1 a.m. Refill

It’s 1:00 a.m. and the emergency department is cold. The bright overhead lights illuminate the rows of empty desk chairs. I hear the tap-tap of rubber clogs shuffling in a far corner. There are only two patients here— the man in Room 18 with abdominal pain, and you.

A Nigerian Attempts Therapy

I am a Nigerian woman, plagued by Nigerian womanly problems. When I moved to America for graduate school last summer, I believed this new country would shield me from those nagging afflictions.

Double Exposure

Our hospital in Jerusalem feels haunted. Not, as one might think, by the ghosts of former patients, but rather by the living…

A Figment of Your Imagination

I am a figment of your imagination. You may laugh skeptically, and I admit there is much that would seem to prove I am anything but…


Rachel Hall We tell our kids to give it their best shot before their big…

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.