We celebrated our twenty-fifth anniversary year by doing what we’ve always done: publish the groundbreaking fiction—three excerpts from Jesmyn Ward’s National Book Award–winning novel, Sing, Unburied, Sing—essays, nonfiction, and poetry our readers have come to expect. Revisit or catch up on… | Dec, 2017
Kevin A. González is the author of a collection of poems, Cultural Studies, and the coeditor of The New Census: An Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry. His stories have appeared in Ploughshares, Ploughshares Solos, Playboy, Narrative, and Virginia Quarterly Review, and have been anthologized in The Best American Nonrequired Reading and The Best New American Voices. He teaches at Carnegie Mellon University and is an editor at jubilat.
It was around this time that my father and his friends started a gang. They were all blanquitos from Condado: Yasser Benítez, Claudio LaRocca, Tommy Del Valle, and Juanma Thon. On the night their gang became official, they downed a bottle of Bacardi, then smashed it into pieces and used a shard to cut their arms. Then they rubbed their wounds together, so the blood passed from arm to arm.