Running After Her

Running After Her

I sit in a slant of winter sun in the living room I share with my husband, Tim. From its safety, I Google the medication I must take to stay free of locked rooms where nurses strip me, chart my scars. Then I add, “+ pregnancy.” Hunched before the screen, I cry for my unconceived...
Bath Hour

Bath Hour

I run the bath at 3 a.m. Occasionally at 4 a.m., 2 a.m., 1 a.m., 5 a.m. Whenever my small body shivers with fever and can’t get warm, but more so, like this morning, when the pain builds like waves, like a California earthquake, spreading across my back and down my legs. Even at age...
Rain on the Wind

Rain on the Wind

My sweatpants bound my ankles together. An inventory on the sink beside me: on a clean paper towel, a shiny packet of lubricant and a mint-green catheter wrapper, ripped open. The toilet seat numbed my butt cheeks, flesh on chill porcelain. A table-top mirror balanced atop a milk crate in front of me, poked up...
Let's Say

Let’s Say

“Let’s say I found the key behind a secret panel,” Andra whispers. Tonight, instead of my ten-year-old sister, she’s Julie, the beautiful detective from The Mod Squad. I’m not four-year-old me either, but an equally beautiful teenager named Heather whose foot is chained to a bed. “Now I just have to figure out how to...
Out Back

Out Back

They hear me coming before they see me. I round the corner of the house, my entrance heralded by cockatiel cheeps and peeps and a call just for me. So quickly they have learned my new routine. I pause at the window, press my face to the screen. Through double walls of mesh and cage...
Conduction

Conduction

When people next to you begin to swipe left and right on bodies on their phones, the black glass like polished fulgurite, don’t feel like you have to feel left out just because you’re aro/ace. Join in their looking at the faces and chests, even if they have to tell you what makes someone attractive....
Last Words

Last Words

The dictionary, red and tattered, sits in a cardboard box in my garage along with a telephone, its only button programmed to speed-dial my mobile number. Both items once belonged to my mother. For a time, the dictionary and its 1,550 pages of definitions comforted her. A woman of words, my mother wrote the food...
Hollywood

Hollywood

I call my mother to tell her I’m dying. I am laying on my back on the dirty off-white carpet of my apartment in Maryland, having another panic attack. Of course, I am not dying. I feel outside my body, as if I’m looking down on myself telling her my goodbyes. I want my sister...
A Cleaving

A Cleaving

My mother, my mother’s mother, and her mother, and her mother, and her mother’s mother—their worries, fears, traumas, triumphs—all live here in the bowels of my bowels. Tucked in right next to my womb, curled like a sleeping retriever. The pulsing and pushing and swirling of want and need wrapped in tight like a lowercase...
10.23.15

10.23.15

You want to—or at least feel you should try to—make some meaning out of that night, the night you jumped off the roof. Everything went black, you weren’t expecting that to lift, but it did and you find yourself in ICU three days later, intubated; every limb and appendage in your body broken; a smashed...
Olfactory

Olfactory

These days, she is furious about his smell; men’s deodorant, she says, and doesn’t want her clothes washed with his. He is offended. He once held her against his bare chest. She furrowed into his freckles, into his chest hairs, now spindly like worms out in the sun too long. They breathed into one another’s...
Sick and Well Time

Sick and Well Time

I have to write down somewhere how I feel on the days when I don’t move and I don’t stay still. When my legs slide over the bed-edge and I’m walking to the bathroom, putting toothpaste on the brush, tasting mint on my tongue—and still part of me is back in the bed, folding and...
Anna Maria Island

Anna Maria Island

Did you know that the common housefly, like the one circling the room now in a wide, counter-clockwise circuit, hums in the key of F? It’s true. They come in different sizes, of course, but their bodies scale so that the vibrations of their wings correlate to the pitch intervals in F major: F, G,...
Your Personal Prescription Information

Your Personal Prescription Information

Patient: Sue William Silverman Medication: Heart Infusion Common Uses: Morbus Cordis. To discourage love with married, inappropriate men. Quantity: Daily Directions: Swallow first thing in morning before you have second thoughts. Before you have ANY thoughts. Patient Allergies: Single Available Men Ingredient Name: cor meum infusionem Before Using this Medicine: Be sure you are currently...
Yentl

Yentl

(October 4-8, 1993) The film is nearly ten years old by the time we watch it in World Cultures. My classmates: all girls, all bored. I try to feign boredom as a way to fit in, but it’s hard to hide what I’m feeling. It’s also hard to explain. Yentl wants to study, so she...
Backdrop: New Mexico

Backdrop: New Mexico

When I heard the wind, I knew my daughter would not sleep. From the motel window, Taos Mountain hid behind lavender snowfall swinging thick fluff around its muscles like a towel. My daughter bit my areolas with her two bottom teeth. She squealed, happy, when I winced. That day, I counted her wet diapers, stained...
His Apple Pie

His Apple Pie

Once, a man I loved left my dog alone in a car with an apple pie. The man had baked it himself. As our friends climbed from the backseat, the man took the warm, saggy-bottomed aluminum tin from my lap and slid it onto the dash. It bumped the windshield and blew a swift feather...
Thereafter: A Cleansing Spell

Thereafter: A Cleansing Spell

Use this spell in the aftermath of an assault on the body for physical healing and survivor’s justice. Be patient, as this process is ritualistic in nature, and therefore, time-consuming. Use the two days you call in sick to complete it.  You will need the following supplies: Five-gallon bucket with lid Two gallons of bleach...