Issue 558 | The Sun Magazine

June 2022

Readers Write

Intimacy

In a college dorm, in a prison, in a marriage

By Our Readers
The Dog-Eared Page

The Smell Of Fatigue

Life has always been as hard as the soles of my father’s feet. Like the callused hand my face melts into. He holds it like the cantaloupe before a fruit salad. Like life before America. Before it’s sliced, devoured, consumed.

By Melida Rodas
Quotations

Sunbeams

To earn one’s bread by the sweat of one’s brow has always been the lot of mankind. At least, ever since Eden’s slothful couple was served with an eviction notice. The scriptural precept was never doubted, not out loud. No matter how demeaning the task, no matter how it dulls the senses and breaks the spirit, one must work. Or else.

Studs Terkel

The Sun Interview

Falling Behind

Ruth Milkman On The Growing Job Insecurity In America

In terms of security and a sense that you can count on a certain career path in life if you do your part — that’s over for most people. You’re on your own.

By Staci Kleinmaier
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Essays For My Daughter

I leave with my sunglasses on, waving my hand. Sometimes you call my name, your voice a taut string, and I think Michael might snap in half. But it’s strong — a tether.

By Michael Torres
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Without Ceasing

You never grew tired of watching her work. You loved the hum of the machine, the sawdust that stuck to her sleeve, and how she bent her head over the wood like something swan. You knew she was sharing something intimate with you. You were witnessing prayer.

By Sophie Ezzell
Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Heavenly Days

A glistening white steamship, launched in 1924, with an old-fashioned straight-up-and-down bow and tall single funnel from which billowed thick black smoke, it was, like my mother, an unapologetic citizen from a different time.

By Alex R. Jones
Fiction

Late Delivery

My mother didn’t raise a thief, but by the time you round forty, you’re pretty much raising yourself. I scooped the package from its hiding place, then waved my free hand at the doorbell camera.

By Daniel Davis-Williams
Photography

A Thousand Words

A Thousand Words features photography so rich with narrative that it tells a story all on its own.

Photograph By Ingrid Lockhart
Poetry

Last Day On The Factory Floor

We were warned not to complain — / plenty more temps they could call. / Warned, too, to avoid the break room / with its jailhouse camera / swiveling right outside the boss’s office, / his speakers playing only country.

By Michael Meyerhofer
Poetry

Wingtips

On my way home from school / with a gang of friends / I would see him outside / one of the bars or diners / near the Journal Square station: / my uncle, rasping the price / of a shine to the passing crowd

By John Bargowski
Poetry

Selected Poems

These days I wake up tired / after hours skimming sleep’s / surface like a hungry bird, waiting. / They say it’s a fact of growing older, / to lose the skill for sleep infants / and teenagers effortlessly have.

By Andrea Potos