“Tell Me How to Do This” by Amy Stuber

He was not a man who could take a door off the hinges, trim it to size with a circular saw, and rehang it. He was not a man who would comfortably fist bump with other men in a room full of men who fist bumped. He was not a football player. He was not a badass. He was a man who liked lying in a hammock, who liked food and pleasure and who drank too much most nights not to gear up in a Stanley Kowalski way but to untether and unreel into bed and dreams. But in spite of what his wife, Kit, thought of him, he was not a pussy . . .


“Two City Sketches” by Charles Dickens

The appearance presented by the streets of London an hour before sunrise, on a summer’s morning, is most striking even to the few whose unfortunate pursuits of pleasure, or scarcely less unfortunate pursuits of business, cause them to be well acquainted with the scene. There is an air of cold, solitary desolation about the noiseless streets which we are accustomed to see thronged at other times by a busy, eager crowd, and over the quiet, closely-shut buildings, which throughout the day are swarming with life and bustle, that is very impressive . . .


“Endure” by Alex McElroy

M is offered a job teaching American English to Bulgarian teenagers. On our first night in Bulgaria we eat dinner with P, a second-year teacher at once alarmist, deluded, and wise. Her boyfriend works for our government. If something goes down—“If what goes down?” “Don’t you follow the news?”—P will receive coordinates to a field south of Sofia, where a chopper will evacuate her out of the country . . .


“No Is a Complete Sentence” by Kaveh Akbar

The body happens
and we consequence up.

When I said I’d eat even
your baby fat, what I meant

was collect your meat
and deliver it to me, I’m tired

of chewing the same bones
day in and day out . . .

Artwork by Anna Dibble