Category Archives: Reprint

Half-Skull Days

Last week, it rained six days straight, not for six days straight, as it can back home in the Midwest, but on six consecutive days. In the eighteen months we have lived in Southern California we have not experienced more … Continue reading

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Spoiler Alert

There’s no escaping the constant whirs, hums, chugs and buzzes of summer, like birdsong, in variety and nuance, but less conversation, more dictation, as if to an old-fashioned stenographer – get this down, condense the languorous signals of summer to … Continue reading

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Of Gasping and Grasping

I saw a cross in the sky was that Jesus Christ or pollution I think it’s starting to tear all the fabric of autumn has loosened You scried the depths of the pool came up wild-eyed with spells of reflection … Continue reading

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German Punctuality

I was the last one on what I thought was the right bus. I asked the driver to make sure. He said something that in English sounded like “crossing.” The only problem was he was speaking German, and I’d just taken up the language. … Continue reading

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Glass

And next week I’ll ask you the same question again even though you told me last week not to always ask when you’d be home because you just don’t know. What I said was we wanted to know if you’d … Continue reading

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Condensation

Raindrops splatter randomly on downtown towers’ roofs, forging spider-spoke alliances on top of Miami. You and I tiptoe the edges, open across Biscayne Bay clear down to Brickell. We’re stormier than daily rains bathing summer afternoons, chillier than scowling winds … Continue reading

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The Green Bike

Angela liked Friday evenings best, for that was when the man with the green bike came by the house. He always brought her a bar of Hershey’s Cookies ‘n’ Creme, breaking off half and handing it to her ceremonially before … Continue reading

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Chai Latte

for Lent “Why do birds suddenly appear every time you are near? Just like me, they long to be close to you.” – Carpenters Barren terraces peek out from behind light filtering through windows. Mirrored solace and once-verdurous neighbours, whence … Continue reading

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Grandfather Reached Up To Touch The Ground

Measured time by the ton. Knew men only by their shadows. Lived with a darkness that left a taste in his mouth. Thunder even trains that rolled through his nights sat him up screaming. He sang to the rhythm of … Continue reading

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New World in the Waiting

Each night is mundane and lonely. Night-birds spread their wings. The moment I’m looking for is buried beneath the black soil. Each wound I polish on the secret stone shines in false light: there is nostalgia too. When the lizards … Continue reading

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Newspaper Planes

Do you believe in God? he asks. I swat away a horsefly but it keeps trying to fly through my ear canal. A pause, a realizing that the question is too big for the park. Looking for an answer in … Continue reading

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Heritage Unwound

my grandmother pulls parsed consonants from her lips the way she unearths the soft underbelly of steamed fish, separating bone from skin, sinew from flesh she wraps vowels with the soft skin of baozi, molding and pinching them into shape, … Continue reading

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Overcrowding in Ventress Prison During Pandemic, March-July 2020

(Author’s Note: Incarcerated sources are kept confidential to protect their safety and privacy. Each prisoner is identified by a randomly chosen letter.) “When Obama was President, there was still some people put in place to deal with” research and preparedness … Continue reading

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Incarcerating Family

(Author’s Note: The identities of prisoners and their family members are confidential in order to protect their safety and privacy. Each source is identified by a randomly chosen letter.) (Part 1) Introduction Over the past eight months, prisoners and their … Continue reading

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Touchpool

It’s a supervised visitation, a controlled contact. – Two fingers only, in the center of the back! – Put your whole hand in the water, and wait! calls the zookeeper. The rays flow past in their elegant capes. Their eyes … Continue reading

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Immaculate Reception

These days, she would have been famous, Screamed at us from every headline, Her every move avidly tracked By the paparazzi. Pose. Snap. No star but hers would have guided The wise men to her sponsored bed In the best … Continue reading

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Infidelity

Lunchtime and the city releases us, gasping for unrecycled air but lungs filling with smog, today’s egg sandwiches already gone soggy, while the plaza is packed by slim cut suits and ties. Traffic swerves and screeches, the acrid tang of … Continue reading

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The Dinner Table

After a while I forget how to speak with my hands. Years since. I eat with spoon and fork at the table, sometimes on the floor. Go through glasses of water just to feel full again. I stain the table … Continue reading

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Hang Fire

Here is almost home: grouted             white tiles settling like a heartbeat while I wait for the doctors             to call me back. Picking at chipped nails and listing promises that probably             never mattered, but I can’t say for sure. Now I … Continue reading

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How Long We May Have Pause

And sometimes one goes to an art museum if only to feel like someone who goes to art museums. And they pause in front of the appropriate paintings but they catch up to themselves and end up by the pottery. … Continue reading

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Airport Relativity

First person and present tense must strike you as odd— how I could both greet and record your emergence from this crowd of funneled souls, recount details that never occurred, at least not regarding your arriving at 4:10, then 5:25, … Continue reading

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Flip Requiem

Only black-and-tan clumps cling anymore to our oaks (raking finally making sense), which stand silent as pickets this side of winter’s no-longer fierce or precise approach. I’m over a father’s death, an angry mother’s postmortem reach (though there it is … Continue reading

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The White Hen Pantry’s Last Green Pepper

She takes the waxy mass of green from its cool wire rack. Outside, she throws the sack into the parking lot where it dances on the hot concrete. She tosses her find into sunlight, squeezes it with pulsing rhythm, feels … Continue reading

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Going Back

Can a chair hand made from poplar make me whole? We scour for the one-of-a-kind, crafted with the visionary’s eye. Spirits reach out in Lick Creek, Nauvoo, New Harmony. At dusk, we join deer drawn by trust into open fields— … Continue reading

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Sjögren’s Syndrome

Anything begins with water: the mouth of the Euphrates, villages, city-states, empires, all our ideas gathered, passed down, one place, another, now and later. And stays alive as well: cell, tributary, heart. The body a creek bed thirsty for a … Continue reading

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