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Foreign Coasts

It’s already sweltering at sunrise on this August Sunday morning in Norfolk, Virginia. My Lebanese grandfather is taking my brother and me fishing for blue crabs on the Elizabeth River. He stands on the dock and drops the oars into the flat-bottomed rowboat.

I Want To Forgive Everyone, Trousers

The first time I read my dad’s diary, I was home for a weeklong midsummer visit. I had been wandering around my parents’ house, typically directionless, looking for something to do. My mom was at work, and my dad — who wasn’t at work, since he didn’t work — was o…

Especially Roosevelt

Haiden’s morning sickness was bad, and she told me to get the boy out of the house, take him anywhere. She stood in the doorway of our downstairs bathroom, just off the kitchen, her frizzy black hair bound into a ponytail that pointed toward the ceiling like a squat exclamation point. “…

Manna

On Sunday morning at a quarter to six, Lilli calls for me. Her cry hits me in my sleep like a hurled knife. Lightning flashes through my brain; my stomach cramps up; my heart flutters. With eyes closed, I wait for her next cry. Minutes pass. Just as my muscles relax and I begin to drift back into a…