Before I met Jonathan, I never drove on I-70 after dark. The interstate turns something pensive and angry when the sun disappears, not the place you’d want to travel.

Holy Thing

My mother collects names like currency for all the children she will never have. 

Astral War Bodies

My mother—saint of acrylic nails, military medals kept in shadow boxes, the brown leather jacket that I wear from September to April—is always eighteen when she visits me.

A Catalyst of Small Things

Below earth, the metro whirs through dark spaces. The lights, two unyielding eyes sunken into its forehead, precede it into the station and make Afia squint.

The Universe Has Never Been Offered Mercy...

My abuelita is ten years old when she watches her birth mother bleed into a wooden bucket.

Wolf Eyes

In a tiny house beneath the stars, her heart beats to the wolves crying. With every pounding pulse, she feels the beasts prowling through the outskirts of the village—

Saint of Small Places

I was born into a thousand-year-old city...

My Mother was a Barbarian

My mother cut all of her hair off with a shard of broken bone so that it would not tangle when she roamed the highlands. She carried an axe that glinted in the sunshine like the holy symbol of a furious god.

You're Looking at the Man

My dad was a compulsive gambler, but I never minded because working two jobs to make ends meet as a junior in high school made me feel like a big shot. Like even though I wasn’t a father yet, I was the man of the family.