“The Lake Isle of Innisfree” by Rosemary Harp

When Dermot asked me how I could have risked missing our daughter’s tenth birthday party to spend time with my gay ex-boyfriend, I told him he had to understand that there’d been a legitimate emergency. What I didn’t tell Dermot was that performing acts of self-negation for Theo was a kind of muscle memory I didn’t always know how to override. I didn’t taxonomize the kinds of love or explain to Dermot that ours is the combing lice out of the whole family’s hair together at 1:00 a.m. when someone wakes up itchy kind of love—and that’s the best kind. Still, there are other kinds and they’re tenacious, insistent. I also didn’t tell Dermot what he already knows about me: I’ve never stopped loving anybody in my life.

* * *

I met Theo when I was almost eighteen, working as a counselor at a summer program for middle school math prodigies. Theo had no patience for the mathies, hated the way they chewed with their mouths open, trailed around with their shoes untied, argued about Fibonacci until somebody cried. I thought they were sweetly helpless. I reminded them to tie their shoes. I braided their hair.

I was journaling in the cone of light from a plastic desk lamp in the dorm where I lived with the young geniuses when Theo appeared at my wide-open door, backlit by the institutional fluorescence of the hall. He smiled as he watched me write, like he understood about girls and their journals, like his name appeared in their pages all the time. Then he leaned, left shoulder against the doorframe, and I thought, “Beautiful hypotenuse.” My heart kicked my sternum hard.

Theo asked if I wanted to go running with him. I hated running: The thump of my own feet made me desperate with boredom. Plus, I was on duty and obligated to stay put and supervise my mathies.

“What about the boys on your floor?” I asked.

“I told them to calculate pi until I got back. Come on. You’re the only person here worth talking to,” Theo said.

I was already lacing my Nikes. In my hurry, I didn’t bother with socks although I’d had bad experiences with blisters in the past.

The streets were lined with linden trees that threw off a scent like lemons only thicker and sweeter. Shoulder to shoulder, Theo and I talked over each other and around each other until everything else fell away. It was as if we’d invented talking. Theo’s favorite movies were my favorite movies: A Room with a View, Rushmore. His favorite music was old British stuff from the 1980s—The Cure, The Smiths—just like mine. Theo’s favorite opera was Turandot. I didn’t have a favorite opera, but I could hum a couple famous arias and resolved to learn more. I could feel the skin on the backs of my heels ripping and almost savored the pain.

Over the years of our elaborately doomed long-distance relationship, it got to the point where Theo and I spoke almost in code, knew what each other would say before we said it. It was less conversation than transmission, as if our minds were thrumming at the same frequency. When I thought about calling him, my phone rang. We hit send simultaneously.

But wait, back up, I know: Merchant-Ivory films, E.M. Forster, The Smiths, opera. All I can say is that I was a seventeen-year-old Boston girl who’d gone to Sacred Heart. Besides, when I lost my virginity standing up under the prickly spray of a dorm shower at the math camp, almost fully dressed because neither of us could wait, Theo didn’t appear to be suffering any sexual confusion.

* * *

Dermot and the girls gave me a fretful send-off on our snowy front porch in East Boston the morning I flew to San Francisco to visit Theo.

“You’ll be home in time for my party, right?” Maeve asked me. She pushed her purple plastic glasses up on the bridge of her nose and chewed the insides of her cheeks. Fiona fondled my coat with jammy fingers. Aiofe and Mairead clung to me and wept.

“Of course,” I said. “How could I miss seeing you turn one decade old?”

“Everything’s ready,” I told Dermot. “Pizza, cake, juice, cups, plates, party favors, balloons, everything.” The i’s had been dotted; the t’s had been crossed. By me.

Dermot pulled me to him and said something I couldn’t hear as an airplane hauled itself overhead. When my Uber showed up I unstitched myself from the five of them.

* * *

On a different front porch at the other end of the continent stood Theo, better looking than he’d been at eighteen, smelling the same—like pears and wood smoke. I would have let my cheek rest against his cashmere sweater for a beat or two longer, but he pulled away. He always pulled away first.

“We’re on borrowed time,” he said. We got busy doing the kinds of things almost-forty-year-olds enjoy: eating at clever restaurants, combing flea markets for vintage light fixtures, and touring botanical gardens after applying sunscreen. We finished each other’s sentences, started laughing before the other person got to the funny part of their story. This happy merging was possible as long as I obeyed Theo’s unspoken rule: pretend we’d never been anything but good friends.

For three days no one sneezed into my open mouth, hurled teary invective when a pink soccer jersey was still laundry-damp right before practice, or elbowed me in the eye as I slept. No one begged me to carry a spider safely out of the house.

* * *

On my last day in San Francisco, Theo asked, “Do you mind if we drop off a baby gift for my friend Iris before the Merchant-Ivory thing?”

This was the reason for my visit: an exhibit of costumes and props from the major films Ismail Merchant and James Ivory made together. We would spend the afternoon at the film museum and go straight to the airport.

“Okay,” I said. “But we can’t be late. I need time to commune with the dresses and hats from A Room with a View.

“Linen suits,” Theo said. “Old timey bicycles. Those thick wool sweaters the two guys wear in Maurice.”

Theo and I saw the remastered version of Howard’s End on one of my trips to visit him in law school and when the closing credits rolled, we turned to each other and said, “Let’s watch it again.” I leaned into his body and readied myself for another three hours of perfect Edwardiana. After the movie, on Theo’s futon, he bit the place where my neck met the hollows of my collarbone and whispered, “Stay.” My train had long since pulled out of New Haven Union Station without me and I was missing my poetry critique in workshop back in Boston. My time was his.

* * *

Iris answered the door holding a baby the size of a loaf of bread. She still looked pregnant and had violet rings under her eyes.

“Hey Axel,” said Theo casually, as though they knew each other from tennis.

Iris’s sleek condo was going incognito: Bouncy seats and swings occupied a large footprint, with swaddle blankets drooped over various surfaces and a trail of rejected pacifiers on the floor. Under the baby gear, it was furnished entirely in chic shades of gray, each paler than the last, moving incrementally to a wispy cloud-white.

“I’ll order in,” Iris said.

“We can’t st—” I began, but Iris was already juggling her phone.

“Shit, shit, shit,” she said. “I’ll have to put him down to type and I can’t put him down. I’m doing attachment parenting until my maternity leave ends. You have to hold them all the time.”

I stretched out my arms and took the baby.

When the food arrived, I kept Axel so Iris could eat. I knew what it was like, never getting a chance to feed yourself.

Theo grinned at me holding the baby. “Bit of a—what’s the saying?—for you.”

“Busman’s holiday,” I said.

Iris’s eyes flicked over me.

“What do you do?” she asked.

“This,” I said. I meant it as a joke, but it was also true.

“Cait has four kids,” Theo said. “But she could have done anything.” I stared at Theo and Iris stared into the empty space between Theo and me.

“You know that pharma case I was working on?” Theo asked Iris. Shop talk animated her, so when Axel began to cry I said, “It’s okay, I’m used to it,” and left the lawyers to their debriefing. I settled into a rocker in Axel’s space-theme bedroom. He kept crying so I used the trick I developed with my own babies.

I will arise and go now, and go to Innisfree, 

And a small cabin build there, of clay and wattles made;

Nine bean rows will I have there, a hive for the honeybee,

And live alone in the bee-loud glade.

I recited the whole poem over and over. I continued even when Axel stopped crying. Theo and Iris stood together at the room’s threshold.

“I told Iris we’d watch Axel for an hour while she gets her hair cut. I can tell you’re loving the baby time.”

I was not. I tried to transmit this to Theo on our private frequency.

After Iris left, I tucked the sleeping Axel in the crook of my arm and gathered up miniature laundry with my free hand. I could do anything one-handed and laundry wasn’t hard, but I knew I was trying to make myself angrier.

“I’m glad we could do this for Iris. It’s good for her to get some time away. I think she needs to recalibrate her identity post-baby,” Theo said. He leaned on the stacked washer-dryer while I measured detergent. I thought of him canted against my doorframe at the math camp twenty years ago. He was a great leaner, always making vertical planes his own, like he was saying a stylish fuck you to gravity. My anger cooled. I transferred Axel into a baby carrier I found crumpled in the kitchen under a box of diapers and wiped sticky gray stuff from the counters. Together we tackled the dishes. Theo washed and I dried, baby carrier straps tugging at my shoulders as Axel slept against my stomach.

“What time is it? Where is she?” I asked.

Theo texted Iris and read the reply that zapped back. “She’s getting her color done,” he said, in a tone like he didn’t think she needed quite that much time to recalibrate her identity.

“What about Merchant-Ivory? We’re running out of time.”

“We’ll make it.”

Axel startled and began to wail. Crimson and incensed, he suckled frantically at nothing and punched at my breasts with his tiny fists.

“He’s hungry. We have to feed him,” I said.

“How? She’s exclusively breastfeeding.”

“She can’t be. She’d be leaking all over the salon by now.”

Axel’s howling leaped a register.

I rooted through Iris’s cabinets, found formula. “Make a fresh bottle while I change him.”

Theo squinted through his glasses at the directions on the can. I whisked a clean diaper onto Axel and arranged him on my lap to drink his bottle. I burped him and changed him again. I found a clean onesie, eased his limbs into it, buttoned it snugly, and kissed his bump of a chin out of pure bodily habit.

Theo texted Iris. I saw the message bubble: “ETA???”

Five minutes passed. Ten. Thirty. She’d been gone three hours. I couldn’t remember ever having such a long hair appointment, even on my wedding day.

“Try calling her,” I said.

Theo did, three times. Voicemail.

“We could still make the exhibit if she comes back in the next half hour,” I said.

“Why would she lie about breastfeeding?” he asked.

“Because the alpha mothers devour the weak.”

“You’re an alpha mother,” Theo said.

Axel opened and closed his fingers around mine.

“Nice grip strength,” I told him. I ignored Theo’s comment. “Can you take him? I have to pee.”

“The floppy neck freaks me out. The helplessness. Put him in one of those.” Theo swept a hand at various mechanized baby holders.

I buckled Axel into the fleecy basket of a swing. He immediately erupted into screams.

When I got back, Theo was hovering over the baby and showing him a stuffed pig, which was not a hit. Axel quieted down in my arms again.

“You’re good at this,” Theo said. I felt myself glow a little.

I rubbed Axel’s back in time to the tick of Theo’s grandfather’s watch, which glinted on his wrist in the late afternoon sun. He whipped through the crossword puzzle with his sleeves rolled up as if to signify serious effort—a detail that made my breath catch in my chest.

Theo pushed the finished puzzle aside. Axel started pursing his lips and making suckling noises. It was feeding time again.

“Something feels wrong,” I said. “Is there anyone else you should call? Someone must know where she is.”

“I’ll try.” Theo disappeared into another room while I fed Axel. I couldn’t hear his words, but I caught the tone and timbre of his voice. With some people, it was higher and faster; it dipped and swung. With others, it was lower and steadier. Code-switching.

“No luck yet, but I got the word out,” he told me in what I thought of as his real voice—the deep, steady one. Then it occurred to me: Maybe the other voice was his real one. He strode out onto the balcony, surveyed the neighborhood from above as if Iris might be hiding behind a recycling bin.

* * *

Shadows lengthened in the room. At the film museum, the exhibit was closing. To be safe, we should already be headed to the airport. Theo paced.

“I hate sundown,” he said. “The way it lingers. Just get dark already and put us out of our misery.” This take perfectly mirrored my own feelings about dusk.

He knelt and messed around with something on Iris’s hearth. A gas fire burst to life.

“I have to go to the airport. I can’t miss my plane,” I said.

He turned the fire down. The flames trembled and waned.

“Can you get a later one? I’ll organize it for you.”

“It’s Maeve’s birthday tomorrow. There’s a party.”

“I’ll book the earliest morning flight.”

Theo fiddled with a shirt button. His hands were as familiar to me as my own. I could map them. Here, the scar from a burning chunk of log at Boy Scout camp when he was twelve; there, a glossy red bit of dried boat paint from the wooden dinghy he was rebuilding on weekends. I raised an index finger to touch it, then let my finger fall. Axel expelled a sad little hiccup in his sleep and I settled deeper into the cushions with him.

“I’ll stay,” I said.

I called home. I could hear a violin keening in the background and voices squabbling over the iPad. I ran Dermot through the situation.

“Jesus, Caitlin,” he said. He pronounced the e in Jesus like the a in Caitlin even though his family had left Belfast when he was six. I secretly thought he worked to maintain the accent because it was good for business. Everyone loves an Irish poet, especially in Boston.

“Do you know how many times Maeve has asked me when you’re going to be home? Who is this Iris? Why can’t Theo handle it himself?”

Valid questions.

“You’ve got yourself too enmeshed. We need you back here.”

Dermot wasn’t wrong. I tend to connect and connect and connect until I’m fully interwoven with lives not my own. But how do you disconnect from someone you’ve known so long and loved so much?”

“I’ll be back in time,” I said.

“You’re cutting it awfully fine,” he said and hung up.

I pressed the chilly glass of the phone’s screen to my cheek, maybe to jar myself, awaken myself to reality.

“How was he? Has mad Ireland been hurting him into poetry?” Theo said it like mahd Oi-yer-land which was a pretty good Dermot impression. “See, I can quote Yeats, too.”

“That’s not Yeats,” I said. “That’s Auden on Yeats.” This was the sort of thing I knew, little good it did me. The thing with poets is, it turns out you can realistically only have one per family. Someone needs to buy the groceries and sign everyone up for camp.

“You’ve got a good memory,” Theo said. “I don’t remember anything from college.”

That reminded me. I manipulated my phone one-handed, careful not to jostle Axel awake, and showed Theo a photo of an old snapshot I recently found: the two of us on the beach in Big Sur not quite twenty years ago, each wearing the other’s college sweatshirt. Arms entwined, head to head. We looked like we were in the final stages of merging into one being. We camped, pitched a tent in the sandy soil among clusters of purple phlox. The temperature dropped in the middle of the night and I clung to Theo for warmth.

Friends have asked me, “How could you not know?” Even my parents thought it was cute that in the twenty-first century I hadn’t realized I was in love with a homosexual man. “He seems pretty obviously gay to me,” Dermot had said after he met Theo.

But they don’t know how Theo clutched handfuls of my hair that night in Big Sur or how the tent’s nylon floor shifted against the ground, making a sound like someone whispering, me/you, me/you, me/you as we moved together.

Theo looked at the photo. “I was so skinny back then!” He handed back the phone and then did a double-take. “Are you crying? Wait, why?”

I gestured at the room, at the fire, the sleeping baby, and at Theo himself.

“Oh my God,” he said. “You really do want everything. Everyone. It’s not enough for you that every other man you’ve ever met has wanted to build you a nest. Spend his life picking up bits of twig for you. And you take it as your due.”

Like all of Theo’s character assassinations, this one perfectly exposed what I most feared about myself.

He was still going. “You can’t just elide my gayness to suit your little fantasies. I was Cleopatra for Halloween. I wore a gold bustier. You get that, right?”

I nodded.

“Good, because it’s not confusing. Not for me. Not anymore. I’m gay. I fuck men.”

I felt myself pause and prepare, the way you do right before you bite down into an apple.

“You fucked me too,” I said. “For days, sometimes. My knees and elbows used to get all chafed from your sheets.” I’d broken his rule.

“I buy a much higher thread count now.” Theo’s voice was deadpan, his face poker-neutral; but I caught the mischief in his eyes. I turned my head away from him so he could not see me smile. He saw anyway.

“You’re not a gold star gay,” I told him. “Please remember that.” What I was really saying, though, was remember me, remember us.

Axel spit up chunky yellow milk all over Iris’s pale gray rug. While Theo looked for a towel, I took Axel back to the rocking chair in his bedroom, but the gentle motion didn’t soothe either of us. I thought about Dermot’s question: Who is this Iris? I tucked Axel against me and moved around the room, looking for clues to his mother. Axel’s books were the right ones—award winning classics and new mommy blog favorites. The mobile over his crib hung ready to set baby synapses firing. I accidentally tapped it too hard; stars and rockets shot off hectically. I fingered the velvet nap of a pale gray throw pillow and the cool silver of a high-design music box. It was all so tasteful and impersonally curated, there was nothing here I could parse. I flipped open the lid to hear what song the music box played and the first few bars of “Fly Me to the Moon” tinkled. At the bottom of the box lay a curled strip of plastic: Axel’s hospital wristband.

In a nurse’s hurried handwriting, “Baby Iris Parker. Male.” At the hospital newborns were labelled with the name of the mother. The blurring of identities began immediately, as institutional practice. The nurses called you “Mom,” rather than by your name.

The first month after Maeve was born I hated every long, dark minute she and I spent alone together. It was late November. The sun rose at 7:00, set at 4:30. It seemed never to get fully light in between, the rare sunshine weak and milky. I cried after Dermot escaped to the college each day and left me with Maeve—a shrieking collection of needs. I could not read, I could not think, I did not laugh. I felt pinned and mounted like a museum specimen, my confinement absolute.

From the living room Theo called, “Are you still upset? Come back.”

* * *

Theo made Axel another bottle. I fed and changed him. I read him a cloth book about a little bear and his big bear mother then regretted my choice. Theo contrived some spaghetti carbonara with Iris’s last egg and I tried not to drip yolk on Axel’s head while I ate. I changed his diaper again. Theo and I did the dishes and washed bottles again.

“This is like some surreal form of house arrest,” Theo said.

“Babies are notorious jailors,” I said.

“What was that story about the guy who willingly agrees to his own impris—”

“‘The Bet,’” I was already saying. “Chekhov.”

* * *

At 8:00 Iris had been gone for six hours.

“I’m scared she’s not coming back,” I said.

“She’s coming back. But yeah, this is messed up.” He sent out a fresh batch of texts to Iris and people who knew her.

At 8:30 Theo asked me, “What time should Axel go bed?”

“Newborns don’t go to bed, exactly,” I said. “They do this. Eat and cry and doze around the clock.”

“No,” said Theo.

At 9:00 Theo called the police who asked what must have been standard follow-up questions. Theo delivered replies through increasingly tight jaw muscles: “Seven hours. Haircut. I don’t know the name of the place. Absolutely not typical. No, no partner.”  I could feel my own jaw clenching up in a kind of sympathetic mirroring. They gave him the emergency number for child protective services. He phoned local hospitals. I lay on the soiled rug with Axel’s head on my heart and tried not to cry.

At 10:00 Theo mixed up another bottle. As he washed it out after the feeding, he said, “I can feel my brain cells dying.”

“Yes,” I said. “This is how it happens.”

* * *

At 11:00 Theo apologized for the nest comment.

“You were right,” I said.

“I know, but I shouldn’t have said it.”

Drunk on fatigue, barely repressed panic, and the bond that comes of shared trouble, we started to slide in and out of each other’s minds.

Theo said, “I’ve never understood abstract art. I know this is heresy and we aren’t supposed to say this, but honestly? I suspect it’s not actually meaningful.”

“I one hundred percent agree,” I said.

“And why is everyone so obsessed with podcasts? It’s like, read a book.”

“I love podcasts. Have you ever done Ecstasy?”

“Are you kidding? I wish we were rolling right now. But not, you know, with a baby.”

“Understood,” I said.

The fire crackled and hummed.

“Merchant and Ivory were together for almost fifty years,” Theo said.

“That’s a long time.” In truth, it didn’t sound that long to me, not nearly long enough, and I wanted say something about how marriage was a shared accumulation of days, a yielding of your time to someone else, and how, so long ago, I would happily have turned over all my days to Theo. But he didn’t need to hear all that.

* * *

At 11:30 Theo unfolded the piece of paper where he’d scrawled the number for child protective services.

“Could they take him from her?” he asked.

“I don’t know.” I stroked Axel’s feathery eyebrows.

After the next feeding, Axel’s tiny gut seized up. I could feel how distended it was as I very gently worked his stomach with my fingertips. He cried then sobbed then screamed. Iris’s apartment no longer felt open and lofty. The soulless gray walls tilted in at me. The gas fire was a ludicrous fraud. I recited The Lake Isle of Innisfree while walking Axel up and down the length of the living room but he’d developed a violent contempt for poetry like a teenager rejecting what his mother holds dear. My lower back twisted itself into a gnarly mass. I tried to self-massage with one hand.

“Remember how you used to sabotage me when I was studying for the GRE Subject Test in English Lit?” I had to speak loudly over Axel’s distress. “You always had to be better than me at everything. You couldn’t stand that I was more widely read than you.”

Theo opened his mouth, closed it again, sighed. “If I admit there’s some truth to that, can we please not pick at scars?”

I said fine. I did another few laps with Axel.

“You were emotionally exhausting when you were anorexic,” Theo said.

“No scar-picking,” I said. I tried again to rub my own back.

“I’ll take him,” Theo said. He received Axel stiffly, but Axel appreciated the change. His sobs tailed off. He melted into Theo and made contented little barn animal noises.

“He smells incredible.” Theo sounded bashful.

“It’s pheromonal. The scent is supposed to be chemically addictive. It’s a primitive survival mechanism,” I said. “So you don’t leave them.”

* * *

At midnight Theo said, “Leaving an infant like this is tantamount to an act of violence. I feel physically ill.”

“Me too.” I paused. “You might have to call social services,” I said.

“I can’t.”

“I know.”

At 12:30 Theo wandered to the window with Axel and looked out at the fog.

“I feel like my real life has receded so far it’s not even accessible to me,” he said. “I know it’s out there somewhere but I can’t quite believe in it. I don’t even know who I am anymore. Lines are blurring.”

“You’ve only been holding the baby for forty-five minutes. Pull yourself together.”

“Maybe I am losing it a little bit.”

“I think we’re both doing okay under the circumstances,” I said.

* * *

At 1:00 Theo read me an article from babycenter.com about how infants need to hear 30,000 words a day in order for their brains to develop.

“I know all that,” I said.

“How do you think our word count has been?”

“Excellent. We’re good at talking. But I’m tapped out.”

“You should sleep. I’m okay with him,” Theo said.

“We should both sleep.”

We climbed into Iris’s bed. I arranged Axel on Theo’s chest. He held himself very still, all his muscles tense.

“I’m afraid he’ll fall off me or get his face stuck in my clothes,” he said.

“Take off your shirt,” I said. I felt Theo freeze for the briefest moment in the dark beside me. He positioned Axel between us on the bed and stripped to the waist. He returned Axel to his chest. His hand covered Axel’s entire back.

“Why would she do this?” he asked.

I thought about how Maeve didn’t sleep for a year.

“Maybe it just got too hard,” I said.

We lay on our backs, side by side, not touching at all. When my foot accidentally bumped his, Theo moved.

I set my alarm for 4:00. When it rang, my first thought was that it was 7:00 in Boston. The sun would be rising over the harbor, turning the skyline pink. People would be walking their dogs in our corner of Eastie. Fiona would be suiting up for hockey. Aoife would still be asleep and Mairead would be trying to tickle her awake. Maeve would be worrying about climate change, about the president’s latest horror show, about her birthday party. I was hungry—no, ravenous—with missing them. I could see the precise pattern of each one’s freckles, registered the specific texture of their hair on the skin of my hand—a knowledge that came straight from the body. Dermot would be flipping pancakes with one hand and holding a book with the other. I smiled at the thought of him. I met him at a New Year’s Eve party and we talked about Haruki Murakami and the Bruins. I told him I loved shoveling snow and then got all flustered because it was such a weird and unsexy thing to say. We got married exactly one year later. He was my home. My nest.

According to Uber, a driver was four minutes away.

I will arise and go now, I thought.

Axel and Theo were breathing deeply and in sync.

“Theo,” I whispered. He hated being awakened from a sound sleep. When we were together, the angriest he ever got at me was when I woke him up too early. Our circadian rhythms never matched. I tried again, louder.


“I have to go. I’m leaving.”

This jolted him awake. He looked down at the sleeping bundle on his heart.

“My bag is in your car,” I said.

Theo groaned. He inched off the bed, still holding Axel. Outside it was thickly dark and fog obscured the streetlight. He wordlessly passed Axel to me, pulled my suitcase out of his trunk, and set it on the sidewalk.

“I can’t do this by myself,” he said. He was barefoot and shirtless. He wasn’t wearing his glasses and had hollows under his eyes. I hadn’t noticed until now that his beard was no longer blonde so much as silver. He shivered.

“You’re going to be fine,” I told him. “Bottle every three hours. At nine you make more calls.”

I gazed down at Axel in the crook of my arm. “Goodbye, friend,” I said. He burbled and blinked. My whole body ached with not wanting to leave and wanting to be home.

A car pulled up. Theo reached for Axel and I secured the baby in his arms.

Suddenly shy around Theo’s bare skin, I gave Theo and Axel a quick group hug and got into the car. The Uber driver had dark-black skin and a French accent.

“You have a beautiful family,” he said.

I thanked him.

When I looked at Theo through the window, his back was rounded over Axel and he was talking to him. I could not hear what he said but his body language looked resolute as he braced up and waved.

Rosemary Harp’s writing has appeared in Fiction, Electric Lit, Creative Nonfiction, Atticus Review, Mid-American Review, Writing Disorder, Hobart, Everyday Fiction, Pithead Chapel and other journals. Her work has been selected for Longform’s Story of the Week and was included in Best of the Net 2019. Rosemary attended the University of Michigan where she studied Comparative Literature and won two Hopwood Awards for her fiction. She also holds an M.A. in English Literature from the University of Virginia. When she’s not writing, Rosemary plays a little ice hockey for a team called the Motherpuckers.


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