All posts by Erika Raskin

Martha Woodroof by Liz Gipson

Photo of four cameras
 

Monday for Mom was splat day. She was working on splats up until her last few days. We talked about the splatforms a lot in her last few months. About a week ago she asked if I would write a splat about what it is like to be splat adjacent. This is what I came up with and she scheduled it for today not really intending it to be a last splat in this format. I’m posting it today in her honor. One thing I tell my students is, it’s not the mess we avoid … Continue reading Martha Woodroof by Liz Gipson

Pesthouse by Katie Anderson

Photo of rooms filled with sand
 

  The first year of the pandemic lockdown was the worst for Frankie and PJ. Most of their time was spent worrying about the health of Frankie’s Mom and then PJ’s Mom and then as it turned out all that worry was for nothing because they both died anyway. Due to the pandemic there was no funeral service, but both moms had been fiscally savvy and left considerable sums of which eased the pain a little. Not surprisingly, PJ’s mom went first. Her smoking and general laziness made her a prime target for this strain … Continue reading Pesthouse by Katie Anderson

The Kidney Hoarder By Bess Wiley

Photo of lit matches
 

That’s actually me. I have four kidneys. I joke about it, but with great feeling for what they each signify. Two are native, gifted by my parents. The others are from two donors who saved my life with their own flesh and blood. I’m not a religious person, but the brotherly parable holds. I fell ill towards the end of the millenium when my kidneys failed. My brother volunteered to donate one of his. We matched blood types and four out of five tissue types, delighting the transplant team at Cedars, who then performed the … Continue reading The Kidney Hoarder By Bess Wiley

Seagulls by Clyde Harkrader

Photo of seagull on railing
 

It will be a year, he says. The sun behind her covers the barman and his wall of drinkery in rosey light. A ceiling fan stirs fry-oil and lemon around them, but she still feels slick with sweat on her face and arms and between her thighs. She wishes she had chosen a different dress, or had put her hair up, or that they had chosen to eat at a more comfortable distance from nature. She sips her pina-colada, nods her head, and listens to the lazy waves. He takes a gulp of rum punch. … Continue reading Seagulls by Clyde Harkrader

Monarch by Kris Faatz

Photo of butterfly in windowsill
 

  Delia López plans to win her school’s “Make a Buzz!” contest. She figures she’s leading so far, at least in the fourth grade. On a warm Sunday afternoon in early February, she walks to Elk Neck State Park with the boxful of bees she made over the weekend. She’s going to activate the bees in the park and get a ranger to sign off on how many she has, so she can add that total to her contest scoresheet. Her teachers have explained how important the contest is. Without it, they said, there wouldn’t … Continue reading Monarch by Kris Faatz

 Being Seen by Kathleen McKitty Harris

People looking at art in museum
 

On the one-year anniversary of the Covid lockdown, my husband and I decided to visit the recently-reopened Museum of Modern Art (while double-masked and socially-distanced) in midtown Manhattan, and have dinner afterwards in a private outdoor hut in the West Village. When I had my temperature check before entering the MOMA yesterday, the attendant made eye contact with me and said—you have beautiful eyes and I love your glasses. We looked at each other for a few more seconds, and I said thank you and his eyes crinkled above his mask. We really saw each other for … Continue reading  Being Seen by Kathleen McKitty Harris

Going Up by Andrea Lynn Koohi

Photo of spire on tower
 

The summer I worked as a tour guide at the CN Tower, it was the tallest free-standing structure in the world. One thousand, eight hundred and fifteen feet tall. On my first day there, I shadowed a colleague as he delivered the elevator speech I’d soon be memorizing—perfectly timed for the fifty-eight second ride. Halfway through, a blonde woman knelt by the boy at her side and gestured toward my colleague with a snarky smile. “You see,” she interrupted. “This is why you stay in school.” My colleague gaped at her while the rest of … Continue reading Going Up by Andrea Lynn Koohi

His Words Were Smiles by Erika Raskin

Photo of a child's writing
 

“Please forgive me. My illness won today. Please look after each other, the animals, and the global poor for me.” Some people are born with a different level of grace and goodness than the rest of us. My nephew, Tommy, was one of them. The middle child of my brother Jamie and his wife Sarah, Thomas Bloom Raskin was extraordinary from the jump. Even as a small child he could glide into any set of arms, any conversation, any group. He was born kind. And intuitive. And piercingly sensitive to the needs of others. At … Continue reading His Words Were Smiles by Erika Raskin

Totality by Rigel Oliveri

Photo of sunset in clouds
 

They knew exactly when it would happen. Not just the day and the hour, but the minute. The very second. Even before they knew it, it was still destined to happen at that precise moment because it had been—quite literally—written in the stars. Like god had wound up a big clock a million years ago and all people needed was to learn to tell time . . . Mrs. Robbenault talked like this because she was excited. The whole town was excited. There were t-shirts for sale and signs in the store windows. Every morning … Continue reading Totality by Rigel Oliveri

Sunday Afternoons by Sean Grogan

Photo of train tracks
 

I was walking our dog this evening, around six o’clock, when I heard the low rumble of an approaching train. I live in Silver Spring, Md., a few blocks from where the tracks cross over Georgia Ave. When walking down our street, we can see the trains passing at our level, giving the illusion that there is a crossing up ahead. Actually, Georgia dips down below the tracks at that point. But I always look, for I’m reminded of the times my father would take me to watch trains on Sunday afternoons. Sometimes we’d go … Continue reading Sunday Afternoons by Sean Grogan