“My mother told us” by Sasha at her desk

Sunday September 30, 2018
5 minutes
Waiting For My Rape
Jessica Anya Blau

My mother told us the prognosis
over the phone as we lay in our bed
your hand on my belly
my hand on your heart

The rain came today and it feels
right a cleansing a weeping
a shedding and you’re cleaning
the house of all the summer sand

My mother astounds me every day
with her willingness to feel the truth
with her ability to meet the mystery
with her strength in the breaking

It’s good to have stillness
amidst the flurry the fury
the unfurling the fraying
It’s good to have a Sunday like this

Jolie eats an apple on FaceTime
and we laugh at the determination
the squeals the sweetness
the surrender

“your grief for what you’ve lost” by Sasha on her couch

Friday March 21, 2014
5 minutes
Bird Wings
Mary Oliver

You’ve lost a lot of things over the course of your thirty three years. One. An apple on the subway tracks, you gasped as the train boomed into the station, imagining your apple, your perfect, red, Gala apple, becoming pulp under the pressure. Two. You sanity, at the hands of a red-headed woman who claimed to be the mother of his child, your husband’s child (well, okay, you weren’t actually married but you might as well have been), who came with a photograph and a baby book and claims of rights and asthma and child support. Three. Your keys, you were drunk and you were dancing and you put your black bag, small, so small you could tuck it under your arm or hold it in your hand, you put that black bag on the back of the toilet seat when you went to pee and then you stood up and forgot to flush (guilty as charged, every time) and then forgot to see it sitting there, waiting patiently on the dirty porcelain. Four. You dignity, when you cheated on the Biology exam in your second year of University. You were caught. You took a leave. And then returned when you were well-rested, well-travelled, well-aged.

“adjacent to the wildly popular” by Sasha at her kitchen table

Friday, October 11, 2013
5 minutes
The Grid TO, Oct. 10-16, 2013 edition

I would very much like you to remember the time before you cradled a tiny screen like an infant. I would very much like you to remember spending hours in the lazy sun, tucked into your mother’s garden, pushing your fingertips into the soft, moist earth. She welcomed you. That tiny screen? He pushes you away. He pushes you away because in keeping it there, in your hand, like a premature baby, all the time, always scrolling or trolling or knoll-ing… you’re looking down. Your focus is too focused. I would very much like you to look up, or out, even just out, not necessarily up. Soften your gaze and behold how the maple forest has changed since yesterday. It’s a bit more golden, a bit more orange, a bit more musical. Widen your gaze and see that man in the red jacket who has taken a break from selling the Street News newspaper and is biting into an apple. Someone gave it to him, as a present, as an exchange of sweetness. They didn’t want a newspaper in return, just a moment’s eye contact, just a smile.