Under the Reservoir

Clara was drowning. She rode beside her granddaughter Alice in the wagon, but the water seeped in through the cracks in her mind, filling it slowly, like the reservoir behind them, lapping at the steps of the house her great-great-grandfather built of stone, so it would last forever, turning the rooms into aquariums, washing over the sills of the second story window where she’d passed the months of her confinements, gazing east across the tobacco fields to the trees changing color on Mount Lizzi

Down in Mexico

Corey’s Mexican host family lived a few blocks from the university, on a narrow street lined with stucco walls and orange flowering Tabachín trees. Every day when he returned from class, he pressed the buzzer and waited for Mari Carmen, the maid, to come unlock the wrought iron gate, and followed her up the brick walk to the door. She walked without hurry, long black braid swinging between her shoulder blades.

The house was bigger than Corey had expected, bigger than his parents’ back in Beloit


El Ingeniero stood at his office window, watching through binoculars as the big black plane touched down on runway B. Never, in all his years as Operations Manager, had an aircraft this size landed at the airport. Mostly they ran turbo props and Embraer jets back and forth to the capitol and the beach resorts. He’d spent the last two decades persuading airline executives, with the help of fifty dollar mescal bottles and private helicopter tours of pre Columbian ruins, that this provincial backwater

The Whole Foods Effect

I went to the grand opening of Whole Foods with my friend Denise, and Shannon, of course–I can’t get away from the kid long enough to pee. By the time we got there it was after 11, but we were still one of the first 1,000 shoppers so we each got a balloon and a free reusable shopping bag. The bags were yellow, with big green asparagus tips, like alien penises. Now everyone at the food pantry has one, stuffed with canned peas and other processed crap.

Whole Foods took over the old Johnnie’s

Creative Non Fiction

Marry, Fuck, Desert Island

Profa perches on the edge of a desk, long tawny legs crossed under her miniskirt. She’s around forty, with wavy black hair and a faint mustache on her upper lip. She expounds on Marx’s theory of alienated labor between drags on her cigarette. In her Cuban accent, Marx sounds like Mars.

The classroom walls are blue grey, except where desks have chipped away sedimentary layers of green and burnt orange. The only light comes from four tall, narrow windows, screened by an overgrown palm tree. Elect

The Sharp Edge Of The Crayon

Our first grade teacher, Miss Baudendistel, summoned us to her desk one by one. When it was my turn, I opened my mouth and tipped back my chin so that she could inspect the progress of my six-year molars. The results she recorded in a ledger, along with my attendance, heartbeat, and head-to-body ratio. She kept the ledger on her desk beside the beeswax candle, the glass inkwell and the silver chime she used to called us to order.

Austrian philosopher Rudolph Steiner, founder and patron saint of

My Life in Four Year Terms

AMHERST, Massachusetts — I’m floating peacefully in a warm sea of amniotic fluid, when the voice of Ronald Reagan penetrates my subdural Shangri-La. It reverberates through the nodes and ventricles of my mother’s body like the voice of Darth Vader, causing me to somersault and burrow deeper into the womb. There I wait, weeks past my due date, growing ever plumper and more powerful off my host.

On November 4th, my parents watch the election returns on our analog TV. I

Never Forget June 14th: Revisiting Oaxaca Ten Years Later

“Is Trump really going to build a wall?” Sofi wants to know. She Armando and I are at Micheland, a new bar in Colonia Reforma that specializes in Micheladas—beer flavored with salt and chile.

“I don’t think so, not literally. It’s expensive and impractical. Not even all the Republicans support it.”

“From where we sit,” Armando says. “It seems like half of America is racist.”

I try to explain the electoral college over the cumbia music. “I’m not saying there isn’t racism, but a lot of it is ju
Einar H. Reynis


I’m sitting atop the Escalinata, eighty-eight steps above the streets of Havana. Between the crumbling pastel high rises I can just make out the blue stripe of the Straits of Florida, one shade darker than the sky. I’m writing a letter in my notebook to my best friend back in Wisconsin. Later, during my 30-minute weekly-alloted internet time at the study abroad program office, I’ll copy it into an email. I lean back against one of the Corinthian columns, which open onto the leafy University quad