On Sunday Morning I opened my eyes to an inky void, confirming my latest fears about the cosmos: that it was illusory, existing only in my head. And not just illusory, but a real bastard for making me think I had an “other” joined to me in something called wedlock. I cried out for this other, just in case. “Kathy? Katherine!” “What is it?” she said after a minute. The universe re-materialized, sitting on my face. It smelled of stove gas and her lavender body oil. Her tone, as dry as the windowless-bedroom, had grown progressively drier the more I’d [Read more]
There was a boy who lived on my street until he shot his parents. I wasn’t home the night he was arrested, which is too bad because everyone who was has this big story to tell now. This guy Dennis lives five blocks away and still won’t stop telling everyone about how he heard the sirens and “knew something was up,” like that means anything. My parents kind of know the woman who heard the shots and called the cops. She babysat me once, ten years ago, when my mom had the flu and my dad was out of town. [Read more]
Our one month vacation!
One, someone who will throw a rock…
All his life, Aesacus had the ability to interpret dreams. He was barely a young man when his stepmother Queen Hecabe dreamed she gave birth to a smoldering piece of wood. When she asked him its implications, he said her future son, named Paris, would provide warmth during difficult times. He dared not reveal the warmth would come from the burning carcass of Troy.
Gus Feldin was re-reading The Hidden Faces of the Stars on his morning commute when he found the first note in the margin. Pressed up against the wall of the subway car in his attempt not to touch the person in the seat next to him, Gus was already sweating through his shirt. The note was a spot of chaotic color on the monochromatic page. The sight of it made Gus’s skin prickle.
September 22, 1978 Grace let Sophia hold her hand as they walked down Clifton Street toward the hotel. A few tourists wrinkled their noses, but under the glint of the sun, and the haze of inebriation wafting from the bars and beer gardens, their spectacle seemed almost placid, a thin slice of sentimentality in a tight corridor of make-believe. At the bottom of the hill, Grace could see the dim outline of Niagara’s Horseshoe Falls. She could see the suspended rainbow hanging in the afternoon sky and she could feel the hint of spray as it traveled in the [Read more]
The City’s come to saw down the pear tree they planted out front thirty years ago, when I moved here, replacing the maple tree that crashed down in a storm—a near-tornado. At three a.m. a beeping truck arrived with men in slickers wielding growling chain saws. Lightning still lit up the eastern sky as they chopped the maple’s trunk and hauled the logs away. I asked if they could bring a pear to re-plant in the maple’s place— paid extra for it. Pear blossoms every spring! Just fifty bucks for a lifetime of bouquets— unfortunately, a tree’s lifetime, not mine. [Read more]
Oh, weaver bird! You do not knit or sew, But weave straw into houses. You hang your golden pear apartments On tree cities, in tree villages High-rise lofts Resting on yards of air In a neighborhood where Front doors are always open And homes sway With warm winter sands Oh, avian architect! You test the tensile Strength of Earth’s hair You unwind her, repurpose her Resurrect her dead, Collect her gilded kindling And set it ablaze In the dawn of each new day Glittering baubles Of elevated oases Decorate an arid Arabia Rachel Bryant grew up in Florida, [Read more]
Imagine that you are not a part of this time and place, but another. You were born on the Caribbean island of Martinique, sometime after 1885 but before 1897. You grow up in a poor family, in a poor country. Your father might be a fisherman, or he might work on a sugar plantation, or he might do nothing at all. Though you sometimes have nothing to eat and your brothers and sisters have no shoes to wear, you find simple joys. You wade through streams and try to catch river gobies and mountain mullets with your bare hands. You [Read more]