Category: vellum


The cold is quiet. It is still. Crows are larger than expected. Frost edges the cracks in the pavement. The light is gentle, not punishing. The brother and sister are dressed appropriately for the weather. From a distance, they might be a middle-aged couple walking their dog. Closer, he carries a radio and sings along. She holds the lead. They do not feel the … Read More settle


The purple has dulled, the dandelions blown. After a hard season, the rabbit reabsorbs her fetuses.We may have built this house out of paper, this family out of twigs and thread. There is fire all around us, but the winds push it back. This world is not made of stone and grass; it is made of air and phlegm. We believe it does not … Read More paper

That you are warm. That you have light.

I miss our quiet suffering. I miss not knowing that you are dying. I miss finding out days or months or years later after you have already turned to dust.        


Mother always said, “When the man comes, he will be wearing a suit. He will walk up a path covered in rusty pine needles.” I dreamed of him this way–a rumpled stranger outside my house, who stops, and waves. The hard backed chairs push against my spine while his hand pushes closer to my thigh. He pretends to read the program but really he … Read More him


He stands halfway down the staircase while I stand at the top. He has two of the pillows I’d earlier stuffed up into the linen closet in his backpack. He is trying to hide them but they are obvious. I ask him why he has them there, and he stutters, stumbles trying to answer. I reach for him and watch as he falls down … Read More trip


It was all a routine. The man putting his money in behind me at the T who looked like he wanted to kill me.  The drunken man on the train platform needed attention, but no one was willing to give it to him. Where had my need gone? I mentioned a name to get a reaction.  Watched one dog walk towards another, head down, … Read More decade

there is so much in it

The gray sky. Trees burdened with late falling snow, aching and arching with limbs breaking into goose bumps at the thought of someone brushing against them. All winter long there are tracks of deer, leading to the semicircle of gray, black. And a moon. A meandering stream. All winter long snow whispers down and trickles. The birds sing nowhere. Then there are the tracks of … Read More there is so much in it

the house with the pool

Last year, the police came twice to the house with the pool. Now they are fighting again. He yells, “Fuck, the miniskirt. Fuck the fucking miniskirt.” They’ve moved back into the dark parts of house so as not to be heard. Her voice is sharp. His deep. She might have screamed. Maybe not. They are quiet now. In the autumn, the police had him … Read More the house with the pool

at night

I never open the north-facing window because then sound and smell from the exhaust fan overtakes my room. From mid-afternoon on they are down there working on the menu, the specials, and the fan mouths cooking smells in and pushes them back out. Mouths in and pushes out. Beneath the other window, a slice of the parking lot offers heels on asphalt and drunken … Read More at night

I Scream

The light was pulsating. The grass gleaming now that it was spring. It gleamed. The wind and the light gleamed. “Gleam on, grass,” she said. “Gleam on,” he son repeated. They drove on toward the store, her son looking out the window. “Who is I, Mummy?” he asked. “You are you and I am me. I is also the one who is singing the … Read More I Scream


His skull was small, narrow, but he did good work with his hands, digging up the earth, planting trees, teaching people how to conserve. We would forgive him his trespasses. We would remember that he had helped us plant our first garden. That he chopped our wood when we were cold. We would remember that he knew how to find his way out of … Read More trespasses


The snow chips away. Slashes of wet and ice everywhere. No brown. No dried grass. There was a path of food coloring where she and the child pretended to leave bread crumbs. “Be quiet,” she whispered to him, “Don’t let the abominable snowman find you.” He’d been frightened then, wanted to go in. Not surprising. A sensitive child, he cried out each morning at … Read More crumbs

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