Me vs. Slugs: Pandemic Edition

Me vs. Slugs: Pandemic Edition

When the terrible virus was unleashed and our lives screeched to a halt, I planted a garden. My first. I tended it zealously, with the darting eyes of a suicide bomber. This was March, April, May, the world hijacked by hysteria. I could have watered my garden with tears after returning from the store rumored...
It Is Difficult / to Get the News from Poems

It Is Difficult / to Get the News from Poems

January 7, 2021 This morning I woke up remembering newspaper sticks—the old-fashioned ingenuity of their form, the honey-colored gleam of the polished wood. Does anyone still use them? My freshman year in college I worked ten hours a week in the periodicals department, and that’s when I learned there even was such a thing—they looked,...
Sabbath

Sabbath

Our apartment in German Colony was only a ten-minute walk to the gardens that overlooked the old city. To the left stood the high limestone walls of Jerusalem, to the right Mt. Zion itself with its trees and tiers of white buildings, the blue cone roof of Dormition Abbey, beside it the white bell tower....
Line

Line

It is coming up on five p.m. when you push your way out of the crowded bus and onto the street that will take you to your child’s kindergarten. You must walk the final few hundred yards, a trip of less than ten minutes for a woman of good health in her mid-thirties. As you...
White Memory & The Psychic Sherpa

White Memory & The Psychic Sherpa

Oftentimes, in an alcoholic or abusive family, there is one member who first acknowledges the problem, who remembers the painful and harmful acts of the past and the damage caused by those actions, who chooses to break the zones of silence the family enforces about their past, who points to the craziness and denial at...
Not Nothing

Not Nothing

My mother tells a story from when she was pregnant with me. The early eighties. My father came home in the small hours of the morning from the bar—the one he both owned and drank at two blocks from our house—after my mother was long in bed. Common when he drank, my father couldn’t go...
How to Do Nothing

How to Do Nothing

Choose a nice day. Or not, rain will do as well. Doing nothing is not meditation. You are not emptying your mind, you are letting it wander around from one thing to another while you sit still. Some people think of monkey mind as something to be conquered, or corralled, or even obliterated, but there...
Remember?

Remember?

Slow processing speed. Major deficits in executive functioning and short-term memory. Normal left and right hippocampal volume with low left and right hippocampal occupancy. * Here is the translation: His broken handwriting, his stricken face, his blank or puzzled or fearful eyes. Doors and drawers standing open, lights left on wherever he goes. Two lamps...
But Whyyy?

But Whyyy?

Me, forty-one, walking with Theo, four, and we are in the totally age-appropriate rut of why, and but whyyy, and I am not at all annoyed, just enjoying the moment because he is, barring a medical miracle, my last progeny, and he will never be four again and one really can’t bank on grandkids because...
My Father Reads a Poem to Me

My Father Reads a Poem to Me

and on the recording, in the space between where he stops reading in Taiwanese and I thank him in English, you may hear a respectful pause. You may be reminded of the way audience members leave a little space between a play, or an orchestra’s, closing phrase and applause; you may think you hear me...
When I Speak Why Do I Become More Invisible?

When I Speak Why Do I Become More Invisible?

(capital)The average woman says a minimum of (number) 1 (number) 0 (number) 0 (number) 0 (number) 0 (number 0) words a day (period)(capital) Spoken (period)(capital) Expressed (period)(capital) Gobbled up by the world(period) (indent)(capital)We (comma) as humans have an obsession with communication (period)(capital) It (apostrophe) s in our (capital) D (capital) N (capital) A (period)(capital) Technologies...
The Empress, Reversed

The Empress, Reversed

Fuck Mary. Fuck Lily Potter. Give me Sethe. Give me Mrs. Coulter. Give me Procne. Demeter, even, give me Demeter turning the world to rot, or Juno burning up every other woman in her path, every other baby, leaving her own children to plot and riot and tear at each other with their teeth. Give...
Night Patrol

Night Patrol

“Don’t sleep,” he says. My father’s right arm, a steel rail, reaches across my chest to crank the passenger window down. Darkness floods the cab of the old pickup truck, cold needles of December air, smells of creosote and snow. We are driving the dark roads of the Mojave, looking for my stepmother. “10-4 on...
True Crime

True Crime

I tilted my head towards the hushed conversations, the tulle of my dress sticking to my skin. I was on a bus headed to my college’s spring formal when I overheard rumors about a murdered student. It’s Clare, voices whispered. Oh my god, it’s Clare. I didn’t know anyone named Clare, but all around me,...
Twenty Minutes

Twenty Minutes

Before I forget and too much time passes and the shape of the moment withers or disintegrates, or rests in the dull shadows of my brain, weakened in the space of night, only to show itself in the final days when I will remember everything before the nothing. Before I let myself think it was...