Just like the next

November 18, 2016

The moon rose at the edge of the continent, rose so large she thought she might be able to touch it if she was just willing to reach out her hand. But she had tried that before, learned the hard way, in fact, that no matter how close it is, the moon is still out of reach.

It’s the biggest we’ve ever seen, her friends said. We won’t see another like this for decades.

But she knew the truth. One moon is just like the next, and they all wane to nothing.



November 16, 2016

No one sold ladders tall enough for his needs, so he built his own, rung by rung, until he had a ladder that could reach the thinnest, highest clouds. He wanted to watch the world drop from beneath his feet, watch it change so slowly he would barely notice. He wanted to feel the ladder sway at the top, to swing back and forth, until he was ready to see the earth up close again.


Two-thirds-red, one-third-black

November 14, 2016

They found a bench in front of a two-thirds-red, one-third-black painting, and only then realized they, too, were divided by color, her in her red trench, him in his black windbreaker.

It’s like a painting of us, he said, though his hand was already sliding across the bench toward hers.

I like that the red is on top, she said.

I like that there’s so much more of it, he said. It’s as if the red is winning.

Does red get a prize? she asked.

Perhaps, he replied, as he entwined her fingers in his.



November 12, 2016

On that morning, she climbed toward the abandoned church, its roof long collapsed, its walls still standing.

If I ever marry, he had said, and he described this place, talked about beginning a new chapter where another had ended.

She remembered holding his hand as he told her this, and she remembered how she knew, even then, they would not stand at that altar together.

She felt the bedrock on which this church stood beneath her feet. She looked up at the light filtering down through the few remaining beams above. She breathed deep and began to build anew.


Off the streets

September 2, 2016

What is this? I asked, standing awkwardly next to a table where two men sat, small cars and their tiny parts spread in front of them.

RC car racing, the man replied. It’s just like regular car racing, only smaller. You either like it or you don’t.

Is this every week? I asked, though I knew I was unlikely to be back that way for a long, long while.

Every other week, he said. It keeps us off the streets.


Wine cellar

August 30, 2016

He kissed her quickly, then, in the wine cellar. She had not expected that when he showed her down the narrow stairs into the rough room, had expected only to see what wine he had and to see what he would pair with the meal. She had not been kissed like that in a very long time, and that made it even more surprising, more lovely, like stumbling across a long-forgotten favorite belonging in the dark recesses of a cupboard. She kissed him back, and remembered what it was like to fall in love.


Some Thursdays are like this

August 4, 2016

I unwrap the bagel—stuffed with avocado, sprouts, cucumber, bacon—and it sits there, stable, ready, waiting for my first bite.

But I have to stretch my jaw to get my mouth around it, and that is the moment when I realize I burned the roof of my mouth yesterday without knowing it, and the bagel’s surface is awfully rough, and biting down will leave the taste of iron on my tongue. With each bite, the fillings slide around, redistributing themselves into something less balanced, less pleasing.

This is not the breakfast I expected.