Category Archives: Creative Non-fiction

Alex

I work as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) for an inner-city hospital on the Pacific coast. Two years ago, charge nurse Carmen Sanchez assigned me to sit with a twenty-two-year-old Chinese patient named Alex, who’d had a rough life. He’d … Continue reading

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Broken Communication

Irritating. The pain is really irritating. It’s radiating up and down your spinal column. It’s draining you of all your energy. The homework you still have to do may not get finished. The last seven hours of your shift seem … Continue reading

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Holidays

If the wax in my ears had been thick, I couldn’t have heard the word. I couldn’t have collected it innocently and reserved in the heart. I couldn’t have greeted the women. Today, I heard there are shadows of beauty … Continue reading

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The Great Above

I ‘Focus on the horizon,’ said L. ‘That way you’ll keep the nausea at bay.’ I had last been aboard a ferry en route to Skye, too long ago to remember, so as far as I was concerned, my nautical … Continue reading

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Remembering the Whitby Crow Dancers

Whenever I go back to Whitby, memories of my childhood return as if they had never been away. The air is still heavy with the mingled scents of salt, sun-warmed seaweed and newly landed lobster pots piled high on the … Continue reading

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Of Roots, Rites, Ribs

The Orange Spotted Sunfish is one of the most vibrant freshwater fishes. It is most closely related to a rockfish, and is not a sunfish at all.   The Sea Rose (Orphium frutescens) will only expel its pollen for carpenter … Continue reading

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Autopsy

The truth is, I don’t remember the first time I drove past and saw piles of dirt where my gymnastics academy once stood. It seems like an important thing to miss—that moment of visual confirmation. The solid truth that the … Continue reading

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Master Jo and the Tai Chi of Songxi

August 14th, 2018. I woke up earlier again today. Like the calligraphy day, we have a lesson peculiar to China – Tai Chi. I’ve enjoyed it in Jet Li movies before, and the funny stories it ignited. When I was … Continue reading

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Carp for Christmas

There was a time when Christmas Eve meant three things – carols, carp, and the Golden Pig. Presents would be opened after dinner, the main course of which was a carp that prior to being fried and battered had scales … Continue reading

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Long Night’s Journey into Day

2:49 AM. I get a request for pickup on my Uber app at the New Orleans Ritz-Carlton. It’s a little too early for an airport run. I pull up to the curb ahead of a taxi driver cleaning out his … Continue reading

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Calligraphy and the Robin Hoods of Songxi

12th August, 2018 It’s our third day in Songxi. Last night, I never woke up until it was five in the morning. But then, I slept again for another one hour. At exactly seven, we are in one of the … Continue reading

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Alarm

There are some things that I believe will always stay with you throughout your life, certain memories that will never fade. Sure, you may not think about them every day, but they are always there in the back of your … Continue reading

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In Transit

The ground is wet. There is nowhere to sit. An emaciated dog crosses the tracks. I lean my bags on top of one another and rest my hand on them, hoping they won’t topple. Everyone is quiet. A few draw … Continue reading

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Prayer Circle

Rosaries dangle from rock overhangs in shrines along the Santa Cruz River at the Santuario. Santuario faithful come bearing pain, craving miracles. Miracles to cure the addiction to deaden the pain of poverty. Poverty of the soul, of the land, … Continue reading

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C’s Story

The Spot And that’s led me here, to the spot where it happened. It’s 87 degrees and sunny. The sun beats me continuously. It’s eight a.m. and I’m never up this early, but I didn’t sleep. I walked all night … Continue reading

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Films About Ghosts

“If dreams are like movies, then memories are films about ghosts.”—Adam Duritz Skin flakes fell. Blood baked on the hot asphalt. The salty, metallic stench of sweat wafted in the summer air as the zombie shambled, chasing the frazzled sheriff … Continue reading

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The Drowned One

Wetness touches my fingertips. He calls to me, my drowned lover, and I to him. He came to me once, the mer-king, took me into his palace and we lived happily, but I was a woman with an immortal soul … Continue reading

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Family Knots

As in ties that bind, nests that cradle, nets that trap, connections we weave, places to untangle. Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are approaching fast – those holidays made up to remind us of obligations and sell us things to … Continue reading

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On Our Own and With Each Other

On sick communities and Jen Brea’s Unrest I can’t walk, but I can putter. Around the house. Once in a while around the grocery store. But if I over-putter. Or stand too long. Or talk too long. Or play guitar … Continue reading

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Ohio

I am alone with my two-month-old baby all day long, trapped in a flat patio home in a flat little town in northeast Ohio without a car. I am not a good driver and not a patient line-waiter at the … Continue reading

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Theresa Harris

You’re born on New Year’s Eve. 1906 or 1909. Your official bio makes you older, your tombstone, younger. One written in ink, the other in marble. But what doesn’t matter is, you can sing and you can dance and you … Continue reading

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Already Late

It’s already late. I’m standing at the kitchen sink, and I have to pee. “Jacqueline, are you okay?” I call down the hall to my daughter, hard at work on her seventh grade homework. “You need anything?” “No,” she calls … Continue reading

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Summer After

In a snapshot my friend Jordan sends me four hours before three Narcan injections cannot save his life, he is thirty-five years old, shirtless, clutching a can of Coors. All December, when the day is gone and it’s time to … Continue reading

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E is For

I woke to the sound of his voice softly calling: “Eeeee!” Wordlessly, I exited his room. Simon’s kiss tasted of coffee. Two brown, speckled delights remained. His mother gave the eggs to him as he left his family farm. “Make … Continue reading

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Why I Keep a Pet Plant

While I was in Hong Kong, I met a taxi driver who kept a potted plant on a wire shelf fastened to the glove compartment of his car. “The Asia Expo Center, please.” I articulated loudly in English as I … Continue reading

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