By Felecia Howell
"... I had watched the love of my life and hoped she wasn't uncomfortable in my presence. I also wondered what she was feeling as she watched her mother watch me. From our first meeting when she visited us in New York, mom always received me with open arms. Though Takemi and I were not introduced to her as a couple, I saw in her eyes that she knew our truth. I sat in the nakedness of the moment. ..."
By Sarah Alvarado
"...Next came Happy Video, named by Manuel because he was so happy. The last store of their empire was Sono Video after the city of Sonora in Mexico. They hired family members to run them. Soon they were in a position to undercut any new competition and they had long since established customer loyalty. Blockbuster barely threatened them. Sonia dressed for work in a smart business skirt with a matching blazer; Manuel generally opted for a leisure suit with a jacket. They were in love with each other and partners in a lucrative business. ..."
By Trace Richardson
"... Zula Mae was made in Mississippi. Her ‘sippie roots made her tough for hard times. She taught the family what it meant to love unconditionally and not be afraid to do so. She was born to sharecroppers. Her parents where a mix of Cherokee Indians, whites and African slaves. Her granddaddy had been a slave as a boy, and could never talk about his experience during slavery without crying. ..."
By Peggy Adams
"... JoAnn was hovering over a boulder and trying to keep her face out of the water. But soon she tired and started to cry, which really scared me ‘cause I had never seen my sister cry. As JoAnn struggled, Vida Mae went into the water pushing and holding her up. She yelled at us to get Daddy. As I turned to leave, I looked back and saw Jerry riding down the center of the river like a log on its way to the pulp wood factory. ..."
By Ondrej Franek
"... I was born in Czechoslovakia in August, 1970. Society Normalization – the government’s Newspeak for Russian occupation – was in full swing by that time and life was not much fun for anybody. Everyone’s career had been planned already by the Communist party planners who lacked any sense of adventure. Almost-blind children were no exception to that rule. ..."
By Manuel Chaidez
"I have always been awkward. The doctor who held me as an infant said I was squinting too much so he ordered me some baby glasses; they had a black thick frame. Some people ask me if they are the ones I wear now but I’ll never tell. ..."
By Susanna (Whitmore) Fránek
"...It was meant to be my first day of high school. I never stepped foot on campus. From there she dropped me at the house of another friend, who drove me to the border two days later. While some San Fernando Valley girls my age were preparing for their Sweet Sixteen parties in frilly dresses, I was planning an unlawful international border crossing. ..."
By Susanna (Whitmore) Franek
"...Instead, after two days of trekking in the rain through Prague on my own – in the worst storm of the century – letting my intuition guide me, I acquiesced, realizing I had fallen in love at first sight with a partially blind man. ..."
By Alexis Rhone Fancher
I remember listening
to Bob Dylan in Donna Melville’s attic
bedroom, 3 a.m. We were
drinking her daddy’s bourbon, playing
Subterranean Homesick Blues over and over,
memorizing it word by mumbled word.
Johnny’s in the basement,
mixing up the medicine, I’m on the pavement, thinkin’ ‘bout
the government... Donna passed me the bottle.