Cover Photo: An illustration in dark blues, black, and yellow. A ballerina is shown onstage, progressing through a spin. The glitter on her black leotard looks like stars against the background.
Illustration by Sirin Thada for Catapult

Rolling Blackouts

Social Security sends us checks every month to say sorry about our mom. A thousand sorries for me and a thousand sorries for Vivian, and we accept them all.

Today and every day, our father cries. He used to be normal. He used to take me and my sister and our beautiful mother into the forest where we would collect kindling and play in the trees. He used to drive the minivan and say, “Hi Hungry, I’m Dad.” Then our beautiful mother took the minivan away one night, and now, he only cries.




Melanie graduated from Pratt in 2020 with a BFA in Writing. She now lives and writes in Brooklyn, focusing on the topics of love, families, and grocery shopping.