You ain’t lost. You just ain’t
listening. Ya gotta listen to the
– Road Music
Kenna grabs a small handful of the peppers and shoves them in her mouth, smiling full-cheeked at Hannah.
Amanda’s glamorous older brother comes back from Los Angeles to Escanaba for a few months. He wears his jeans differently than anyone I’ve met in town. He has a way of getting me into bed that is both funny and exciting.
– Connect: Disconnect
The Willamette is chilly this morning. Ribbons of steam rising like ghosts off the glassy surface. I am in a quad. Four strangers in a boat. It’s my first time as stroke seat, the position that sets the pace of the boat and establishes a rhythm.
– Backwards and Blind
What can you carry?
The suitcase of your heart closed tight
on all the things there was no room to bring—– For Those of Us Forced to Flee
a life where loneliness was nonviable cuz even if we didn’t have a mother we had each other & even if we didn’t have a mother we had a “mama” & even if we didn’t have a mother we had a life.
– dear sister
She looks around her beautiful kitchen, light pouring in in buttery streaks, a vase of wildflowers sitting on the kitchen island. She is filled with inexplicable longing for her own life. She wants to distill it, drink it when she forgets her fortune, the fortune she made.
– The Children
In the light, your handwriting in heavy black ink peeked through the paper. I put it back and shut the drawer. What else was there left to say between us?
– Love, Dad
I could write about home in a thousand different ways and never get it right. Just pieces of things like the sun on my neck and how heavy everything was –
– Where All My Sick Things Go
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from the archives:
As we got older and more aware of the differences between us, things shifted. She spoke to her mother on the day of the presidential election and came back a little more distant. My brown hand in her white palm seemed a plague to her. She turned away while I spoke of all the new things I was learning about my heritage, my roots, my culture.read more
I took off my reading glasses and put on my far-sighted glasses. She came into better focus. Yes, I could now see that she was trembling. Her eyes were glassy with fear. “But Martha,” I said, “it’s dangerous to run around with a loaded gun unless you really need it,” I said.read more
In America, I learned to translate
강아지풀, 나팔꽃, and 연꽃 2
not into puppy grass, trumpet flower, and kite bloom
but green bristlegrass, morning glory, and lotus,
which is to say, I learned to conceal isolation
behind blossoms of language
& wear the glazed petals on my chest
like a foreign prince
as badges of heritage.
I will stop wearing a coat in February, even if the gusts are gusting and frost is on the grass by the bus stop, because I can’t belong to the coats-in-summer people, can’t run different forever. I want to be in the world of the people who go to the beach, who go on vacations, who have lime green shorts and eat lime green popsicles, not wearing avocado-green coats puffy and fat and thick.read more
Since Juno, though, she had a flicker, a sudden luminosity – in ways she’d never guessed. She cooked in nothing but aprons and sometimes her tall black boots, if she felt peppy. She braised, poached, roasted, sautéed, flambéed. She chopped, julienned, blended, pureed, whipped – appetizers, entrees, cocktails, desserts, the off-the-cuff amuse bouche. Juno’s soothing voice blossomed over the speaker on her phone, and she picked up a knife and slid it into celery stalks and sweet potatoes and plump, ripe olives stuffed with juicy garlic cloves.read more
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