The Father Shift

I was twenty-three years old the first time I saw my father wearing a dress.

Motherhood Requiem

Nadia Ghent One afternoon, after my mother had fallen ill for the fourth or fifth…

Our Eyes Were Watching Marcia

Television had always been a perfect distraction from our family’s drama and trauma, soothing us more than our Baptist faith.

Displacement: Illness & Health

To be ill is to be displaced—displaced from health, displaced from one’s former self, displaced from the community of the well.

Off The Page: The Tapeworm

Amy V. Blakemore reads from her prize-wining essay, “The Tapeworm” from BLR Issue 40.

The Next Bullet

Despite my respect for my students, I was afraid of them. Afraid of the  way they watched me as I delivered a lecture, afraid of whispers, silences. 

Illness as Muse

It is not unusual, after I’ve given a poetry reading, for some impossibly young writer from the audience to remark over the post-literary pretzels and Diet Coke, “Wow, your stuff is really depressing.’’


My office is quiet except for the noise I make: the click of the light switch, the hum of the computer, the crinkle of my paper gown as I unwrap it. I pull on my PPE—gown, gloves, mask, and goggles—makeshift protection as I evaluate patients for suspected Covid infection.

Cancer, So Far

Last summer, the moths clung to the shingles of our house. They fluttered right past us, mottled wings snapping, through our open door.