Winter 2024 • Vol. XLVI No. 1 FictionDecember 5, 2023 |

Thin Air

The Kenyon Review · "Thin Air" by Aria Beth Sloss My girls. One of them — the elder, I think, the tread was steadier up the stairs — just banged on the door of my office, where I’m sitting on the floor with today’s paper ruffed around my legs. My head a heap of bruised pieces. The banging on the door is something both girls like to do whenever I shut myself in, using their fists to remind me motherhood is a promise I’m failing to keep. Sometimes I answer. Other times — afternoons like this one, when the hours ebb and pool as I sit at my desk building castles out of bones, which is what the work of writing poems feels like, mostly, an irrelevant exercise — I have already lost myself to other shadows. My eye snagged this morning by a front-page photograph of sky that on closer inspection revealed something darker, an article on the lost hikers of Mount Everest, mothers and sons and sisters and cousins who never return, though I admit I increasingly

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Photo of Aria Beth Sloss

Aria Beth Sloss’s short fiction has appeared in Glimmer Train, Harvard Review, Ploughshares, Joyland, One Story, and The Best American Short Stories 2015. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Sloss is the author of a novel, Autobiography of Us (Henry Holt, 2013). She lives in New York City with her family.

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The Kenyon Review · "Thin Air" by Aria Beth Sloss My girls. One of them — the elder, I think, the tread was steadier up the stairs — just banged on the door of […]

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