers

It is eleven o’clock at night, and I am stomping around with half a skull in
my hand. “Where are all the goddamn pipe cleaners?” I ask the room. The
situation is not really urgent enough to require profanity, but I am tired and
miserable, and I am resorting to overstatement in the hope of making my tired and miserable colleagues laugh. My study partner and I are getting confused about the difference between two holes in the skull, called the inferior orbital fissure and the infraorbital foramen.


Throughout the evening, I hear explanations of why people can’t talk when I call. “I’m cooking dinner for my kids,” women tell me, harried. “You know how it is.”

“My husband will be home soon,” one woman says. “Dinner is our time together.”


This must be the first harvest from our acreage: our young vineyard singing, the plastic, ribbed grow tubes that make little greenhouses for each of the young grape plants catching wind and, like a throat and its vocal chords, producing a note.

Close to the Bones

It was a relentlessly sunny day in July, a week after my fifteenth birthday, when I was admitted to the hospital. I remember staring out the side window of the Chevette’s back seat, trying to follow the hypnotic movement of the unraveling yellow line

In My Head

You are twelve years old and your mind is like a game of hot potato. Your thoughts are quick and jerky, and you need to get past them before you get burned.

Dispatch From Bewilderness

Probes puncture my scalp, surveying my mind. Temporal lobe, occipital lobe, you name it; there’s a probe for the lobe.

Carrying History

I am a child of the Iranian revolution. In 1983, my mother gave birth to me in Evin Prison, one of Iran’s most notorious jails. 


Mallika Sekhar April 2020 The ward doctor rang me late in the night to say…