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By Jennifer Wai-Lan Strodl

An unmade bed. Clump of pillows. How can one man use so many pillows? I dig into the pile and unbury mine. Old weathered thing. Unburdened of its once downy filling. Possibly one of the pillows I snagged from my childhood home when my mother sold our house in Canada. So, faithful sleeping companion, hold my head as I rest from Toronto to Vancouver to Mexico, Harlem, Rhinecliff, Hudson, and here. Pathetic that I don’t to buy myself new pillows. The futon was a wedding gift. The bed frame, a Christmas gift. The duvet, a birthday present. Yet no gifting opportunity for a new pillow. It’s time. Straighten the sheets. Get under the covers. I’ve put on my nightgown tonight. A luxury. Eyes closed. To do list running nonstop through the circuitry of my brain. Hush. Sleep, baby, sleep. No noise but the wind. Window open. Peace. Bedside lamp on. I reach for the book of short stories beside my bed. Read. I’m leaving my thoughts to talk to themselves. Thank you Western world for showing me this habit. I remember glimpsing my friend’s mother at a sleepover once reading before bed. A strange routine. Unheard of in my Chinese home. But interesting. Intriguing. Something to try one day. It helps. I sleep.

Grand Jury Duty

By Annie Bielski  

To smell fresh and avoid responsibilities, go to the department store to look at the luggage.


Discounted notes of springtime new president good posture future transience. Turn over that price tag.


I don’t do bathroom humor or yoga.
I hate waiting on line at parties for bathrooms
because I hate looking like i have needs.
 I just got health insurance.
But I do breathing exercises.
So i thought we could do some of those
together now just to warm up. Lighten up a
little bit.
Try to not breathe
Until you believe you are a well-loved dog


They say time is money I tell the cashier when I buy the two pairs of panties. People thumbed em on the
racks, not like they were all packaged up or whatever, not like they were clean or whatever, people aren’t
clean. Still, I'm a people person.
I’m a get away from me a little closer type person.
And I’m a real mess because I give all my energy to people.
Who wants to tidy a house without a witness?


I used to write about holes.
I’d be like My guy at the bank got a sinkhole in his backyard!
I’d talk about dental cavities
The bath tub
Laboring, digging,
My Debt
But that’s stuff of the past. Now I’m all about filling it up.

 I want to be the lady at the doctor's office who has donated all the magazines.
 She’s torn off her address, but incase she is reading: Please let me find you