Falling Outside the Body


Each blade of grass pressed by the bottom of my feet, I walk in open opposition to those seated at the wedding where I should have been your groom. I had learned to speak American through a series of tapes that arrived in the mail, being out of place more a mood than the actual spot where I buried my face into a pillow. You look at me the way women look at the rib cages of Victorian corset...

Small Talk


We are projections on a sheet in the yard,suspicious spools of film liberated from metal cans.When there is nothing left to play, the children retreatto flashlight tag, and the women refresh their wine. The men huddle in the darkness.Someone is talking about the circus,and a boy on stilts who used to shout insults at the crowd.Your mama’s so short, she needs a ladder to pick up a dime. The...

Courtside Tickets


What stands between your words and my actions,is a barrel of government contractors, an asteriskalong the ankles, a four-letter word for treason.I am at this very point two sides stapled togetherand presented lengthwise; a catapult of shameand a horse in need of re-shoeing. There is a precipice of pupil and promise,a red velvet rope at the local theater, designedto simultaneously keep out and in...



All of the streets and courtyards are empty. The mayor asks citizens to report those who break quarantine. A boy wanders outside the Colosseum while his mother sleeps off last night’s heavy pour of table wine. On the news, Italians serenade each other on balconies, but they do not sing in Rome because the epidemic has not yet taken hold. There is little to celebrate when death is coming for...

New Year’s Eve 2020


Since the pandemic, no parties, no people on the street waiting for the ball to drop, just my husband and a couple of friends. We drive to our cottage near the beach to celebrate new beginnings someplace new, at least to get away from the sameness that has begun to suffocate: the same four walls, same floor and ceiling, even the Amazon boxes that collect weekly in the recycling. Here the walls...

Spring Flowers in a Vase


The husband brings home a vase filled with white daisies because he knows his wife likes surprises, and there have been so few lately. The vase is clear with internal cracks that don’t quite run through the entire side. He had joked with the cashier that he hoped it would hold water, which it does as his wife fills it and places it in the middle of the kitchen island. The vase bereft of...

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