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Creative Nonfiction

Solve for Ways to Disappear

A word problem: Alysia packs two suitcases. She boards a westward-bound plane with an average cruising speed of 570 mph, leaving behind one ex-boyfriend, one cat, and one current boyfriend. If the plane flies continuously for 7.45 hours, and if Alysia stays in the city of her final destination for four months, loses ten pounds, and starts sleeping with another ex, how much closer to happiness will she be than when she first arrived through immigration? Please show your work in the blank space below...

The Fish

We break up a piece of bread and place the crumbs in each bowl. “They’ll jump out of those bowls trying to grab that bread. I hope you saved us enough slices of bread for your lunches tomorrow.” She sighs heavily, then stands on a chair and starts scrounging around in the cupboards. “Here, take this old pickle jar. We need those bowls for breakfast. What kind of people think giving kids a fish is a prize? Ain’t no prize for me.”

The Muddy Divine

Inside the pristine valley below me, coyotes drag newborn lambs snatched from adjoining farmsteads, and cattle sink knee-deep in stream-drenched muck. In the woods, next to the bluebells, crawl ropes of poison ivy thick as my wrist. Yesterday, a red fox lay dead on a trail, two large bite marks on its side. Paradise exists in the mind of the simple, yet there’s something to be said for a canopy of maples embracing at their tips, leaves rocking to the sighs of an afternoon breeze.

Transience

I always know where I’m going. Except when I don’t. When I’m in New York City I’m neither a local nor a tourist. I’m not the sidewalk nor the person walking on it—I am the seam connecting the two tiles together, unnoticed but essential to stability. I’ve been here enough times to have exhausted all the usual tourist spots: to my dismay Madame Tussauds wax figures haven’t aged at all since I visited them as a kid, the same ferries that take people out to the oxidized Statue of Liberty are still running, and I’ve watched as Ground Zero has been turned into a tourist destination. Despite all of that, I still end up on the uptown train when I should be going downtown more times than I’d like to admit...

Grindstone & Fog

I could be nude beneath the fog’s fleece. I’m invisible as God, who wraps his modest shawl around Scarborough. The Yorkshire coast is blind. The ships are blind; they can’t see their own masts. Their bones might soon wash up in a spray of spume...