The Y

by Bethany Ball

Back then, Yale sat behind the front desk counter in the resident section of the Y and I sat beside him. Reggie worked maintenance and had the gray cast and steady hands of a true alcoholic. He was always on time and reliable. Robert was a resident and lived on the sixth floor. He had

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Wedding Favors

by Margaret Wilkerson Sexton

Liana turned the radio up and signed into the Lyft app. Some  drivers kept the music flat, classical or Top 40, out of respect  for the passengers’ preferences, but this was her car, goddamnit,  and she played whatever she woke up feeling: Big KRIT got her out the  bed most Mondays, Ms. Aretha Franklin three weeks straight after her last birthday, and now, she was on that Dwayne Carter: You had a lot of crooks  Trying to steal your heart  Never really had luck  Couldn’t never figure out how to love  She felt that shit.  Liana wasn’t stupid. She wasn’t surprised […]

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by Dominica Phetteplace

She says Namaste even when not in yoga class, whereas I will not say om under any circumstances. She says she doesn’t resent the younger generation, that they are completely of a world that we made, that to hate the young is to hate ourselves. She says that guys on dating apps indicate their marriage suitability by listing their hobbies as ‘hiking’ and ‘rock climbing.’ Her hobbies include cocaine and gambling, but she leaves those off her profile. Somedays she doesn’t feel like getting out of bed, but if I say I want to get coffee she will walk with […]

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by Juhea Kim

April 13. Almost midnight. Through the worn twill curtains, a viscous light was flowing into the apartment like amber. Park washed his face in the bathroom, took his meds, and sat down on the sofa with the remote. One click, and the blue light of the TV mingled with the sodium yellow of the room. He flipped through the channels. Game shows. Contestants competing for money, for marriage. The women are showing off, swiveling their hips and winking at the camera, and then they’re ranked by the amount of applause they receive. People awwing over tiny puppies. Slow, close-up shots […]

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by Mark Labowskie

Martin exits I-89 before he needs to and progresses town by town. He keeps pulling over to eyeball a fiery spruce or an outcropping of mica, admire quaint inns with ivy wreathed around their VACANCY signs and crumbling breweries offering hard apple cider tastings. He’s eager to reach Tunbridge, but knows anticipation is the greatest pleasure. He stops to buy a mason jar of corn whiskey from a sweet old man on a porch, thinking how happy he’ll be once he reaches Lola and Dot’s barn. Then, realizing his spirits are at that peak where they’re in danger of toppling […]

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The Family Issue: Letter from the Editor

by Laura Cogan

ZYZZYVA Volume 37, #2, Fall 2021 (No. 121)

Dear Readers, Water, food, air: these are the essentials of existence. But for many, family—however we define it—is as central to our experience of life, and our sense of self. Whether we define ourselves in terms of or in opposition to our families of origin; whether the families we build and seek out appear traditional or unconventional; whether family represents a source of stability and community or of tension and loneliness: family—that inner circle in which we find ourselves supported and challenged, embraced or painfully invisible—is the site of so much of the drama, intrigue, romance, tragedy, and comedy of […]

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The Technology Issue: Letter from the Editor

by Laura Cogan

ZYZZYVA Volume 37, #1, Spring 2021 (No. 120)

Dear Readers, At the beginning of George Dyson’s latest book, Analogia, he describes how, in 1716, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz hoped his calculus ratiocinator (an instrument that brilliantly anticipated digital computing) would “work out, by an infallible calculus, the doctrines most useful for life.” With this device, Leibniz imagined, “The human race will have a new kind of instrument which will increase the power of the mind much more than optical lenses strengthen the eyes.” I am struck by the analogy and how well it lends itself to piercing Leibniz’s optimism; for just as vision is not, in itself, perception, information […]

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