January 2021 A (Day 1)

Life at the Surface

Farn McClintock's pickaxe met with something metal, kind of ringing his bell a little. He shook his head to recover from the unexpected vibration. “Huh, that's different,” he muttered to nobody. He was lead man on the tunnel maintenance detail, and was working at the...

Pandora’s Lamp

  Everyone called it the satanic house-- the evil eyesore in our tree lined upper middle class Massachusetts neighborhood with gorgeous colonial architecture and azaleas and rhododendrons that had long ago claimed squatters’ rights. Wide plank pine floors and...

Sense memory, that’s all

I was pushing at her warm skin. Her birthmark like melting chocolate. Trying to mimic the dance of finger tips on belly that she’d done to me but not having the same effect. Her eyes said love and she told me, “I’m not ticklish.”  I’d taken all of her tickles when I...

Waves come first.

  I catch the object more by instinct than by sight. Safiya looks disappointed as if a coconut crab conjoined with a decaying dolls head is supposed to freak me out. The doll is bald. The crabs hairy limbs seem to wave from where the neck would be on a person who...

Metal City

In the dying city, long time residents still laugh about chasing the local street sprayers in the summer to get drenched as it passes by with it’s sparkly spray to cool them off in the hot dry summer. Little Chicago, at the end of the Dan Ryan, is proudly the...

The Crack

He leans over his right arm, drops his chin, allowing chew laden spit to hang long from his mouth. Gently lip-coaxing it towards the label-stripped coffee can on the floor, he winks at me. I demure, falsely. I giggle when the last bit of grainy spittle refuses to let...

Devolution

The universe is this big. She spread her arms wide. Earth’s life is this. She held her own wrist, displayed her hand, ran a finger from wrist to fingertip. Human life is this old. She pulled a rind from her pinky fingernail. Host-like, placed the nail-sliver on her...

Untitled at the moment

  Untitled for now My Great Aunt Nelle painted her table pale yellow and decorated its edges with lines of pink scallops. A desk blotter, a lamp, and a clock graced the top of the table, but tiny hand-painted people were stacked up and down the table legs. Women...

Day One Writing

My mother goes to work at 2:30 in the afternoon. She looks into my crib to check that I am still sleeping before she leaves the house. She walks the three blocks to the bus stop to meet my father, where he gets off the bus, and hands her their bus pass. Then he walks...

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