Ruby Al-Qasem
The Girls

Ruby Al-Qasem - The Girls

Creative Nonfiction
Ruby Al-Qasem teaches creative writing and freshman composition as a teaching fellow at University of North Texas, where she is… Read more »
Matthew Vollmer
The Subordinate Fragment

Matthew Vollmer - The Subordinate Fragment

Creative Nonfiction
Matthew Vollmer is the author of two collections of short fiction—Gateway to Paradise (Persea, 2015) and Future Missionaries of America… Read more »

The Subordinate Fragment

Matthew Vollmer

Because I lived in the middle of nowhere in a cove at the base of a mountain on a hill above two streams. Because all the people I knew and talked to were white. Because all the native people who had once lived in these mountains three centuries before would have outnumbered those of us living here now, before Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act, before they were rounded up and marched by bayonet point to Oklahoma. Because whenever I heard the word “Indian,” the first thing that popped into my head were those chubby guys from Cherokee who stood on the side of the road in red and yellow Plains Indians headdresses, gripping spears and holding feathered shields. Because Tonto. Because plastic tommyhawks. Because once upon a time I liked to sing along to the song “What Made the Red Man Red” on my Peter Pan storybook record. Because the only thing left of that first civilization in our valley were pottery shards and musket balls and arrowheads, pieces of which you could find if you knew which fields to walk, and which overhanging rocks to dig under. Because the only real Indians were the few descendants of… Read more »