We are a public forum committed to collective reasoning and the imagination of a more just world. Join today to help us keep the discussion of ideas free and open to everyone, and enjoy member benefits like our quarterly books.
You slam the door and walk out,
or you leave quietly,
pulsing the static air
with what you believe is a statement.
You come back with lilies
and her favorite steamed dumplings
as a way of saying you were wrong,
or you go to The Feel Sorry For Yourself
Bar down the street and put some dents
in your infrastructure, hurt yourself good.
You come back singing an old song,
or are mumbling when
she fetches you and drives you home.
Or you stay and fight it out,
or stay and let rough sex
calm you into mere resentment.
Or you turn on the television
as a way of being together
without having to be present.
Or you say nothing and carry it with you,
or you say nothing and let it go.
And your dreams become populated
with other people you could have loved,
and her dreams, too, are shameless
and equally full, aren’t they? you ask,
even if she hasn’t volunteered a thing.
Vital reading on politics, literature, and more in your inbox. Sign up for our Weekly Newsletter, Monthly Roundup, and event notifications.
Draconian individual punishment distracts from systemic change and reinforces the cruelest and most racist system of incarceration on the planet.
Our well-being depends on a better understanding of how the logic of labor has twisted our relationship with pleasure.
“I was my father’s son. My father was Nai Nai’s least favorite.” A Taiwanese American man, driven from home by a secret, reevaluates his childhood memories of his grandmother.