“It started with a routine-sounding letter from my health insurance company. I opened it quickly because I was in the mood for a snack, and there was a little picture of cherries on the lower right corner of the envelope indicating that they had used cherry-flavored paper, my favorite. I learned that I would need to get a full DNA sequencing done by the end of the year. Reasonable enough, I thought, as I tore off little pieces of the letter and let the sweet and sour cellulose dissolve on my tongue.”
The rumbling started yesterday afternoon, just a little while after I arrived. Within the space of a few minutes the house got dark, but Grandma didn’t seem to notice anything until she saw the clouds in my eyes. Continue reading Thunder in the Distance
Over the chicken wire, under the fence post, across the field towards the huddle of trees in the distance. My heart flutters as I follow, because I’m following her. There is a still hum to the field as bugs hang in the air. The grass is as high as my waist, and when I see her almost to the trees I rush too much and fall. My hand is scraped and little beads of blood sprout at the base of the palm. I stop for a moment in the lee of the grass where it is cool and even quieter.
When I get up she is gone. I resume my run, ashamed and cautious and heart fluttering heavier than before. Continue reading The Path
Hi, guys. It’s me, God. I created your universe. That is, Julie and I created it. I’m wondering: with all of the religions you guys have created, have you ever come up with a version with exactly two creators, tandem deities working side by side, painstakingly crafting the parameters of the universe to allow for your existence? When you get down on your knees tonight, I demand that you offer up a prayer to Jon and Julie, your almighty creators! Continue reading Revelations
My daughter Kathryn sat on the toilet, her face red with frustration. She had been yelling “Mama” at the top of her lungs, but Mama hadn’t come. Papa had come instead, and this wasn’t acceptable to her 3-year-old mind. She tottered on the edge of the toilet, her pink cotton dress pulled up, her short hair encircling her miserable face. I knew I would get nowhere with her–she is not to be reasoned with in such a mood–and I left to get her mother. Continue reading Oweanka
A dingy motel room. Through the window, a sign reads in yellow and blue “The Full Moon Motel.” Below that, the red neon word “vacancy.” It blinks on and off every five seconds. Cyrano sits at a desk by the window. His coat hangs on a hook by the door opposite. He writes a letter with a quill pen and dips, writes, and blots with assiduous energy. He lifts his eyes occasionally to collect his thoughts. When he does this, one of two things happen. If he lifts his head when the vacancy sign is lit he returns its stare blankly with a vague memory of the fall of modern man and his solitary integrity. If the sign is not lit, the flat black night and the desk lamp allow him to see his own reflection in the window. He speaks as he writes.
CYRANO: My dear Roxane. [sees sign] I trust that you recall Tuesday’s spectacle. I can only say of it that human vanity knows no bounds. You sat above the crowd, and I was deeply moved by the glow of your hair, your robust autumnal cheeks, by every feature in perfect composition. I swore that I saw love in your eyes and I swore that it was for me. [sees reflection] But surely there was vanity in that, for you loved the spectacle and not the man, not such a man as me certainly, who looked the fool that night [sees sign] was made to look the fool, rather, by that man, that pompous ass (pardon my french) who all knew was in the wrong.
(He pauses, blots, rereads, crumples and, in one swift motion, opens the window, throws out the paper, and slams the window shut.)
A little space here
which I have walked into
where love resides but lies hidden,
gathers dust. A quiet space
where love resides but relaxes
and changes its clothes.
I can’t make it out.
The light is uncomfortably dim,
but comfortable almost in the non-knowledge
that love resides,
that it rests in a chair, which squeaks,
and carries on its business.
Answers letters, pays bills,
A small space,
but freedom to move,
and a window, thankfully, hopefully,
upon the world.
[Full disclosure: this is poem #6 in a series of poems mentioned here.]