From the Archive: Mallory Tater (CAROUSEL 37)

From the Archive: Mallory Tater (CAROUSEL 37)

MALLORY TATER The Last Nickel Geraldine’s black bather sticks to her chapped skin. Her thighs burn rogue with saltwater rashes. The water isn’t good to her but she loves it anyway. She walks her path to the seawall, one-at-a-times each stone step down to the shore. She feels a shifting in the land, but she isn’t afraid of it. Kelp and purple claw-weed accumulate in bundles, thick and dirty like doll’s hair. Geraldine wades until

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From the Archive: Leah Jane Esau (CAROUSEL 35)

From the Archive: Leah Jane Esau (CAROUSEL 35)

LEAH JANE ESAU Letters to Your Brother Hour One: we aren’t sure what happens in the first hour he goes missing, because we aren’t there.       Does it happen because we aren’t there? • Hour One for you: a phone call.       You don’t answer because your shirt is on the floor of your boyfriend’s apartment. You let it ring three times and go to voicemail.       A few seconds later, it rings again.       Your boyfriend says, “Maybe you should see who

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From the Archive: jp Rodriguez (CAROUSEL 34)

From the Archive: jp Rodriguez (CAROUSEL 34)

JP RODRIGUEZ The Heavens “Can’t believe you can stand a basement apartment,” I say to Rob, growing damn tired of waiting for Scott to make his word. Rob just murmurs away to his iEyes, either not hearing me, or hearing me but ignoring me. No. I’m sorry. I’m misrepresenting. I guess I didn’t say it at speaking volume. I must have murmured it, out of habit, and that’s why my iEyes have picked it up

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From the Archive: Bess Winter (CAROUSEL 33)

From the Archive: Bess Winter (CAROUSEL 33)

BESS WINTER Daguerreotypes 1/ Hidden Mother A slight mother could be disguised as a swaddling blanket or a bassinet. A larger mother was an overstuffed chair, a settee, an imposing piece of furniture. Careless practitioners might toss a rug over the mother, barely cloaking her shape. Ill-disguised mothers looked like bodies smuggled in the night. But such mistakes were for amateurs. Sargent was an expert at hiding mothers.      For instance, once he was commissioned to photograph

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From the Archive: Paul Carlucci (CAROUSEL 30)

From the Archive: Paul Carlucci (CAROUSEL 30)

PAUL CARLUCCI A Lament for the Tetrapod I see him through the windshield as I turn down our street. He’s standing on the lawn dressed in shorts and his Harry Potter shirt, staring at the grass, hands in his pockets. The rain is drumming off the car like fistfuls of baby hamsters, and the wipers swish back and forth, making my son look like a character from a flipbook. He waves when I pull into

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From the Archive: Emily Gordon (CAROUSEL 29)

From the Archive: Emily Gordon (CAROUSEL 29)

EMILY GORDON Exhibits, Reflections 1A ring lies on the bedside table. A gold band, set with a small diamond, an unobtrusive story. It lies almost at the edge of the table, as if at any moment it will skim off the edge of polished wood, a boat sailing over the edge of the world. Beside the ring is a glass half filled with water, tall and rippled so that as I bend down and look

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From the Archive: Sandra Jensen (CAROUSEL 27)

From the Archive: Sandra Jensen (CAROUSEL 27)

SANDRA JENSEN Romeo and the Lonely Girl Besides the Sunday dance at the Bunbeg Hotel, the only thing I looked forward to was going to sleep. We lived in the middle-of-nowhere-Donegal, surrounded by barren, treeless hills and sheep with scrapies. Excitement consisted of: Cripply-Wipply passing our house on his daily four-mile hobble to the nearest pub; the wurra-wurra bird scaring the bejesus out of me at night; my hair always smelling of peat smoke; oily

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From the Archive: Hollie Adams (CAROUSEL 25)

From the Archive: Hollie Adams (CAROUSEL 25)

HOLLIE ADAMS Lessons in Division We pack cardboard boxes in silence. We are in mourning. My head is down; my black hair curtains my face. This is how to mourn a broken relationship, an expired lease: find own boxes, do not speak, write ‘yours’ and ‘mine’ a hundred times. This is how our one bedroom apartment divides in two. You will move back to your old neighbourhood; I will move closer to my parents. We

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From the Archive: Phil Caron (CAROUSEL 20)

From the Archive: Phil Caron (CAROUSEL 20)

PHIL CARON The You from Here Last night I watched a house burn down. And when it was done only a silhouette remained, lit from inside by a heart of crusted embers. I thought about you. Afterwards, in my hotel room, I noticed the scent of smoke on my jacket. You used to call that lumberjack perfume. More thoughts of you.       I ordered food: Thai noodles and a ginger ale. I found a hair clinging

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From the Archive: Emily Schultz (CAROUSEL 19)

From the Archive: Emily Schultz (CAROUSEL 19)

EMILY SCHULTZ Level 2: Frogger (excerpt from Joyland) Illustration by NATE POWELL PLAYER 1 After Joyland closed, the youth of South Wakefield had nothing to do but concoct ways to kill each other.       Tammy sent home long ago, J.P. and Chris sprawled on the curb opposite the arcade, leaning back on their hands, drinking grape pop. Over the course of the night, the misplaced patch of boys grew in the stretch of cement in front

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From the Archive: Renée Hartleib (CAROUSEL 18)

From the Archive: Renée Hartleib (CAROUSEL 18)

RENÉE HARTLEIB Cat and Mouse Brenda imagined awful things. Chronically predisposed to what a friend called “catastrophizing,” she often awoke in the middle of the night with her heart racing, sure that she had heard a noise, sure that someone had broken into the house to rape and kill her. She was suspicious of wrong numbers. She checked for people following her. She startled easily.       Brenda was, however, shocked the day she came home from

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From the Archive: J.R. Myers (CAROUSEL 17)

From the Archive: J.R. Myers (CAROUSEL 17)

J.R. MYERS The Last Snowman It was a battle again; Ray pushing and demanding, never satisfied because he didn’t know what he wanted; Ethel pining to be left alone, wanting nothing more than to gaze at old familiar things and daydream.       “It’s no use your moping around,” Ray scowled when his wife refused to come outside with him.       “And it’s no use your storming around like a bull in a china

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From the Archive: Dan Wells (CAROUSEL 16)

From the Archive: Dan Wells (CAROUSEL 16)

DAN WELLS Spare Change There he was, once again. Sitting on his bench, clothed in a knatty white dress shirt, collar curling like a dead leaf, dress pants cinched so tight they ballooned. He had a build for begging, emaciated limbs striking right angles, threatening to poke new holes in his clothing. He smiled at Paul, wished him a good morning. Paul scowled, locked the door behind him. Beggars were never good for business.       

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