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Willie swung his hammer and missed, smacking his thumb. He mashed his lips together, trying not to swear. He considered the monastery on the hill, and the serenity of the valley where he knelt on top of a storage shed.

When fire began to fall from the sky and the stars started going out one by one, Burnhardt’s car was in the shop for new brake pads, or maybe the muffler—he’d been through a lot of cars and it was hard to keep track sometimes...

Dad and I had each of us shot a buck and back at the truck we shared with quiet abandonment how it all had gone down. We were leaning against my grandpa’s Ford. Grandpa came up and congratulated me.

Jelis stopped digging. She shrugged her harness off, letting the old-fashioned Exo-Shoveller drop to the ground. Who cares, anyway. It was obsolete. It only moved up and down, and then only a maximum of fifteen inches.

Photo: Kwon Junho

Before I step through the doors of the cigar factory, I smell the aroma that has followed my sister, Rosario, home since she started working here.

Country Road with Sunset

It happened on graduation night after the ceremony was over.

Vintage photo of meat counter

Eva would tell her father about the proposal herself.

Closeup of purple carnation

The woman stands in a yellow sundress and sandals, snow circling her blue ankles. It’s January in Milwaukee, and she’s out on the street half-naked.

Illustration by Laura Ovberg

My father eats braunschweiger sandwiches, thick ones he squeezes tight to hold together. He holds them with the hand that’s missing a finger.

Dr. Merton gave Shelby Aronowitz bad news. The pain in her knee was osteosarcoma. They would have to amputate.

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Madison, Wisconsin 53726
Phone: 608.733.6633


James Watrous Gallery 
3rd Floor, Overture Center for the Arts
201 State Street
Madison, WI 53703
Phone: 608.733.6633 x25