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Identity

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Thistle Steps

I have recently made a new enemy. She is a black, curly-haired cocker spaniel walking a man holding a leash. We pass each other sometimes on the steep, narrow public stairs called the Thistle Steps. . . . I could try talking to the man, but I’m never wearing my hearing aids when we meet, so I wouldn’t be able to hear his reply.

By Elana Kupor September 2022
The Sun Interview

All In The Family

Faith Friedlander On Adoption And Parenthood

Not every adopted adult needs the same thing, but I do think most adoptees, at some point in their lives, will want to look into their past. And someone in their birth family might come searching for them. With the Internet and readily available DNA tests, it’s not so easy to hide anymore.

By Mark Leviton September 2022
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

A Private Thing

People laugh about pubescent horniness and untimely erections, but nobody talks about getting them before puberty on a regular basis. I was aroused whenever nothing was demanded of my limbs or mind — in class, at church, on the bus, in the car. Once, I even got hard at football practice while staring off at the Catskill Mountains and half-assing my way through groin stretches.

By John Paul Scotto September 2022
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Hey, Man

You’d donated most of your organs, so the body in your coffin was basically a scarecrow version of you. . . . Thank God they don’t do brain transplants, I thought. Anybody who’d gotten your brain would’ve woken up from surgery a total asshole. I heard you laughing at this. I could remember your laugh really well. It was a letdown that I could hear it only in my head.

By John Paul Scotto August 2022
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The Beetle King

My chest, which was beginning to grow round in the wrong places, had to be hidden under a T-shirt no matter how hot or sweaty I became. Out in the desert I had to squat behind the cover of creosote bushes to pee. At home in my family’s Airstream I was my parents’ youngest daughter, but up in the paloverde I felt like one of the boys.

By Zoë Bossiere July 2022
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

White Lines

We divided ourselves up until the teams were formed correctly, evenly. In other words, until the white kids were satisfied. No one had declared them the leaders, but, like most enduring traditions, the rule had become quietly understood, rooted in our fledgling muscles and minds.

By Emilio Carrero July 2022
Fiction

Sticks And Stones

In 1986 I was the Horse Girl of St. Margaret’s, the tallest girl in sixth grade, with dark-brown hair I tossed like a mane.

By Erin Almond July 2022
Fiction

Emotional Morons

Kayla and I were not friends, so when she called me out of the blue, on a blistering July morning, to ask if I wanted to join her and her dad on the lake for the day, it was like NASA calling to invite me to the moon.

By Becky Mandelbaum June 2022
Poetry

Wingtips

On my way home from school / with a gang of friends / I would see him outside / one of the bars or diners / near the Journal Square station: / my uncle, rasping the price / of a shine to the passing crowd

By John Bargowski May 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