Monthly Archives: February 2022

Deed of Ownership

The back porch railing needs painting again – the thick wood is splitting its skin – the lichen unpacked and crept in, a goldengreen forest preserved by our neglect. Alisa Golden writes and makes art in a one-square-mile, California city. … Continue reading

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One Crow Comforts Me

one crow comforts me because I know it by its cry halfway between a chirp and a bark an ark that holds me and my imagined friend Alisa Golden writes and makes art in a one-square-mile, California city. She is … Continue reading

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My Father-in-Law Arrives for the Last Time

A week to the day after you died, here you are on the front porch in a postal carton—as much of a surprise as if you’d arrived unannounced in your bucket hat and tattered red jacket, your hair unruly with … Continue reading

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Triangle

During the AIDS epidemic, San Francisco SPCA volunteers and their pets visited hospitals throughout the city. By then I had been to the memorial quilt laid out in the vast caverns of Moscone Center, its glittery panels festooned with rainbows, … Continue reading

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august

it’s August and the closet still is full, your clothes on hangers, just the way you left, a jacket draped upon your favorite chair, your shoes still cast about the entryway. it’s been a year, but part of me believes … Continue reading

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Missing

We met on milk cartons & immediately clicked, used ivory & onyx letter openers, cut each other’s picture from wax containers, conversed a safe distance on the internet, treated words with all the care of priceless coffee tables safeguarded by … Continue reading

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Grackling

The inquisitive grackles in our trees (may trees belong to anyone?) have become my translators. I no longer remember what it is to be a part of the wider world, wan in my nightlong spiraling, lips chapped with worries and … Continue reading

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March & April

Bumblebees on the lupin and I am baking bread with our lavender, I am turning on all our lamps later now and the clouds are diaphanous again, no longer threatening to dump all of winter out on top of us—it’s … Continue reading

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Swimming Lessons

I lived most of my life near water and now I find myself trapped inland. I miss the ocean, but even a waterfall would do. All I want is that ordinary thing we all take for granted, pouring from our … Continue reading

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To Say What I Should Have Ten Years Ago

Burned the pads of my fingers on the hot stovetop and now I give false fingerprints wherever I travel. A trick, a trick, but not a cruel-intentioned one— I don’t know who I am except not myself, not in any … Continue reading

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White, White Teeth

I have entered many a vivarium and they’ve always let me leave— like pain, wild is something not necessarily seen from the outside. You are looking at me as if I’m the goat in a Chagall painting— it works, somehow, … Continue reading

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A Park in Gloucester City

The 3rd floor row home offers us no air and evicts us. I follow single file on sidewalks that cannot hold us side-by-side. His hometown is a small town stuck between two cities, constricted by the rise of bigger things … Continue reading

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Heroics

The thing about this town without you in it is that it quickly becomes a cliché. It’s a big empty space full of big empty people and I am looking out on all of it from this balcony, trying to … Continue reading

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Prairie Glossolalia

I’m packing up my alphabet— crates of words— commas periods in my tool chest— heading for no man’s land to live wild and green— breathe the prairie winds sigh them out— learn the language of the badger and the fox— and all that kind— listen … Continue reading

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Houses

1: Begin life in white paint. Look up at the cloudy octagon window. 2: Maintain innocence inside a blue house. Stain a couch with crayon. 3: Learn where babies come from. Peer bitterly inside a chipping crib. 4: Be disrobed … Continue reading

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Bones

She’s down by the lake with her friend. It’s February, so the rocks that were submerged in summer are now well above the water. She remembers being grazed by them on her shins, thighs and torso when she went swimming, … Continue reading

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Ra-men

The whole world is in turmoil, people lose sense of days― One day a dietitian makes a recommendation “Cut back on calories. Let’s eat Ramen without noodles.” Japanese tweet, “If you take noodles―called “men” in Japanese―from Ramen, → Ramen – … Continue reading

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A rocky road ahead for Tokyo

scorching hot day― a rickshaw man stops by at ice-cream shop with little money he earned two months ago under a state of emergency his rickshaw is empty almost every day he licks rocky road bar and gazes at street … Continue reading

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Rely on Mystery

A single milkweed plant has sprung from seeds scattered last fall. I almost fancy myself a gardener, except that so much potential died with those plants that didn’t grow. A door left open says “forgiven”, the only word not worn … Continue reading

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If it is water

Carrying an urn filled with anything can be complicated – if it is water defy the urge to sink your tongue into tranquillity, seek calm depths or serene death even if words and voices urge otherwise. You must hold your … Continue reading

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Losses

Last leaves have fallen, forest has melted away. Your leaving voices rise over hills, soar without a downward glance. White birds like bodies, thoughts drift discarded. Empty doorways remain empty. The water pot on the step has dried up, so … Continue reading

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Ars Poetica

This girl I know once climbed up on her roof and—don’t worry, this doesn’t have a bad ending— found a raccoon blinking at her, half past midnight, she and the raccoon watching each other like a man going blind watches … Continue reading

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If They Take Me

I think we learned to be afraid somewhere between after school soccer and student government, between red ink on test papers and college-ruled loose-leaf (when did we stop sharpening our pencils by hand?) Fear of things beyond our control has … Continue reading

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Last Night in Mexico

We missed the fireworks by seconds. The door was locked and we had to learn how to open it. Inside, uncles and fathers got drunk on the minibar liquor and the air conditioning and the aunts and not-mothers got high … Continue reading

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The Bullfighter

He was an adult and he was dying. He had not had a physical since he left his parents’ home two decades before. Cancer knows where it can live undisturbed; it moved into his esophagus. He moved back in with … Continue reading

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