Archive for the ‘Kind of true’ Category

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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.

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Three-fifths

July 8, 2016

The last line of the haiku should have been five syllables, but he stopped at three.

He was out of words, after all, and he had spent much of the day thinking about the U.S. Constitution.

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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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