Later or Now


I don’t know what you’re thinking, but we were born in 2000, just after our big winter. We know it was winter, then spring, because of the sun that was on our baby face. Our father took us in the yard and under the flowering tree. The sun was as gold as the tree was in its flowering braid. 

I don’t know what you’re thinking, too, because we were born on the back stairs of Indiana. The Back Stairs, that’s what it was called, our tiny spot, on the slope of our wet-knit river.

We? I have this card in our collection. We’ve never seen a street so straight, white dash so ruled. We’ve nothing like that, spines nor smiles.

I’m sorry, our loves, we can’t be sure. There’s little more, our dears, we’d love.

Joseph Young lives in Baltimore. His books of very short fiction, Easter Rabbit and 5 drawings of the marlyland sky, were released in 2009 and 2012, respectively, by Publishing Genius and Ink Press. His art has appeared in galleries and other venues in Maryland and elsewhere. Check out his blog at and his Tumblr at

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About Author


Jen Michalski is the author of the novels The Summer She Was Under Water and The Tide King (both Black Lawrence Press); a couplet of novellas, Could You Be With Her Now (Dzanc Books); and two collections of fiction, From Here and Close Encounters. Her work has appeared in more than 100 publications, including Poets & Writers. In 2013, she was named as “One of 50 Women to Watch” by The Baltimore Sun and “Best Writer” by Baltimore Magazine. She is the host of a fiction reading series in Baltimore, called Starts Here! and editor in chief of the weekly lit journal jmww.

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