Margaret Emma Brandl
The apartment is dark. It’s cool inside, with all the curtains and blinds closed, and you’re on the phone and you know that tone, you know it in your gut, your stomach drops, your hands are taking pictures down before the conversation is even over. Outside the sun is shining and people are walking on sidewalks and writing papers and throwing around Frisbees instead of studying, people are just waking up and people are eating lunch. And you are packing an overnight bag, and you are sleeping on a bare bed, and you are waking up in the morning and kneeling in the little church and praying to be numb. You retreated to the chair, to the same chair as last time, the same corner of the same living room with the curtains drawn some morning or some afternoon. This is the only level.
MARGARET EMMA BRANDL grew up in the South without a Southern accent. She has an MFA from the University of Notre Dame.