“as spicy or as tame” by Julia on her couch

Saturday March 10, 2018


5 minutes


Her skin smelled spicy and I couldn’t get it out of my head. The way she plucked rosemary from other people’s gardens and tucked it in her back pocket or in the bun of her hair. She needed the earth like she needed to laugh. I loved that she did not pass one bushel unpicked. She liked to roll the green between her fingers and pull them up to her nose at traffic lights. She said it calmed her. She said it made her feel like she was already home. When we’d wake, I’d find her laying in my practice baseball shirt and smelling good without the help of something bottled. When I told her she smelled spicy she laughed and said, what were you expecting, lavender?


“The earth’s insomnia” by Julia at her “New York”

Wednesday March 16, 2016
5 minutes
Lorna Crozier

I have been out stealing rosemary again. Middle of the night. I am not sorry. But I do recognize the pattern. It’s not about much more than needing to have it in my home so I can touch it when I want to and it can calm me down. Some people do the very same thing with animals. I mean maybe they don’t go around at midnight and sneak into people’s front yards, but–I mean they feel comforted by the presence of a pet. So what? I don’t have one of those. I make do. I’m fine. Please don’t ever think my problems will be solved by a cat. They most certainly will not. I don’t need something like that. Thank you for the offer of your offer. I miss my fucking mother. I want to call her and cry and let her love me back to life. I want to tell her that after all that rosemary thieving I didn’t even put any in the roast potatoes. Because I wanted to keep it longer in a vase next to my bed. Because I wanted to hold onto her soft voice telling me for the last time that I was her laugh.


“roasted fennel” by Julia at the Sheraton in Philadelphia

Tuesday April 15, 2014
5 minutes
A post on Instagram

Mama liked it when her drinks tasted like Italy. It reminded her of home, of her mother, of her doggie, Stella, and her doll-friend, Cicio Bello. When mama took a sip, she’d slip, then slide, then land back in a time where farm animals woke her up each morning, and where Figs grew as big as your face in September.
She stocked up on the stuff just in case they ever decided to stop making it. Not that anyone would, it was a beautiful thing. But just in case, she always said, just in case.
We knew she could say whatever she wanted and we’d never say a thing in return to her about it. We didn’t want Mama to feel like she had a problem. We didn’t want anyone to think she couldn’t handle it on her own, just the way she wanted to. Nobody mentioned a thing when we’d find bottles of her nostalgia hidden under the sofa cushions, or planted deep in the soil of her dying rosemary bush. Nobody said anything when Cicio Bello started appearing again in Mama’s life, her old friend whispering things to her no one else could hear; keeping her company through the storm.


“Don’t ignore” by Sasha at her desk

Wednesday May 1, 2013
5 minutes
from a sign on the subway for Bladder Cancer Canada

Don’t ignore the signs, he tells me, braiding bread before brushing it with egg whites. I don’t believe in signs, I say, peeling a sweet potato. You’re ridiculous, he says, closing the oven door without looking over. His parents will be here in two hours. I’d hoped we’d have sex, to ease the tension. Hey, I say. Wanna…? He furrows his brow. Later, he says. Okay… I spin lettuce dry. I whisk together olive oil, lemon, honey, dijon, salt. He comes up behind he and puts his hands on my stomach. I suck in. Babe, I’ve got to put the chicken in. He walks away, slowly. Where are you going, I call. I need to run to the wine store. He’s out the door quickly. He must be wearing sandals. I hate it when he does that. There’s still snow on the ground for God sake. I get a call ten minutes later, as I’m shoving cloves of garlic up the chicken’s butt, and dousing her in butter and rosemary. Italian? He asks, the connection bad. Spanish, I shout. Why are you yelling, he asks. I thought…


Sensory dip: Little red potato by Julia at R Squared

Monday, January 7, 2013 at R Squared
5 minutes
a little red potato (sensory dip)

What a truth, that I’m holding the world in my hands.
Capability and hilarity.
What other tools do I need?
I’ll just borrow that from my best friends. They have a lot of it.
Maybe grace?
I’ll get that from my mother. She has so much I bet she grows it on to her rosemary bush and cooks with it sometimes.
Do I need anything else?
From the girl who lives down the street from me. She recognizes how crazy she is, but in a good way. She wouldn’t mind showing me how to carry it with me. I asked her once…she thinks I already have it.
The world, my world that I’m holding, feels like I could squish it.
I could puncture it but I would not be using my tools. I’d be using my emotions.
The ones involving fear.
I don’t remember from whom I received it.
Who gave me that?
Surely not my father.
Surely not my teachers.
I can’t remember if I saw it in a store window once, tried it on, and thought it looked good on me so I took it home? Or….?