Whitney Bruno

Sketchbook: Naples, Florida

By ROBERT CORDING

 

The royal palms bathe in the soft warm air
of February and everywhere I look there is the play 
of glittering afternoon light—on store windows
and metal bistro tables, on the well-polished 
always white Mercedes and Lexuses, on the sorbet
pinks and oranges and lime greens of faux-Spanish
buildings. The most ordinary things here seem

Sketchbook: Naples, Florida
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The Treasure Hunt of August Dias

By KATHERINE VAZ

 

The apricot tree in my childhood yard would sieve the night. Pouring through the openwork of the leaves, the moonlight littered the ground with patches shaped like bats. Because we lived in the Sunset District of San Francisco, sea drafts kept ruffling the leaves, so the bats were always fluttering their wings. Sometimes I would lie down and let the light-bats tap all over me. We lived in the bottom flat of a spindly three-story house, and there was a fig tree too, and blackberries on brambles thick as the Lord’s crown of thorns, right in the heart of the city. We had picnics with the queijadas my father made—the coconut tarts that were a specialty of his family’s bakery on the island of Terceira in the Azores. His job while raising me, his only child, was fulfilling dessert orders for restaurants, and he rented a tiny industrial kitchen in Chinatown from three to nine in the morning. Once, a triumph, the Tadich Grill requested his alfenim to decorate their pastry cart—the white sugar confection molded into doves or miniature baskets.

The Treasure Hunt of August Dias
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The News

By BRUCE SNIDER

 

Over a hundred men suspected of being gay are being abducted, tortured and even killed in the southern Russian republic of Chechnya…
—CNN

Looking out at the blue sky 
we listen to news 
of men in Chechnya. Touching 
counters, our washrags move like ghosts.
You sweep the kitchen. I tend the cry
of the washing machine, the low roof 
that is our only roof.

The News
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Under Our Skin—A Journey

By JOAQUIM ARENA
Translated by JETHRO SOUTAR

 

And then, as is its wont, death comes knocking at the door. This time from two thousand miles away.

I try to get the image I have of him in my head to focus. The man who tried to be my father for over thirty years. Officially, not biologically, and not anymore. A death that will nevertheless force me home, back to Lisbon, just when I thought I’d found my place on this dry and sleepy island.

Under Our Skin—A Journey
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In Search of a Homeplace

By LATOYA FAULK

 

When we identify respect (coming from the root word meaning “to look at”) as one of the dimensions of love, then it becomes clear that looking at ourselves and others means seeing the depths of who we are. Looking into the depths, we often come face-to-face with emotional trauma and woundedness. Throughout our history, African Americans have pounded energy into the struggle to achieve material well-being and status, in part to deny the impact of emotional woundedness. Truthfully, it is easier to acquire material comfort than to acquire love.
—From Salvation: Black People and Love, by bell hooks

 

Home is not just a house; it’s this yearning for a place where you’re safe, [a place where] nobody’s going to hurt you.
—Toni Morrison, in conversation with Claudia Brodsky at Cornell University on March 7, 2013

 

In Search of a Homeplace
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The Couple

By KC TROMMER

 

Louise Bourgeois, MASS MoCA

Inside the bounded mercury,
we keep going. All circuits that close
make serpents of us, constrict
and envelop every tender corner until
         only a small portion
is distinct, our feet dangling like the end of a
sentence. We suspend ourselves
in a room full of light but take none in.

The Couple
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