July/Aug 2022 • Vol. XLIV No. 4 |

Two Waters

Most of the camp’s inhabitants are resting in their tents, escaping the midday sun. The ones who are awake tell us they’ve been living here on the outskirts of the city for three months, going on four. The land they farmed in the interior, their houses, their animals—all of this has been swallowed by the rains. Mahmoud films everything, even the useless stuff, the idle chatter and the complaints about the administrators running the camp. As the men talk I nod, wiping the sweat off my face with a cotton scarf, trying not to look uncomfortable. This is my first video report in nearly three years, and I feel rusty. The problem is that I can already tell that the NGO has sent us two months too late. Everything the men say sounds eerily the same. Come talk to me, sister, an old man says, his body bowed like a branch. He invites Mahmoud and me to enter his makeshift yard, a plot whose boundaries he’s delineated with a piece of dirty clothesline. I’d like to offer you tea, but

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Photo of Sadia Quraeshi Shepard
Sadia Quraeshi Shepard is a writer and filmmaker. Her short story “Foreign-Returned” was published in The New Yorker in 2018. Her flash fiction story “Monsters,” originally published in The Margins, was selected for the Wigleaf Top 50 Very Short Fictions 2021 and will appear in Flash Fiction America (W. W. Norton, 2023). Shepard is an assistant professor of film studies at Wesleyan University, in Middletown, Connecticut.

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(Re)vision

By Shara Lessley

Most of the camp’s inhabitants are resting in their tents, escaping the midday sun. The ones who are awake tell us they’ve been living here on the outskirts of the […]

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