In the water, the rocks were a dozen colors, ochre to a bruised orange, purple to brick, dusky green to leaden blue, moss-tinged yellows—and all these eclipsed with flashes of sky ricocheting off the surface. These boulders and stones were mostly oval, curved like parts of the body: hands clasped, . . .Read more
I began to see, however dimly, that one of my ambitions, perhaps my governing ambition, was to belong fully to this place, to belong as the thrushes and the herons and the muskrats belonged, to be altogether at home here.
I. . . .Read more
He listened, very well.
He could not help himself.
Every sound he heard he remembered,
Making a great library of music inside himself.
He didn’t mean to, but could not help himself. . . .
The dad had a sweet tooth; it was something fierce. When it got ahold of him, no matter where he was—clearing invasives on the job, taking the kids for a weekend, eating his one-pan dinner—he had to satisfy it, like if he didn’t it would consume him inside out.
This happened one time when the kids were with him. . . .Read more
Nico drove with one hand caressing the steering wheel, the very picture of the bella figura so fundamental to Italian manhood. His other arm lay along the seatback, his hand cupping my shoulder. It was a sparkling, chilly November morning. Leaving Genoa’s shabby grandeur behind, the westbound A-10 began to pour under the old Karmann Ghia’s wheels; . . .Read more
Authors’ note: This essay began after a conversation about writing and our shared interest in documenting the origin and evolution of our identities as writers. We build all our collaborative essays by responding to one another’s sections until a natural endpoint occurs. In this case, Julie wrote the first section, . . .
Was it the voice you feared, or its shadow?
Did you long for His touch or was suffering enough for you
to know He was there?
Do you resent my juvenile hungers?
Do you wish for me the freedom of a vast barren plain? . . .
My father loved every kind of machinery,
relished bearings, splines, windings, and cogs,
loved the tolerances between moving parts
and the parts that moved the parts,
the many separate machines of machinery.
Loved the punch, the awl, . . .
When the bomb goes off Leo is thinking of dogs. In particular: how he doesn’t like them.
It’s something about their eyes, which blink with an odd depth of understanding that appears almost human to him. A few years back, he read a story about a St. Bernard who remained by his owner’s grave for five years after the man died. . . .Read more
No other creature holds the same romance
in the minds of Icelanders as herring.
—Anita Elefson, historian, Herring Era Museum
I sit at a tiny coffeehouse nestled on the southern rocky coast of Iceland’s Snaefellsnes Peninsula, a finger of jagged volcanic rock that juts out from the western shore. . . .Read more