Brenda Peynado
Swimming Lessons

Brenda Peynado - Swimming Lessons

Creative Nonfiction
Brenda Peynado has work appearing or forthcoming in The Threepenny Review, Black Warrior Review, Pleiades, Cimarron Review, and others. She… Read more »
Erika Kleinman
Their Names

Erika Kleinman - Their Names

Creative Nonfiction
Erika Kleinman has work published or forthcoming in The Rumpus, The Apple Valley Review, and Salon. She is essays editor… Read more »

Their Names

Erika Kleinman

Right after breakfast, we told Shea about the twins.

She was sitting on the couch, her arms folded under her shirt. Sesame Street was on the television. “Shea, take your arms out of your shirt. You’ll stretch it.” She took her arms out, keeping her eyes on the show.

“Daddy and I have something really important to tell you about your friend, Cash.” She looked dreamily away from the television.

I looked into her eyes. I wanted her to see me, to understand the gravity of the situation. “Cash’s twin sisters died.”

She tilted her head. Elmo’s voice rang out exuberantly in the background. She stared at us. “Why?”

I looked at Michael. He was sitting on the ottoman, his hands folded in his lap. I said, “Remember how Lydia was in the hospital to let the babies stay in her belly for a while? And remember how Lydia was sick?” She nodded. She had been very interested in the babies. She had learned a lot about pregnancy and birth when her little sister was born. She was excited when she found out the babies were the size of peas, raspberries, the palms of my hands.… Read more »