A man with the right scruffed-up beard and breadth of chest swaggered into the S and M dungeon that was my place of business, and twenty minutes and one grand later had my chin — still soft with the downy fluff of teen-girl skin — held steady in one paw while the other one flew at my face so hard and fast that I ceased to exist as the same collection of matter I had been the previous instant.
When Sarah’s mother, Penny, got sick four years into our marriage, we decided to move back to Mississippi, considering it penance for the sins of our youth. We signed a lease on a house, a white one-story on the historical register with a wraparound porch and angels, stars, and the moon painted on the transom above the front door.
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Beth Alvarado is a writer and teacher from Tucson, Arizona, who now lives in Oregon. Her newest book of short stories, Jillian in the Borderlands: A Cycle of Rather Dark Tales, is forthcoming in the fall.
Amy Dryansky lives in Conway, Massachusetts, works full-time, is the mother of two children, and doesn’t believe in self-improvement as a goal during a pandemic.
Alysandra Dutton has lived in Baltimore, Cleveland, Chicago, and the Ozark Mountains. She is an MFA student at the University of Arkansas.
SeSe Geddes teaches creative writing and belly dancing in Santa Cruz, California.
Jane Goodall is a primatologist and author who studied chimpanzees in Gombe National Park in Tanzania. She lives in England.
Janelle Greco is a writer and education director who lives in New York City, although she often escapes to the beach to be with her family and look for shells.
Benjamin S. Grossberg lives in West Hartford, Connecticut, where he teaches, writes, tends apple trees, and eats too much chocolate. His latest book of poems is My Husband Would.
Kristopher Jansma is the author of the novels Why We Came to the City and The Unchangeable Spots of Leopards. He directs the creative-writing program at the State University of New York at New Paltz.
Mark Leviton is playing Rummikub, learning GarageBand, and binge-watching Netflix in Nevada City, California.
Kurt Luchs has written humor for The New Yorker, The Onion, and McSweeney’s Internet Tendency. His poetry collection, Falling in the Direction of Up, is forthcoming from Sagging Meniscus Press. He lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan.
Alison Luterman is teaching a memoir-writing class online and watering her garden. The tomatoes and peppers are coming along, and the lettuce is exploding.
Jim Moore’s newest book of poetry, Underground: New and Selected Poems, is forthcoming in 2021. When he looks out his window each morning in Minneapolis, Minnesota, he sees nurses and doctors going to work, which helps him keep things in perspective.
Cary Tennis lives in Castiglion Fiorentino, Italy, and has hardly left the house since March. He is writing a book about a medieval convent mistakenly bombed by Americans in World War II.
Jackie Baker-English is a photographer who lives in rural Ohio.
Candise Barefoot is a former ballerina who lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. She specializes in dance and equestrian photography.
Morgan Ellis is a portrait photographer who recently moved to Dallas, Texas, where she and her husband struggle to keep their houseplants alive.
Gene Faulkner uses film, digital, panoramic, and stereo cameras to see the world around him. He lives in Portland, Oregon.
Michael Galinsky is a photographer, filmmaker, and musician who lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He took this month’s cover photo, of a friend’s child playing in a tide pool, during an annual trip to Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina.
Susan Lirakis started taking pictures when she was six years old, even though her eyesight was not very good. She lives in rural New Hampshire.
Kim McAlear manages a hostel in Ashland, Oregon. In her spare time she gardens, forages, and ferments food.
Caroline Russell lives in northern Virginia. She enjoys experimenting with digital and film photography and created a process of transferring negatives onto shards of glass.
Morgan Tyree owns more than fifty film cameras and processes his own black-and-white film at home. He teaches graphic design at a junior college in Wyoming.
Jeff Wiles is a documentary photographer based in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. His images have appeared in Black & White, SHOTS, and The Washington Post.
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