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“Jen Michalski’s second novel is an intense emotional commitment, but a worthwhile one.” – Ploughshares


“Jen is an astonishingly sensitive writer.” – HTML Giant


“Jen Michalski excels in subtlety that is made possible by her nuanced understanding of voice.” – The Rumpus


“Jen is a writerly heavyweight.” – Nate Brown, American Short Fiction


“We’re lucky to have Michalski before the rest of the world discovers her. But they will.” – Baltimore City Paper

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Destination

The best thing about being home again is seeing my family, my girlfriend P. and my aunt and uncle and cousins (yesterday) and mom and brother (this weekend). Even if they only visit you to use the shower because their electricity has been out since Saturday. Even if they walk into your home, doubled over, and make the following pronouncement, "Hi Jenny—I have explosive diarrhea," remembering, an hour later, that you have been away for two weeks.

You can go home again because you never really leave.

Of course, I wouldn't trade these motley monkeys for anyone else in the world. But your family gets bigger the more you open your heart. It's not made of entirely blood and genetic will. Sometimes it's raging sea and crumpled sky and amalgamations of metals, your steel. Two trees that grow inches apart, never touching, roots entwined. Sometimes it's the words we speak and the words we don't, the air humid with their pulse, a succulent sound that stretches the night into morning.

All these people in my depot—sometimes I am lost in a crowd of my own invite, just a station agent. One of these days my own train will arrive.

The destination will appear, and I will step into the night. It will be gentle, but I will be bursting into the dark,

everyone stars, bright, beckoning, this way, that.

You cut a nice figure of a family—"The Teller," Throwing Muses.