How to Be Chinese - Gulf Coast

Take pleasure in the surprise on people’s faces when you say, “My name is Mackenzie Altman.” When they ask, explain that yes, your mother adopted you from China; no, you don’t know your birth parents; no, you don’t speak the language. Smile politely when they say you have no accent.

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The Kind of Man - Five Chapters

My nine-year-old daughter is in love with Dick Cheney. I don’t mean some unfortunate fourth-grade classmate whose parents named him Richard. I mean the former vice president in all his bald-headed, avuncular glory.


Girls, At Play  - Pushcart Prize 2012 Anthology

We play the game at recess, and the teachers don’t notice. We stand on the playground by the flagpole, arms ringed with colored bracelets from the drugstore, waiting. The boys come past us, in a bunch, all elbows, laughing. 

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Girls, At Play - Bellevue Literary Review

This is how we play the game: pink means kissing; red means tongue. Green means up your shirt; blue means down his pants. Purple means in your mouth. Black means all the way. 

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We Are Not Strangers - Meridian

 I think my sister is stealing my dreams. 

Issue 22

Trick - Subtropics 

“These people,” she says, “do not believe in Halloween.”

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B & B - Alaska Quarterly Review

In the summer she misses the chalk.  Pink chalk is a treat, dissolving on her tongue with a sweet effervescent hiss she can feel on the back of her throat.  She imagines it resembles champagne, almost fruity, floating against her palate.

Issue 25(1&2): 42


Parallel - Crazyhorse

More than missing the pebbled leather of a basketball in his hands, more than waiting for people to open doors for him, or turn the pages of his book—it’s the itching that bothers him most. 

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Lying - TriQuarterly

It’s not a secret, what happened to your father.  But you still talk around it, as if it is a deep hole you must not fall into. 

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What Passes Over - One Story

I’m positive my mother has gone crazy the minute I pick up the phone. “Your father isn’t really dead,” she says through a crackle of static, “he’s in the afterlife.” 

“Mom,” I say, “we’re not Chinese.”

“Do you think the afterlife is racist?” my mother demands.

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