Author Archives: vilaska

The Rooftop in Islamabad by Yasmeen Qasimi

I don’t know my real birthday. December 31, 1997 is the date the United States of America gave me. My mom and brother got the same birthday. When I was born in Afghanistan, Russia was invading our country. I never … Continue reading

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Avon by Vilaska Nguyen

Mai stopped on the front porch and clutched the bag of Avon samples in her sweaty palm. The temperature was below zero. Warm particles of carbon dioxide clashed violently with the Minneapolis winter. Hello, I am Jinny. That wasn’t right. … Continue reading

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Zodiac by Vilaska Nguyen

Paul Nguyen, Anchorage, Alaska, circa 1979.      The buoys are gone. As the sun sets, the tide becomes violent making it hard to stand.      Lynden sits on a plank elevated in the middle of the Zodiac, a small rubber … Continue reading

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Concentration by Vilaska Nguyen

     We park at a rest area near Modesto and stretch our bodies across a stiff mattress situated beneath the pickup truck’s canopy.  My father removes his shoes.  I do the same.  His sigh echoes the exhaust of a semi-truck … Continue reading

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Middle Ground by Vilaska Nguyen

         Photo by Ian Romo.       The elevator abruptly jerks to a stop.  The overheard lights go dim.  Isabella doesn’t react.  She just leans against the opposite wall with a bottomless canyon separating us.  I hit the lobby button.  … Continue reading

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Muted by Vilaska Nguyen

     The room went dark and Natalie slowly intoned, “Happy birthday.”  Others joined the singing with a collective reluctance.  Their words were barely audible.  Five flickering candles floated to a standstill on the dining table.  The song finished and Natalie … Continue reading

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