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Quiet Nights

by Sapna Kumar

I wake to the whistling sound of a bus going past my home. My clock says 7:25. When I check, the alarm is set for PM, instead of AM. Now I’ll have to walk in late to school with my brother. He always oversleeps, and I never do.

We don’t have enough money to put the heat on too high, so I sleep under tons of blankets. School’s been canceled a lot this winter. It’s always cold in Cleveland. I wish I could stay in bed forever….

The Story and Sylvia

by Rammel Chan

Naturally, when she returned to the United States, Sylvia’s go-to topic of conversation was her two month study-abroad to Cape Town, South Africa. Once inquisitive friends and family would even touch upon the subject, the flood-gates would open and all other topics of conversation would cease to exist. They listened politely, sipping at the ice in empty water glasses in restaurants or living rooms or coffee shops in Oak Park, with nods and forced smiles, to what young Sylvia had done on her study-abroad trip….

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My Life of Sin

by Eduardo Cruz Eusebio

…Don’t ask me what the communal outhouses were like. Okay, I have to tell you. Picture a six-foot deep slit trench with a long wooden building pulled over it. In that building hang a dim 20-watt bulb above a long bench with a missing rear board. Where the board is missing, you hang your ass over the fetid darkness, and let it fly into the abyss. Shitting in the darkness, shoulder to shoulder with other soldiers of the Lord, the bench shaking with the exertion of a dozen men and boys, is a dear memory that will never leave me, despite years of hypnosis and therapy….

Illusions of Next Time

An Essay
by PJ Temple

“Dad, I think it’s a good time for me to start looking for an apartment. I’m almost twenty. I need to be more independent.”

“Oh no. Vy move? You vill stay here until you get married. We don’t believe in moving, boving.”

He’s over-rhyming. The topic must have struck a chord for him. He might as well have said moving out is hocus pocus, a mythical idea reserved for spooky nights around campfires. He made the idea sound outlandish and revolutionary. I suppose it was, in his mind….

Part I. Coral / Part II. The Corral

A Poem by Ryan Nakano

Part I. Coral

Ahh, the coral
beauty sees the boy &
the boy breathes
thru jagged little gills diver boy dives deep into his back pocket
to pull out a piece of porcelain Made in
his memory begins before he was born
back when grandmother was a mermaid and
the reef he remembers belonged to the gill-less
force of a wave
the tide of war once littered the beach & the boy
combs the shore for shells
combs the shore for something to remember the kingdom….

Holy Thursday

A new story
by M. Evelina Galang
From the collection in progress, “Strength is the Woman”

At night, curled next to her brothers on a cot just outside the kitchen, Soledad dreamed of aswang creeping out from under the beds of the house, feeding on the blood of Mrs. Mayor. The wife had eyes that glowed Jello-green, she schemed with all the witches, found ways to make Lola E’s life miserable. Soledad hated her. Soledad wished her dead. She opened all the windows wider, she invited the moon to come in and drink all the evil out of the house. She asked the angels to hover over Lola E. “She is old,” Soledad said in her dream. “She can’t fight for herself, and Mrs. Mayor is an aswang.”

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A screenplay excerpt
by John Sun Lew


TITLE CARD: Topaz Internment Camp, Central Utah, September, 1942

A convoy of busses approaches a dusty compound, ten football fields broad, containing a grid of 42 identical blocks of 12 tar-paper barracks. As their bus passes under the main arch, Danny looks through razor wire and guard towers in the fore to the snow-capped Mount Topaz.


Seeking Refuge

An essay by Mary Grace Bertulfo

“’One is one’s own refuge, who else could be the refuge?’ said the Buddha.” – Walpola Rahula

Monday night. 6:10 p.m. Alone.

I drove down Lake Street in our worn, twelve-year old mini-van. Hot fury heaved in my chest and shoulders and transformed into a high-pitched scream that poured out of my throat for two whole blocks. I screamed until I had no more energy. I screamed until my voice was hoarse. Had I been a superhero, Wonder Woman say, the scream would have been a siren shattering every van window.

I remember my Chinese name

An essay by Mengnan/Mary Wu in response to Co Shi An’s essay “Remember heritage, imagine identity, stop believing”

I remember my Chinese name. I remember when it was my only name.

My grandfather wanted a son. My grandmother gave birth to three daughters. Each daughter gave birth in the same year in Beijing. My mother, the middle daughter, was supposed to give birth to me in the middle of her two sisters. But I was 2 weeks overdue, and I broke the order of things. My two cousins were both born female before me, and I was the last hope for my grandfather.