Our Current Issue

Volume XXIX | Issue 2 | 2015

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Featured Excerpt

From "Good" (p. 45)

by Laura Bernstein-Machlay

Family lore says some man abducted Aunt Malka from a playground when she was fourteen. She’s never talked about it, and when Auntie Ellie and Cousin Shayna ask, Malka just presses her lips together for a moment and shrugs, says, “Oh that,” like she’s dismissing a parking ticket or a bad haircut from years ago.

But there’s always been something a little sideways, at a slightly wrong angle, something not quite in clear focus, about Malka. In her earliest pictures she never looks at the camera, never smiles. Here’s Zaidy in his youthful flourish, all self-satisfied grin and floppy hair that shines like yellow honey through the black and white of the photo. There’s Bubby, all pretty and brown as a hazelnut, smiling like a cat. Even toddlers Karen and Ellie pose, grinning for the photographer. But not Malka. She fits easily into the black and white. When I think of her nowadays, last Thanksgiving for instance, she’s colorless, ashen, or at most sepia. In her old photos, she’s always shifted slightly sideways, head tilted toward a snippet of color, perhaps. Toward a slip of light just for her or, maybe, toward a stranger in the distance.

About Concho River Review

Begun by novelist and short-story writer Dr. Terry Dalrymple in 1986, Concho River Review is a biannual literary journal published by the Department of English and Modern Languages at Angelo State University. Since its inception, CRR has prided itself on publishing some of the finest short fiction, nonfiction, and poetry from both emerging and established authors. Although originally designed as a forum for Texas writers, over the years its reach and interests have extended well beyond Texas and the Southwest.