The weather on the Carolina coast had been strange; a result of tropical depression remnants. The sky cleared on a Thursday and the beaches filled. I stubbed out a Spirit and popped the top on a new beer. Down the beach, a toddler walked toward the ocean holding a beach ball over his head with both hands. A wave knocked him over and sent the beach ball sailing forward. The wind took it out to
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I’m Mo, the girl who for the brief time, when I still tried to feel like a girl, never felt like I fit that description, never felt like a boy either, felt like something else. How was I supposed to get my head around that?
The answer is: I didn’t.
Instead, I whacked a field hockey ball, or a softball, or a volleyball, any damned ball I could find to whack. I let my sisters curl my hair and smear
Lonely girl. Face bathed in the glow of your phone.
You were walking to the supermarket. A person walking in front of you fell to the sidewalk. You checked her pulse; she wasn’t dead. Just sleeping.
All around you, people began teetering. Falling asleep on their feet. Cars rolled aimlessly to a halt. Some bumped into the curb.
At the supermarket, customers and stockers and cashiers draped over each
Saturday night was movie night. Dad took us. This was Mom’s time, a few hours of perfume‑y magazines and white wine and wearing her fuzzy blue bathrobe with no one in the house. At the theater we giggled and threw popcorn and people told us to shush. Dad, he didn’t care. He didn’t say anything, one way or the other. He’d just sit there in his seat and stare at the ceiling like it could open
An asshole is an asshole but I love a first sentence. The thing is there isn’t much of one—it’s just what you believe in from before you knew it to what exists past us. I’m watching Jimmy. I’m watching myself cross my legs. I am somewhere in the midst of a morning. I’m watching no one. I’m crossing nothing. The rest of the sentence begins when you shut the help off.
25,000 To 30,000 Black Bears
I am a new silence
After seeing a photo in the local newspaper of Ms. Rodgers coaching girl’s soccer, Wyatt decided to visit his former teacher, a favorite in elementary school. He will have time after school to catch a bus back to his university for the new semester.
Wyatt is on his way to Chico State University, a minor school in the vast agricultural expanse of California’s San Joaquin Valley. Yes, it is
I can hear their voices through the waiting room walls. My daughter, with her big personality and pearl-speckled beret, making the dental assistants and hygienists laugh. That baby girl came fast the first day of winter. A hard, cold day of gray asphalt and Canada Dry billboards. My husband speeding through the loops and turns. She almost arrived in the car, and then again in the parking lot.
I love Ruby Sales. She’s taught us a lot. You can google her story, see how she lost the ability to speak for a spell at seventeen when a white man squeezed the trigger of a shotgun and blew a hole in the body of a young white seminarian named Jonathon Daniels who had thrown his body in front of Ruby, saving her life, but it’s difficult to understand the enormity of who Ruby Sales is unless
“I am getting a housemaid’s knee, kneeling here gulping beauty.”
This is the knee’s response
to the poem. It is the callous
that can’t afford a white dress,
the price of innocence rising
like oceans over retiring houses.
And day, itself, a scorpion
which waits for bed. You must
write dread, the uncle of confusion,
the second cousin of curses.
To the river La Varenne running over the rock dam at the bottom of my garden
To the tower of the 11th-century church, Notre Dame sur L’Eau, I see from the window of my third-floor study
To the cloud-filtered light of Normandy that inspired Impressionists
To the aroma inside the boulangerie
To the taste of Camembert at room temperature
To the fragrance of Marius
The way I know all of what happens today is that when you die, the whole world opens up to you, and you can, if you so wish, go back and forth through all of your years including these last hours, in no time at all. There is, contrary to popular belief, no flashing involved, because past a point time isn’t relative, it is entirely redundant, and everything turns—for the first and only time—however
- An out-of-control trolley hurtles toward a crowd of protesters carrying “BLUE LIVES MURDER” signs. You could pull a lever so the trolley instead hits a boarded up, empty Starbucks. What
It’s a large university library, many corners to hide in. I lost my purse there.
All kinds of things get lost.
Even libraries disappear. The Great Library at Alexandria burned, but one has hope that fragments will surface in some cave or shop or attic. Or maybe we’ll build a machine to take us into the past and see what it was like. Wait, we already have that: books, documents, art. The paintings