Cover Photo: illustration of three sisters looking at a church that looms over them
Illustration by Sirin Thada for Catapult

If You’re Waiting for a Sign

April says the people at church don’t talk to us because they’re motherfuckers.

April says the people at church don’t talk to us because they’re motherfuckers. She says this without looking at me, her fists balled, the edge of her lip jammed between her teeth. It’s hot today, the dead center of summer when the season has lost its charm and everyone just wants to be inside by the air conditioner, but we’re outside on the porch, watching the driveway. I ask April what a motherfucker is and she won’t answer me. Lily shushes us both.

Made in China

theethou

us

us

away

Nina Li Coomes’s essay is included in the anthology A Map Is Only One Story, forthcoming from Catapult in February 2020.

Nina Li Coomes is a Japanese and American writer, currently living in Boston, MA. Her writing has appeared in EATER, The  Collapsar, and  RHINO Poetry among other places. Her debut chapbook haircut poems was published by Dancing Girl Press in 2017.