Syla’s palms were sweaty as she stared at the birch door and golden handle. Regardless of how she used the tiles to make distracting patterns or reminded herself of much worse situations—fraudulent pity covering disgust in her classmates’ wide-eyed stares—her fingers still trembled and her feet faltered at the thought of the people waiting to […]

A Letter to Mama

Dear Mama,    I find it difficult to keep track of the days without my regular routine. I no longer feed pigeons bread crumbs or drink hot milk in a mug before bed. Life feels like it has stalled without these markers. I wanted to date this letter, so I tried asking my cell mates […]

As they imagine us on summer nights

It had the makings of a quiet summer—   We strapped pink wings to our shoulders and dove headfirst into blue, let sundae droplets brand our shirts, and the smog, thick like nana’s cigs, rested heavily on the town.    I recall these days like a memory or a dream or else a bullet lodged […]