Issue 538 | The Sun Magazine

October 2020

Readers Write

My Country

Claiming a heritage, becoming a citizen, landing in a foreign jail

By Our Readers
One Nation, Indivisible

October 2020

Featuring Luis Rodríguez, Tram Nguyen, Rochelle Smith, and more.

The Dog-Eared Page

Letter To My Father

Stride from the crowd to seize the president’s arm before another roll of paper towels sails away. Thunder Spanish obscenities in his face. Banish him to a roofless rainstorm in Utuado, so he unravels, one soaked sheet after another, till there is nothing left but his cardboard heart.

By Martín Espada


There’s not a thing wrong with the ideals and mechanisms outlined and the liberties set forth in the Constitution of the United States. The only problem was the founders left a lot of people out of the Constitution. They left out poor people and Black people and female people. It is possible to read the history of this country as one long struggle to extend the liberties established in our Constitution to everyone in America. And it still goes on today.

Molly Ivins

The Sun Interview

Many Voices

Cristina Beltrán On What Unites And Divides Latinos

I wish the Democratic Party would put more resources into these communities instead of waiting until shortly before an election and parachuting in a few campaign workers to do some half-assed Latino-turnout work. Latinos are not automatically the firewall for the Democratic Party.

By Mark Leviton
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

What Might Have Been Lost

I can say I’m Puerto Rican, and no one can refute that, but I don’t know what it’s like to feel Puerto Rican. I don’t know what it’s like to see the flag of Puerto Rico and feel something that resembles pride.

By Robert Lopez
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

A Terrible Wind

I pretended to be busy on my computer until she leaned so close to me I had to sit back and look up. She had my attention now. She smiled with one side of her mouth. “That was my mom,” she said. “Fucking Wicked Witch of the West.”

By Joe Wilkins
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Sitting On My Mother

The scar in the turf in front of her headstone has long since healed. Her death date was blank at her funeral, reflecting our disbelief. It now reads, Sept. 11, 2010. Beside that is another blank for my father.

By Vincent Mowrey


You can hardly remember now how you would pull out the ribbons she weaved through your hair, launching them into the wind as you pedaled faster on your bike. You have left that girl behind. You believe in the power of ribbons and roses now. You are a woman.

By Tanya Rey

When Living Is A Protest

My work is an attempt to show what it means to live in the struggle in places like South Carolina and Mississippi, and to document protests from Ferguson, Missouri, to New York City. I want to show the faces of those whose lives are spent in protest.

Text And Photos By Ruddy Roye

Braiding His Hair

Here we are each morning: / my husband on our old kitchen chair, its upholstery / while I comb out his long / wheat-colored hair.

By Alison Luterman

Love Poem

Brooklyn April 2020 | even now the old men sit / at their corner on the stoop / the three of them on the stairs / one on top of the other / recycled masks hanging / from their faces to appease / whoever loved them / and begged them not to go out / into the street

By Brionne Janae