Every Girl Who Got in a Car

The ghost needs a ride, so you let her in your car. The ghost looks like your old girlfriend; the ghost looks like all your old girlfriends. Esther, you call her, Georgia, Harriet, and the ghost nods at each name, yes and yes and yes. The ghost wants to go home. The...

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...

Courtyard Goddess

The doorman kept tabs for any hint of illicit love. His apartment was the cracked open door by the stairs. Twice now, the military had rung the doorbell which played chimes to the sound of London Bridge falling down, falling down, and twice, the apartment caretaker,...

Notes of a Flower Boy

I still don’t know the language of love Every girl has my father’s face.   On a summer train ride from Kazan to Volgograd I leave the radio talking to itself at home There are roughly 1,137 silences I fill my mother gently into every silence.   My body is so...

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...

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