Posts tagged "segmentation"
Snowbound

Snowbound

1. You are sitting on the couch that doubles as your bed when your mami hands you the envelope marked THIS IS THE BIG ONE. You’re eighteen, and here is the college acceptance letter you’ve been waiting for, the one from your dream school in Chicago. Over 1,300 miles south—to Hialeah, Florida—this letter traveled to...
Bole So Nihaal

Bole So Nihaal

Allah hu Akbar. Muhammad/God is the greatest.  Bole so nihaal, sat sri akaal. Whoever utters the following, will be blessed with happiness—eternal is the holy lord. Bhakt janon Ke sankat, Pal bhar door karein, Om jai jagdish harey. Glory to the holy lord who removes all obstacles in the path of his devotees.  * My...
Three Angels

Three Angels

I. The first angel arrives dressed in yellow. I can’t stop looking at her face. She rises from the sidewalk at the crest of Sacramento and Buchanan grinning, mouth cracked open, upturned to the sky. She’s around my age, it looks like, which means she is more old than young. Not old enough, however. Never...
The Domestic Apologies

The Domestic Apologies

Apology to the Fish If I’d known how poorly I keep fish, I’d never have allowed such a large tank. Apology to the Dog You have a dog bed in nearly every room, and I’m not sure what you think we are trying to tell you. I will try to walk you more often, but...
Identity Theft (Side B)

Identity Theft (Side B)

Origin Story Smoke-thin memories penciled fast as you can while your mother breathes ghosts from the end of a line you can feel cannot touch the words on the paper reaching like seeds seeking like roots for who you are who she was and why you left your left ear goes numb to the sudden...
Meanness   

Meanness  

One: I awoke to my mother’s weeping and walked over the jail bars’ shadow the Venetian blinds made on the kitchen floor. Her chest heaved as she smoked across from me at the table, sobbing about doctor’s bills and my father’s lousy job, how we were going to end up in the poorhouse like she...
There But for the Grace of God

There But for the Grace of God

In the country of my mother’s birth, miracles and sloths keep to themselves. In the weeks I spend looking for some sign of her, the rain persists with its genius for mud and birdless afternoons. Butterflies, people said. Ladybugs, people said. Songbirds, they all said. My mother would come back from the dead as something...
The Ten-Year Wake

The Ten-Year Wake

I sit in a rental car in an office parking lot in Atlanta watching for a blue Pathfinder, the car my former therapist, Randy, drives. I glance at my watch. He’s late. It’s 10:15 a.m., Friday, May 13, 2005. I stopped seeing him regularly when I moved to Michigan several years ago. Maybe he drives...
Bear Fragments

Bear Fragments

1.  In the High Sierra, her first time sleeping in a tent, my friend Pilar from Barcelona is terrified. She is afraid of bears. She wipes toothpaste from the corners of her mouth, tucks her hair into the hood of her sleeping bag, and cinches it against cool alpine air. She stares at the nylon...
Blood

Blood

1. In summer, I count the scratches on my arms. Seventeen. Twenty-four. Nine. I don’t know where they come from, then or now. Perhaps my bike, or the leprous bark of the hickory at the corner of Pitman and Coffin. Once, as I stand on the pedals, my bike skids out from under me and...
Fifteen-Year Forecast

Fifteen-Year Forecast

Come in. The water will hold you. —Lidia Yuknavitch Water has made its way into every house. It has dripped and trickled and poured in. Down chimneys, through roofs and ceilings. Up from below the ground. And, now, we wait. Tomorrow, settlement on another house, our fourth one. A white-washed brick cottage in the woods....
I Wonder What Happens Next

I Wonder What Happens Next

Sister, you already know what I am going to say. We leave our mother’s womb together. Our stomachs flower brownly into diapers. Screaming from our cribs, we watch colorful bears bounce across television screens. It is right that a bear should have a rainbow on its stomach. It is right for that stomach to radiate...
Post-Mortem

Post-Mortem

In the arctic, there is very little predation. The cold and lack of scavengers or insects keeps death on pause. The puffin with wet wings will lay on the beach for months. A washed up narwhal must wait for a polar bear. If he dies north of the tundra, a polar bear must wait for...
Send Out Succor

Send Out Succor

At six, I mastered Pig Latin, that clunky language inherited by children. “E-way ate-hay iver-lay or-fay inner-day,” my brother and I whispered, pretending to stick our fingers down our throats. At eight, I learned Morse code using a handheld flashlight our family physician had given me. With my thumb, I triggered short dits and long...
When We Played

When We Played

1. When we played war as boys, we never died. Dead was a reset button, a do-over, a quarrel over who killed who. Maybe we played fair. Maybe we dropped our toy guns and crumpled on the grass, clutching with grunts like gut-shot movie soldiers. Grimaced and closed our eyes, but only just. Through the...
Carolina/Tennessee

Carolina/Tennessee

It’s true, I find signs because I look for them, but there are more carcasses roadside, half-baked by the sun, more cops, all gunmetal gray and flashing blue lights—stop, slow down—so I park under a live oak outside an abandoned gas station just west of Florence, South Carolina, and let smoke drip from between my...
Necrologies: Mothers & Fathers

Necrologies: Mothers & Fathers

BROWN RAT We only lived in the little house for three years. I still slept in a crib and watched Sesame Street while my mother did calisthenics. I do not remember eating or sleeping there. I don’t remember what the yard looked like. I do not remember my father’s shape as he moved through the...
The Cruelty We Delivered: An Apology

The Cruelty We Delivered: An Apology

I. We didn’t know what to do—your rocket energy sending Thai monks into fits, as they chased you through the Chicago temple, hands hiking robes like dresses, flip flops slapping callused heels. Your trouble made us roll our eyes and turn our back when you wanted nothing more than to pal around with us. You...