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Love Letters

By Lee Isaac Chung Essay

The Forgotten War MY MOTHER INHERITED her father’s war letters before immigrating to America, and by the time she passed them on to me, after my daughter was born, much of the text was illegible, a language lost to a fragile medium, pencil marks on paper the weight of ash. The disintegration had begun at…

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Fighting Fish

By Samuel Thomas Martin Short Story

FRED, THEIR BETTA FISH, IS DEAD. Christopher tips scummy water into the wilted tomato on the fire escape and gazes at the red body in his hand. He thinks about tossing Fred into the alley for the neighbor’s tabby before Damien wakes up from his nap, but decides against it. Ruth always strolls up the…

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Discipleship Training in Kailua Kona

By Jill Bergkamp Poetry

The talk was on God’s tabernacle, a diagram with the palm of his hand, fingers tucked into the holy place, when you threw an apple to me. I wondered until I saw the rough square cut. Inside the fruit, a note damp with seeds and juice, You are altogether beautiful, my darling. There is no…

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Folding a Five-Cornered Star So the Corners Meet

By Li-Young Lee Poetry

This sadness I feel tonight is not my sadness. Maybe it’s my father’s. For having never been prized by his father. For having never profited by his son. This loneliness is Nobody’s. Nobody’s lonely because Nobody was never born and will never die. This gloom is Someone Else’s. Someone Else is gloomy because he’s always…

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In Our Time

By Ilya Kaminsky Poetry

Each man has a silence that revolves around him as he beats his head against the earth. But I am laughing hard and furious. I pour a glass of pepper vodka and toast the white wall. I say we were never silent. We read each other’s lips and said one word four times. And laughed…

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Signs and Wonders

By A.G. Mojtabai Short Story

I DON’T KNOW how it was in other towns but here in Lifton the placards surfaced like mushrooms overnight, an eruption of truth-telling after a deluge of scandal and lies. Imagine the shock—the embarrassment—finding misery in the middle of your picture-perfect lawn, or envy casting its shadow over a garden filled with flowers, or monkey…

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The Nature of a Marriage

By Jessica Murphy Book Review

The Maytrees by Annie Dillard (HarperCollins, 2007) A NEW BOOK by Annie Dillard comes with extraordinarily high expectations. We expect her observations to make us sit up and notice the natural world—and our part in it—with new eyes. We expect to focus small in order to think large. We expect her lyricism to impress, her language…

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Psyche, Soul, and Muse

By Kathleen Norris Essay

The following is an excerpt from a new book of creative nonfiction, Acedia and Me: A Marriage, Monks, and a Writer’s Life, published this fall by Riverhead Books. ALDOUS HUXLEY’S “Accidie” begins with a look at the desert monks and their depiction of the daemon meridianus, or noonday demon, as a “fiend of deadly subtlety,…

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Sun and Stone

By Bruce McAllister Short Story

THE STOCK YOUNG MAN from the north, whose German mother had given him his blond curls and his Milanese father his brown eyes, was at twenty-six the youngest professor of zoology at the University of Pisa. He was driving today to a destination none of his departmental colleagues would have been caught dead at, midweek…

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