Wednesday August 9, 2017
The Enormous Crocodile
My sister and I make bracelets out of embroidery thread and sell them to friends of our parents. We charge a dime or a quarter. Sometimes they overpay, a dollar or two and we gasp with the excitement of a financial transaction.
I put most things on my credit card now. I get air miles, so it feels like I’m getting more than just the thing I’m purchasing. Maybe a trip home to kiss my sister’s daughter. Maybe Hawaii in the rainy months.
Monday June 12, 2017
Without distraction we take to the winding roads
of the west way up near the sky touching
clouds with our noses way up near the stars
touching ancient dust with our eyelashes
We swim in salt water plunging pools
and my skin gets burned by the sun but
it’s okay it’s okay
You read to me in a whisper
from your secret notebook
the holy grail
and an eagle flies overhead
shadows in the wideness of the wingspan
Friday June 2, 2017
Freeing the Natural Voice
“What are you getting at?” Ben puts his hands in his pockets. That’s never a good sign.
“I just…” My mouth is pasty. My knees are weak. My heart is beating like I’m running, but I’m still.
“Spit it out, Caroline,” Ben says, shifting his weight from one foot to the other.
“I want to go by myself.”
He steps back, putting more space between us. Maybe he understands.
“We bought our plane tickets,” Ben says in a soft voice.
“I know, I know… You can go, too! But, I want to travel alone. I need to do this. I really need to do this.” I will tears not to come. Please please please.
“This is fucked.” Ben walks into the bedroom and slams the door.
Wednesday May 31, 2017
Snip Snap Pop-Up Fun
“One day, when you’re a bit more grown up, I’m going to take you to the Land of the Elephants. We’ll ride on their backs, and teach them to sing our songs.”
“Will Michael come too?”
“Nope. Just you and I.”
“Who will feed Scooby?”
“Michael and Mommy.”
“Will we bring backpacks or suitcases?”
“Which would you prefer?”
“Backpacks. More mobile.”
“My thoughts exactly.”
“Will we fly in two or three airplanes?”
“I think it takes two… but we’ll sort out the details closer to the time.”
“Do the elephants talk?”
“Do we speak their language?”
“We’ve got plenty of time to learn.”
Saturday April 15, 2017
M. brings me an avocado smoothie after
I’m vomited and shit
for three days straight
Too bad the walls are thin
Too bad the sun takes as much as it gives
He brings me up to the roof and we
the ocean cresting a possible future
Kisses me and I laugh because his gaze
is so penetrating
I think about AIDS when we fuck and
then feel ignorant and sick
I vomit as soon as we’re done
my breasts resting on the toilet seat
M. holds my hair
Naked and retching
prayers over the loudspeakers
perched on top of the mosque
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.
Friday February 10, 2017
The Edge of the World
Connie May Fowler
Before Tampa there was Santa Cruz. Before Santa Cruz there was San Jose. Before San Jose there was Seattle and that’s where the story really starts. I was busking full time and would go warm up and use the bathroom at the bookstore on 10th Ave… It was a cold winter that year, and my finger tips would turn blue after two hours of playing. I saw Greg. He was a cashier. I didn’t have a thing for ponytails or anything. He was too short, he looked dumb in his running shoes. It’s not like I believed in love at first sight, not prior to that moment. Greg didn’t notice me, not for weeks. I realized that I was going to have to buy something. I picked up a copy of Crime and Punishment from the discount bin and brought it up to the cash.