Porcelain

1. On a layover in El Salvador, I noticed the staring. I kept locking eyes with strangers—the old man by the window, a woman digging through her purse, the child coming out of the bathroom. I felt flattered until I heard, “¿Quién es la china?” China: a small porcelain doll on display for the world … Continue reading Porcelain

1. On a layover in El Salvador, I noticed the staring. I kept locking eyes with strangers—the old man by the window, a woman digging through her purse, the child coming out of the bathroom. I felt flattered until I heard, “¿Quién es la china?” China: a small porcelain doll on display for the world to see, fragile, foreign, china. 2. I grew up reading the Western classics in Korean. They came in full-shelf packages: Les Miserablés, Little Women, King Lear, translated to satiate a. . . Read more
Kyung Mi Lee
Memento Mori

We found the skull in a field by the creek. We were young then, my sister and I, young enough that an old sheep’s skeleton, still mostly preserved, still unravaged by dogs, was no more than a curiosity, and the heavy skull, still greasy, still smelling strongly of brains, was a trophy waiting to be … Continue reading Memento Mori

We found the skull in a field by the creek. We were young then, my sister and I, young enough that an old sheep’s skeleton, still mostly preserved, still unravaged by dogs, was no more than a curiosity, and the heavy skull, still greasy, still smelling strongly of brains, was a trophy waiting to be brought back and presented to our mother. She accepted it, washed it, and finally decided to display it on a shelf in the basement. She cherished most of our macabre. . . Read more
Henry Reichard
Eleven Hours

Eleven hours. My grandfather is dead. Depart PDX 1:15, arrive PHL 11:57, with a brief layover in Minneapolis. Before that, three hours from Newport to Portland, and two hours for check-in. The bus picks me up from the Hatfield Marine Science Center dormitories at 6:00 a.m. Seven minutes of goodbyes to my thirteen fellow interns, … Continue reading Eleven Hours

Eleven hours. My grandfather is dead. Depart PDX 1:15, arrive PHL 11:57, with a brief layover in Minneapolis. Before that, three hours from Newport to Portland, and two hours for check-in. The bus picks me up from the Hatfield Marine Science Center dormitories at 6:00 a.m. Seven minutes of goodbyes to my thirteen fellow interns, plus twenty for breakfast, plus making sure I didn’t forget anything, plus five to rub the sleep out my eyes. Later, an hour-long drive from the airport back to the. . . Read more
Dimitri Diagne
I’m Always Trying to Explain This

“I’m always trying to explain this. I always have trouble. I think it’s such a lonely thing to do. People in Berlin go to techno clubs alone and take pills alone and then go home—even if you go to techno clubs with friends you don’t really talk to them or even dance with them. You … Continue reading I’m Always Trying to Explain This

“I’m always trying to explain this. I always have trouble. I think it’s such a lonely thing to do. People in Berlin go to techno clubs alone and take pills alone and then go home—even if you go to techno clubs with friends you don’t really talk to them or even dance with them. You walk through these bombed-out industrial parts of the city, and see these scattered people holding beer bottles all headed in the same direction, and then you wait in line, and. . . Read more
Ruby Bilger
Milk, Scone, Watermelon, Words

The invention of a woman

“With my eyes I blindly seek the breast: I want thick milk. No one taught me to want. But I already want. I’m lying with my eyes open looking at the ceiling. Inside is the darkness. An I that pulses already forms. There are sunflowers. There is tall wheat. I is.” – Clarice Lispector, Água Viva “Only afterwards does fear come, the pacification of fear, the denial of fear––in a word, civilization. Meanwhile, atop the naked table, the screaming slice of red watermelon. I am. . . Read more
Mae Mattia
Grave Disposition

What I saw where my ancestors rest

On the J4 bus to Waterbury, I pulled out my notebook and wrote two lines: “Isabel Gillis,” my distant English relative, and “my mom’s mom’s mom’s grave,” the reason I was on the bus. It was a blustery mid-September day, and I was headed to meet Isabel so that we could tour old family dwellings together. The bus slowly made its way from the New Haven Green, passing through a landscape of strip malls and overgrown medians. In 1909, my great-great grandfather John Gillis immigrated. . . Read more
Isaac Kirk-Davidoff
Talk Of the Townie

A local takes a turn as a Yale tour guide

“Give the facts, but share your personal experience,” says Joe Admissions, making friendly eye contact with the table of new recruits. When I applied to be a summer tour guide, I thought the job would be particularly easy for me, considering I grew up in New Haven and fancy myself as having some insider knowledge. Then, I read the “Yale Tour Facts” sheet and realized I didn’t know any of the bullet points. Some were interesting. A couple were wrong. Most were myths about statues.. . . Read more
Sophie Dillon