Archive for the ‘Kind of true’ Category

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Empty cup

February 8, 2016

Before the sun came up, he slipped into the coffee shop and spotted the empty cup on the table. Is this yours? he asked, making sure to try to make eye contact with everyone within earshot, making himself noticed, yet remaining just invisible enough.

I shook my head, and he swept the cup into his arms, which were already full with a bottle of water, some toiletries, an extra shirt. He disappeared into the bathroom for awhile, then emerged, changed and ready for a free refill.

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At least two

January 16, 2016

The bartender looked where my beer had once been, the glass now marked with Belgian lace. He raised his eyebrows.

“I’m trying to decide,” I said. “I still have to go grocery shopping.”

“Then you need at least two,” he said. “At least.”

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Pendant

August 4, 2015

I have stopped wearing jewelry—it is the only way to keep it out of the small, swift hands of my 11-month-old—but I made an exception the day we took him to see where everything began.

In the restaurant at the edge of the desert, he grabbed the pendant’s cord, gave it a twist, looked up at me with pool-blue eyes.

Be gentle, I said, prying his fingers away. I was wearing that when I met your father.

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More shape than self

May 10, 2015

On a rainy day before I saw you for the first time, the fog on Mt. Tam turned trees to silhouettes, sucked details into its gaping, white mouth. I stopped to look across the mountainside at one lone tree that has seen many storms. Still, it grows.

I thought of that tree as I watched your pixelated silhouette for the first time. You were curled, more shape than self, growing.

There’s the heartbeat, said the doctor, and I laughed, delighted by the only detail I needed.

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Mission Pentecostal

April 14, 2015

Inside the storefront Pentecostal church, the preacher exhorted his flock in Spanish, and two small girls beat tambourines, blue and pink streamers tied to the side of their instruments flailing in time. I locked eyes with one of them as I passed the doorway, both of us wondering where the other was headed. Outside, women fried plantains in bubbling oil, the scent blessing the sidewalk. I nodded at them, and they nodded back, and I wondered how they managed to hang on here, with their food and their prayers, as the city turned as if from water to wine.

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Fear of flying

March 28, 2015

We cannot correct for the determined, for the mad, for the exhausted. We cannot correct for sudden downdrafts, runways turned slick with invisible ice, eyes blinded by an unexpected lightning flash. We cannot correct for the broken wire, the critical screw unspooled from its threads, pieces of bird thudding through the blades of the engine turbine.

We cannot correct for any of these, and so we buckle in, open a magazine, close the shade, and exhale. We hope. We fly. We land as safely as that moment allows.

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Moths

February 28, 2015

Words cluster about my head like moths most days, teasing me with wing-beaten currents, but they dart away when I reach out to catch them.

I would like to turn off the light that draws them to me, just dim it long enough for them to move elsewhere. It is exhausting, the constant chasing of small, winged beasts, the fear that even if I do catch one, the brush of my fingers against their hair-like scales will bring it down, take away its essence. Is it worth catching one only to learn it will never fly again?

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