CategoryRelationships

Bad Dad

B

I wipe tiredness from my eyes.It’s morning, another day survived. And so begins the drip of last-night scoopsof coffee into a mug, World’s Greatest Dad. I fail to measure up to that cup’s depth,a half-assed bundle of Irish rage and remembrance of children dancing gingerlyas I brood in my La-Z-Boy. I exchange mementos of saved ticket stubsand photos taken at the zoo in front of the...

American Obsessive

A

At the Christmas tree farm up the street, workers shove pine branches into a burnbarrel for both heat and the smoky scent that entices commuters in minivans topull over and ask the price and how much extra for delivery. I set up my six-footartificial pop-up tree in less than five minutes, ornaments and lights included.This brings me joy. My best friend owns very little. He has no paper, all his...

Falling Outside the Body

F

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

S

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...

Watermark

W

I find you face down, nestled somewhere between dream and sleep, as if one could exist without the other, as if a petty argument the night before had never happened. The silence of your back and shoulders invites me back to bed, where I anchor myself, where my mind skips rocks as my father fishes. The tension is as subtle as the water’s surface, capable of holding up boats and a chubby boy...

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