Skip to content
Words Without Borders “stands as a monument to international collaboration and a shared belief in artistic possibility.” 
— 2018 Whiting Literary Magazine Prize Citation


Tiropitas will issue warm from the ovens of bakeries and babies from their mothers’ bellies. Cats will dig in their litter boxes as if with primitive terror and addicts will curl up in the entranceways of apartment buildings, looking for a little shade. The tree outside the window that I’ve been watching for years whose branches are beginning to overtake the balcony will shine green in the sun and I still won’t know what it’s called. Someone will be rifling through the change bowl to go buy morning cigarettes and that someone will be me. In headphones paused music will wait, like Sleeping Beauty, to come to life again with a click. People will be deciding the fates of other people, and vice versa. At the corner of the street a girl will be headed toward the taxi stand, dragging a noisy suitcase far too small for her hopes, wondering whether she’ll ever see these familiar sights again, or whether her plane might drop from the sky and all will be lost. Couples will be waking up side by side, hands unconsciously cuffing half-sleeping faces, and again someone will have forgotten to buy more coffee filters. Building sites will burn in the heat, waiting for their workers like very old men with a weakness for dusty, active flesh. The music will awaken, the first tiropitas will be sold and bitten into and there will be nothing but crust and air, a little nothing. A nothing.

Like what you read? Help WWB bring you the best new writing from around the world.