Issue 8 – Non-Fiction
How Art Thou Out of Breath
I live two blocks from a hospital, so that the moans of passing ambulances never diminish but are choked off mid-cry. At the start of the pandemic, the ambulances wailed by my apartment building so consistently that it became a soundtrack, the woodwind section of a diabolical orchestra in a perpetual, unresolved tune-up.
The AIDS Quilt
The AIDS quilt panels spread out over a quarter mile in Washington, D.C., on the National Mall. People slowly, reverently, walk looking down, taking in endless panels. The reality of it all jolted me.
On Splitting a Pizza Before Saying Goodbye
She is thin, frail, and sickly when I meet her. The right side of her chest is tattooed with a dark purple bruise that spreads up her neck – the aftermath of her port removal. She is tethered to an IV pole by multiple infusions of antibiotics, vasopressors, and fluids. She is bald. Her husband is next to her bed, his skin rough and tanned, shadowed by white hair and a stiff beard. He is feeding her watermelon with a spoon as she smiles when I walk in, her smile lighting up the room.