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Romantic Love

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Bat Season

These were strange and intoxicating expeditions. At the cliff-lined ends of forest-service roads or the edges of muddy cattle tanks, or in the cricket-loud groves where saguaros gave way to oaks, I would help stretch nets on moonless evenings. Bats fluttered into the thin weave and were trapped, toothy and screaming.

By River Reyes August 2022
Fiction

Blue Ladder

My uncle finally kicked me out, and I was living in the twenty-four-hour Kroger on Fairhaven Avenue in Tustin, California, pilfering food and sleeping at the coffee bar. One day Mr. Muniz pushed a cart through the frozen-foods section where I was fanning myself, and he stopped. I’d gotten ugly, my face wasn’t right, and I could tell he was thinking, What the hell?

By Bruce McKay August 2022
Poetry

Love In Our Seventies

We don’t take each other for granted, because we know we’re old. Sometimes when we’re bird-watching — field guides, binoculars — happy to be looking at egrets or green-winged teal, I think, One of us is going to die first.

By Ellery Akers June 2022
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Without Ceasing

You never grew tired of watching her work. You loved the hum of the machine, the sawdust that stuck to her sleeve, and how she bent her head over the wood like something swan. You knew she was sharing something intimate with you. You were witnessing prayer.

By Sophie Ezzell May 2022
Readers Write

Intimacy

In a college dorm, in a prison, in a marriage

By Our Readers May 2022
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Winter Of Flying Walruses

I should have seen the breakup coming. After just a few months with Shaye I was frightened by her inability to make concrete plans for the future. She was like an iceberg: pretty from far off, but scary the closer you got.

By Dave Zoby January 2022
Fiction

The River Corrib

Lovely things, the railings. When it’s raining just right — half raining, the way it so often does here — the spiderwebs spun across the rails collect mist and shine, so that the Corrib looks like it’s swathed in sequined cloth.

By Mohan Fitzgerald December 2021
Fiction

Disclosure And Consent

I understand that though it was not my choice to listen to the Jackson 5 during the procedure, I will now think of their seminal hits every time I smell isopropyl alcohol in my vicinity.

By Hanna Bartels December 2021
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

How We Met And What Happened Next

A middle-aged New England lawyer, you were dressed like a cowboy. This, as much as anything else, underscored that it was over between us. A suede-fringe jacket. Snakeskin boots with stacked heels. An oversized Stetson. What, I said, no spurs?

By Judith Claire Mitchell November 2021
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Relationship Tips

I put aside the previous rejections and try again. This time I don’t mess around with coffee. I don’t want anything that might allow her a graceful out or result in a request to be friends. I have friends. I ask her on a dinner date.

By Sandra Gail Lambert October 2021