Coming Soon! A collection of nonfiction works by Stephanie Harrison: Men from a Broken Country

Winter Acoustics

Snow continues to fall, and in this room they have borrowed, a muffled intimacy of quilt swish and window creak: winter acoustics-(only in New York, she thinks, are apartments loaned like clothing)-and somehow during the night, the radiator has learned a parlor trick: Listen, she sits up, nudges him, it sounds like a baby sneezing, then, moments later, No, it's a dog barking, and she senses a momentary interruption in his breathing-a decision made-before he turns over, burrows further into his pillow, and the sting this leaves is swift and surprising; as she slides back into their quilt envelope, she is careful not to touch him-her own silent snub-but then, from the other side of the bed: Oil can, he says, then pauses, as if searching for a vintage, copper spout, handle pump; and outside, visible now through the window: heavy, pink-laced snow clouds, a gauzy, low-hanging sun-the world is leaning closer today-and inside: a rumble in her throat as she swallows, the soft lisp of skin touching skin.

©Stephanie Harrison, first published in Denver Quarterly

Selected Works

You crossed the line, my friend Ann tells me. Iím visiting her in California. Weíve borrowed a trailer perched on a small mountain so that we can have a quiet place to write. Now Iím trying to explain why I canít focus, why my nerves are so jangly. Why I can only take short, shallow breaths ...
He reads Ragtime while being poisoned by a nurse with a woodpecker tattooed on her ankle, and afterwards he describes this to Lily over hamburgers and beer--he is ravenous (go figure)--and she chuckles...
Effortless, like floating in the Great Salt Lake. Forty years ago, as a boy, Zach McKenna did this while on vacation in Utah, and he's never forgotten the sensation of lying still on the surface of the water, arms and legs spread wide, perfectly buoyant. Lately he's been thinking that in the span of a lifetime, these moments are too...
This is how I remember it: I'm ten or eleven, lounging with my cousins and Aunt Corinne on her sun porch. She's wearing a pink Chanel-style dress, like Jackie Kennedy, and she's sipping iced tea from a hot-pink metal tumbler. She's just discovered, she tells usthat someone is living in her house while she and my uncle are at work. Her crossed legs are bare and one of them jiggles up and down while she talks. As she grows more excited--telling us about her strange feeling, the little things she couldn't put her finger on...