Archive for the ‘Kind of true’ Category



July 28, 2014

A flat of strawberries arrived Thursday, and the race was on. They disappear like summer, turning to soup in the warm air, uninterested in schedules and convenience. Sometimes I jam or freeze them, but this time, I devoted most to eating, beginning just after I brought them home with a pint rinsed and eaten greedily over the sink.

By Sunday, they had reached last-chance status, and I quartered the ones left, saved them in the refrigerator. Later, even after I’d washed my hands, my fingers still smelled of summer and seized opportunity.


When the little one fell

May 8, 2014

The small, falling bird brushed me with flailing wings, then slapped the concrete balcony floor behind me. It was dead on impact, but looked like it was waiting to revive itself and fly home.

I had watched the bird’s mother from my bedroom window as she built a nest on the balcony above mine, warmed her eggs, fed her hatchlings. On warm nights when I sat outside, I had heard chirping after they were born.

I did not know where the mother was that night, nor if she ever learned how her little one disappeared.


Into the shell

February 10, 2014

The world disappeared for a time yesterday, the fog separating couples from one another, obfuscating minute and second hands, muffling the sounds of sweeping on the porch outside. On the roads, cars threw parabolas of water from deep, standing puddles, and honored the warning of brake lights. It was hard to recognize friends beneath slick, soaked hoods and hats.

We had become sun-spoiled and thirsty, so I had no complaints. Still, I found myself crawling into the shell of my heart by the end of it, in search of some small shelter from the storm.


Morning swim

February 8, 2014

No swimming after dark, the sign says. But it is still not dawn when we slip from air to water. The moisture collides in a rising fog that turns swimmers into ghosts.

The sky turns grey, then pink. The second hand sweeps around, around, around, ignored by all the steady lap swimmers. I slip from the pool as the second shift stumbles to the edge of the deck.

The hardest part is getting wet, I tell the man above me on the deck.

I know, he replies, windmilling his arms to delay entry. That’s why I’m still out here.


The purest, clearest water

January 10, 2014

The truck halted on the grassy track along the edge of Aunu’u, and Tino gave the orders. Shalom macheted down a small tree to knock a set of green coconuts free, and Francis shimmied up the palm trunk to loose them from above. They sliced off the tops and handed each of us one to drink. 

It’s the purest, clearest water there is, Tino said. God blessed us this way.


He taught us how to use the shell to scoop out the meat and eat it. This is the Samoan way, he said. Now you try.



After the sunburn

January 4, 2014

After the sunburn, my arms peel, the skin coming off in rolls after a shower, in flakes the rest of the time.

I scratch my arms and think of snow, and of whether or not these shavings could be pressed into a voodoo doll.

It’s not if, it’s when, I say, and I’m talking about skin cancer, and he points at me, hard, the way that means be quiet and don’t tempt fate. I roll around on the bed, shedding skin, wishing I was a little less Irish and a little more Basque.


Uncertain power

November 20, 2013

Once, I recognized my body. I knew its limits and its power, its strength and weakness, and it was a familiar friend. Now, it’s like a house with uncertain power supplies. I move through hallways blindly on days in darkness, sensing patterns with my fingers. The path has changed now, strange obstacles appearing where I least expect them.

It’s beautiful, here in the dark, but strange. Some days, I bite at myself like a wild dog. Some days, I am, myself, strong current. But the tunnel has no end-light. The map to resolution is nowhere to be found.


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