Issue 449 | The Sun Magazine

May 2013

Readers Write

Winging It

Freeing a lizard, reaching “full organ,” taking a day flight

By Our Readers
The Dog-Eared Page

Perhaps The World Ends Here

The world begins at a kitchen table. No matter what, we must eat to live.

By Joy Harjo


When you go to work, if your name is on the building, you’re rich. If your name is on your desk, you’re middle-class. If your name is on your shirt, you’re poor.

Rich Hall

The Sun Interview

Swept Under The Rug

Ai-jen Poo On The Plight Of Domestic Workers

Domestic workers are in a fascinating position. They are poor or working-class women who live in both their own world and the upper-class world of their employers. They witness the difference between these realities daily. They might accompany their employers on vacation, but they never get a vacation themselves. They see employers taking taxis, but they return home on the bus. They know when one of their employers would rather spend four hundred dollars on a pair of shoes than pay them a living wage, because they watch it happen. It’s a brutal reminder of inequality.

By Anna Blackshaw
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Joyous Blues God For A Day

It’s 1994, and I’ve been sentenced on drug charges to seven months in a minimum-security prison in California’s Mojave Desert. And yet I feel godlike: I have a single cell, one of the highest-paying jobs in the joint, and a poetry group called the Mad Poets. Also I’m writing a novel, making up my own little world, and this too makes me feel like a god.

By Saint James Harris Wood
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Mister Kim

Mr. Kim is abrupt. He is brief. He is short. He is terse. He is direct. He does not beat around the bush. He brooks no nonsense. He is from elsewhere. He does not say from where. He does not like that question. He says, “Elsewhere,” when you ask that question. He may or may not be married.

By Brian Doyle
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Sundays With Hugo

This is how I met Hugo: I pick up strange men in my car, sometimes two or three at a time. I drive to the parts of town where they offer their bodies: on street corners, outside the paint store and Home Depot and U-Haul. When I slow down, they cluster around like — I was going to say, “like flies around a plate of fruit” or “like bees around a flower,” but the truth is, they swarm my car like men desperate for work. Hugo was so bold he just opened my passenger door and climbed right in.

By Ruth L. Schwartz
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories


I feel when he enters the building. I get out of my chair, stand in the doorway of my office in the English department. He comes around the corner. I put my hands on my hips, like a kid, and call down the hallway, “Hey, you!”

By Heather Sellers

What Feathers Might Do

When the chickens came to live at our house, I think I knew my roommate Addie was pregnant, but I wasn’t saying anything, and neither was she. She’d been spending too much time in the bathroom or her own room with the door closed and no one else around her.

By Caryn Cardello

Taking Care

Now that our mother’s living alone has started to give everyone pause, my siblings and I are gearing up for the battle over what to do next. She will not be asked for her opinion.

By Linda McCullough Moore

A Neighbor

When he noticed four teenage kids from the Mission School / lugging boxes out of her house, he phoned her / — his neighbor just up the road — & she told him / that escrow had closed a week early: she’d be gone / by late afternoon.

By Steve Kowit

The God Of Numbers and Eve, After

from “Eve, After” | Did she know / there was more to life / than lions licking the furred / ears of lambs, / fruit trees dropping / their fat bounty, / the years droning on / without argument?

By Danusha Laméris