Mar/Apr 2021 • Vol. XLIII No. 2 |

2004

2020 Kenyon Review Short Nonfiction Contest Winner In August, we had honeydew, large cubes of it glinting in the sun. In August, assuming I am made anxious by the impending school year, my mother cuts the fruit, stacks it neatly in a bowl, and half forces me to eat it. We sit in the grass in the lawn behind our house, overlooking New York City stenciled against the blue sky. Amid the mouthfuls of fruit, I busy myself behind a hardcover; we both do; I’m not sure who is hiding from whom. The summer is wide open; I am done with sleepaway camp and spend days running through our neighborhood, a jolt of freedom. I feel as though I can cram this massive sky and the pleasant anxiety of summer and all the bugs into a bell jar, fold it accordion-like, and stow it under my bed as we wait for winter. As she flips a page, my eyes are drawn to the veins running under the skin of her hands, like electrical wire. I can’t imagine her old, ever, although vainly examining the backs of my own hand

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Miriam Grossman is an MFA candidate at the University of Virginia. She was the winner of the 2018 ALSCW Meringoff Award in Fiction and has published work in Literary Matters. She is currently at work on a collection of linked short stories.

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