Water Butterfly

By Sylwia Siedlecka, translated from the Polish by Jennifer Croft
October 2015

No one knows when exactly he became the thing I fed upon, the thing whose body works for my body, day and night.

A Bunch of Savages

By Sofi Stambo, 2015 Dzanc Books / Disquiet International Literary Program Award winner, selected by Aimee Bender
October 2015

I have a birthmark above my butt, which is undeniable proof of gypsiness.

Hell Kettle

By Mary O’Donoghue
September 2015

Boundaries of Nature: Water is always at work. We don’t even know that it’s eating the very ground from under us.

The Last of His Kind

By Nick White
September 2015

Boundaries of Nature: In books, he has read about boys and animals, how they form a connection, and then the animal dies. And the boy learns something about the harshness of the world.


An excerpt from the novel by Steve Toltz
September 2015

It’s an open secret that every officer, regardless of rank, is allowed to step in and ask for special consideration for one fuck-up.

The Boy from Petrópolis

By Nuala O’Connor
September 2015

I look at his face; the green eyes, the wet mouth. I still feel the dream-softness of his hair under my hands; I feel like a grandmother, like a mother, like a lover.


By Rebecca Entel
August 2015

Now that she had shared a story, the Mother said, he must tell her one of his own. Something that had happened to him. He could tell that she meant something terrible.

The Vase

By Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi
August 2015

I didn’t tell my husband, but there was a part of me that could have lived like that: eating cockroaches in the dirt, catching flies.

The Sum of Small Acts

By Gabriel Urza
August 2015

They agreed to unspoken rules. Broken windows were OK. Broken bones were fair game. Graffiti was acceptable, as were rubber bullets and tear gas.

The Boy Jihadi

By Youssef Rakha
August 2015

For a year or more before the six months that we spent preoccupied with our strange visitor, counterterrorism was our spiritual life.

Let Me Explain You

An excerpt from the novel by Annie Liontas
July 2015

Stavros Stavros was fat and full at the end of the night. All he needed now was to deflower a virgin.

The Americanist

By Andrew Malan Milward
July 2015

“I’m celebrating my country! Stop hating my freedom, you terrorist.”


By Yaa Gyasi
June 2015

Boundaries of Taste: And as I parted my lips and then, later, my legs, watching the last clouds of smoke slip upward, I kept hearing my mother’s voice say, “Jesus is a fire.”

Canticle for Gigi Sauvageau

By Jennifer Sears
June 2015

Boundaries of Taste: Where we saw shape, line, and shadow—a nude—he saw a naked overweight woman.

Our Lady of Zeitoun

By Iman Saleh
June 2015

Firas rested his head on the back of the sofa, lost in the smoke. He wondered what that meant: a world where you can run wild.

Pretty Is

By Maggie Mitchell, excerpted from her debut novel
June 2015

Only then can you forgive a girl for being pretty: if she’s an idiot or a liar.

The Edge

By Barbara Mhangami-Ruwende
May 2015

She studied her face, looking for any change. A bad person. A cheat. A lesbian. A cheating, barren lesbian.

A Boy My Sister Dated in High School

By Emily Mitchell
May 2015

When the boy she was dating hit my sister, it made a sharp cracking sound, just like it does in the movies.

I’ll Die and Be Right There

By Anna Matveeva, translated from the Russian by Ellen Litman
May 2015

He told them about the Internet, Steam, Apple, and Microsoft, which were the other names of Satan.

The Baby

By D. Foy, an excerpt from the unpublished Patricide: A Novel of Memory
May 2015

“I hope you pathetic little boys are proud of yourselves!” she cried. “I honestly do!”

Only Son

By Patrick Dacey
April 2015

“Some are really crazy,” the nurse said. “Others are just pretending.”

Long Forgotten

By Ariel Dorfman
April 2015

He did not want her to think what might possibly be true: that he was going mad.

Stop Me If You’ve Heard This One Before

By Lillian Li
April 2015

Tanya was not surprised to find no one hiding behind the hedges when she looked out her window, but she was disappointed.

In the Dim Below

By Teresa Milbrodt
April 2015

Our parents were too busy launching bombs over the river to notice missing fingers.


By Carter Sickels
March 2015

Boundaries of Gender: He smiled, shyly, and then came toward Evan, and although in the red light the scars on Evan’s chest were not visible, Billy found them and kissed them.


By Lee Conell
March 2015

Boundaries of Gender: In the early seventies, I began sleeping with a married doctor who wanted to cure homosexuality.

Red Brick

By Danny Lorberbaum
March 2015

Sam wants to see the Mississippi River at night. He has heard of Tom Sawyer and he looks for him in the faces of boys they pass.

My Dreams Would Seem So Close

By Stephen O’Connor
March 2015

“They’re back!” we hissed over our kitchen fences. “Someone’s got to stop them! Something must be done!”

Afternoon Cowboys

By Jonathan Crowl
February 2015

“Smith & Wesson .357 Magnum. Straight out of a Western movie.” He handed it over to Brady, who gripped the black rubber handle and ran a finger on the sleek, cold metal barrel.


By Jennifer Haigh
February 2015

I met Tracy Pasco in the spring of 1980—in my Pennsylvania hometown, a time of relative optimism and ease.