This Is Me, Being Brave

There are things about my childhood that I’ve never told anyone.  Not even a therapist.  I’m not proud of this. When I was young, you did what you had to do in order to survive.  Mostly that meant staying silent, keeping your thoughts to yourself.  You lived inside...

Review of Walker Pass

I grew up on the western side of Walker Pass, and I crossed it thousands of times throughout my childhood, from home, to the desert, and back again. Five days a week, every week, beginning when I was five and ending when I was 18. And after that, I crossed this pass...

Rambles with Nature

I am given to long peripatetic walks through outlying districts.  Past rust-encrusted fences and cement-block lots, along fetid, long-stilled waterways next to crumbling skeletons of once-thriving commerce abandoned bathtubs half-filled with dirt over a once-upon-a...

In a Mood

“Don’t go down there,” my grandmother says, as soon as we walk through the door.  “He’s in a mood.”  But we had driven for an hour, which, to a child, feels like a day.  And so I go barreling down the steps into the rec room my grandfather built to sit near him. When...

Sole Cleaning

With Clorox wet wipes, I cleanse Paris from the soles of my boots. I scrape off discarded gum and candy, dog waste from careless owners, urine from the homeless who are too ill or forsaken to seek shelter, or too obstinately insistent to remain under the deceptive...

Overdue Elegy

For Manon You wouldn’t know how often I think of you. We didn’t see each other during the last years of your life. Not because of differences or hard feelings: Our lives had simply forked like two roads and somewhere among us flowed a river. We wrote to each other...

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