Red cover, 9 by 12, one hundred per cent rag. She was good at art, the nuns said, and she walked home from school with her watercolor picture of the church tower, the outline of the bell visible in the shadowy window. (On the corner the drugstore where
There was a requirement but no one would tell you what it was. At first you were confident you would figure it out. Now you spend every waking moment searching—desperate!—and every night pleading with whatever forces might be gathered in the shadowed
The very night Suffolk Aquatics wins district and Kev Drupperman tries to touch my boob, the Kavishnicks (Poppa, Momma, and me)—attempt to outrun bad credit (and general loserdom) and expatriate from New York to Rasthole Flats, Alabama.
This Shouldn’t Happen to Anyone
It is hailing. I hide in the snow, pretending to be a whale or an elephant in a faraway room. I was once a part of you, a dangling finger, something scowling in a sock or underwear. You can’t get rid of me that easily. I’m growing hair, waiting,
This early, as he passes the llama, camel, goats, Shep imagines them as feed for Jaco, who’s camped in the back, closest to the river, his own private lion. Jaco’s golden eyes catch the dawn like newspaper does a match. Shep sets down the bucket
The Godfather, 1972
Our ancestors came from the wrong country. Our pride was misplaced. The well-thumbed mass marketed paperback would yellow with age and then the silver screen would explode. These were domains of great influence ripe for exploitation and mythology.
Please close the door and have a seat, Mr. Dement. I realize I’m interrupting your workflow and your ongoing mental narrative by taking this time to speak to you. I can nearly always tell by the sneering look on your face that you entertain yourself
My old friends the Pembrokes
are mad because I called
their mother humane,
as opposed to kind in a poem
I didn’t remember writing,
a poem I shouldn’t have
remembered to write.
I meet them for lunch to explain myself,
then we go back to their
Every June for forty-seven years…The black rotary phone rang, and my mother rocked the cradle. Her liquid voice stopped me cold. You hanged yourself in your bedroom in your mama’s house. Except Mama lied. Said you’d used a gun. Believed the lie
The lights to the Ambassador Bridge turn on and Reggie looks up.
“You know, that’s the busiest bridge in North America,” he says.
“Really?” I ask.
“Yup. It’s owned by some billionaire. Half of everything going in and out of Canada runs across
When I first learned of The Count, though he’s not a classic Dracula type, it creeped me out that he existed, that we came from the same place, and that we had this one behavior, this secret thing, in common.
It happened at the call center on a regular
I felt like seeing a movie one day, and I went, and there were, on the screen, demonstrations of joy and abject suffering, the faces huge, like moons. I was covered in feeling. I took my place in a crowd of strangers leaving the darkness, and the light,
Lena was learning not to blink. She had spent her whole life blinking and look at what she lost.
While her eyes were closed, even for that split second, hundreds of far-away people died, rivers overflowed, and love, well, love disappears before you