wednesday August 9, 2017
The Enormous Crocodile
“If I can’t see you I don’t want to see anyone!”
Mitchell wept into his pillow. He talked to his Dad before bedtime.
Mitchell’s Dad wanted to do the right thing. He didn’t want to confuse him. He didn’t want to make him reliant on someone the rest of the world couldn’t see.
“You can’t leave me,” he cried, “I can’t give you away!”
Mitchell’s Dad told him he would have to let him go and help out the Angels. He didn’t want to leave either but Mitchell was getting so big. He told him he would never really leave him. He’d always be close by, watching over him.
“But how will I know that it’s you?” Mitchell squeaked.
Friday May 26, 2017
Mr. Brown Can Moo! Can You?
“Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Gemma-ma-ma, happy birthday to you!”
Mom’s made strawberry shortcake. I don’t have to request it, she knows it’s what I want. Calvin is a vegan so she even whipped up some tofu thing for him to have. What a woman. Her face has changed over the last nine months. She’s looking more and more like Gran. It’s the first birthday in our family since Dad died, and I know that Cal just sang the “ma-ma” because that’s what Dad would’ve done. While we eat our cake, the rain starts. It gets quiet.
“Maybe that’s him,” Mom says.
Sunday February 26, 2017
Dear Sugar Radio
I don’t have any memories of my mother’s father. He died when I was three, lived in Italy, and I only met him a couple times. The first time, they tell me, was when I was 3 months old. I had my ears peirced with gold studs (by my aunt Patricia, who was also travelling to Italy with us), I carried around a rainbow striped bunny that I would later name “Skittles”, and according to my mother, I was a very picky eater during the first couple months of my life. They tell me that he was a big man, feared by many. They tell me all the other grandkids ran away from him because they were intimidated by his size, or his mood, or his silence. They tell me that when he walked by my crib I begged for him to pick me up. They tell me that it was strange for a small thing to reach out to him. They tell me that he lived for taking me out into the fields to pick fresh figs. They tell me he smiled a lot when we were there.
Sixteen years later I went to Italy for the second time. I found his gravestone. I listened to the air between my life and his. I still can’t say I ever knew him. But I missed him then.
Saturday January 21, 2017
From a text
An eagle with wings spread
blessed the chapel and we gathered
two hundred strong and you stood
at the front between the drum kit
and the electric piano
and you spoke W.H. Auden
while your knees shook and your voice
Bent over the plywood coffin
that your father will be cremated in
“sometime later this week”
you said goodbye to the body
that helped to make your body
the body that protected and
the body that caught babies
and treated wounds and stitched up
bodies that bleed like his body did
Thursday January 5, 2017
from an email
When aunt Maxine died she left all her beloved jewelry to my younger sister, Annie, instead of to her own daughter. Gemma stormed in and out of my apartment that year like a horse trying to buck off a leech. She always brought with her an impossible tension followed by a cloud of smoke that she would sometimes beat herself up for. You never need that first cigarette! Trust me, I know, she would shriek. You never do but you think you do and that’s when bad shit starts to happen-dark shit like not trusting yourself! Gemma, I’d beg, can we please stop talking about it?
Saturday December 17, 2016
The Books section of NOW Magazine
She thinks of her life,
when she’s reflecting
on it, over the long
twelve days before
she goes, she thinks
of her life as graceful-
She wishes that she’d
called her daughter more
especially in the years
when they were estranged.
She wishes that she hadn’t
dyed her hair, that she had
let it go grey, like wise women
She’s glad that she ate a lot
of pizza, and had sex outside
three different times with three
The tragedy comes out of the
fear, all the fear, circling her
throat like a snake.