Archive for the ‘Kind of true’ Category


Under neon

May 14, 2019

We most often sat together under neon, in places that preferred cash. Once, I asked the kind of untoward question that, if asked of me, would have sent me lumbering into the dark recesses of my mind, and you still answered, telling me women came around, but then left you for money.

If I’d had the chance, I would have roared at these women that they had overlooked someone beautiful and warm and gentle. But it was your life to live, and we all make choices, and, anyway, those bars have changed, so much, since you left.



October 6, 2018

For months, the steps to our front door have been crumbling, the mortar sending plumes of dust into the dark crawlspace underneath. I came home from traveling to find a deepened dip, as if landing had become supplicant: Fix me. When I carry heavy bags, I step quickly, afraid of collapse.

I spent years constructing watertight staircases over my own dark spaces. But today, I am afraid to open the front door of my heart and step onto the landing. My mortar is pulverized, and my mouth is full of screams ready to unleash.


Dinner at the end of a long day

March 31, 2018

At my son’s request, I make him peanut butter and jelly, emulsified guilt on each slice of multigrain bread, bound with a sticky layer of sweet, strawberry relief.

Alongside the sandwich, I offer grapes, diced pear, slices of cucumber. He eats, or he does not. He gulps his milk greedily, demands more.

This solution seems too easy. I flog myself with nine tales of other dinners I might have cooked for him: couscous with garbanzos, lentil salad…I had so many ideas. I pour a glass of wine for myself. This day, it is enough.


Doe-eyed daughter

April 28, 2017

Doe-eyed daughter, you speak of women and children, of things they need to be secure. You sparkle in your ballgown. You share photos of your artfully arranged body on a carpet behind your son, hands folded next to a true world leader, your saddest face cheated out ever so slightly as you put your hand on the most solemn of memorials.

Do you think we don’t see your father’s ear bend toward your mouth? Do you think we miss what he says next? You may be beautiful, but you are still as transparent as your crystalline life.



April 26, 2017

We stood around the kitchen table listening to stories from that day’s march. Those of us who had not been there shared, guiltily, our reasons why—obligations and specific applications and children who might struggle in the crush of signs and long legs.

Assuming there’s a country left in which to march, we’ll be able to do it another year, one of us said.

That assumes there’s a world left in which to march, another replied.

There will always be a country left in which to march, said another. It’s just a question of what the consequences become.


Mothers without relief

April 25, 2017

I come to work as many things, the panelist said. As a black woman, as a lesbian. But my son just turned 18, and so, I come to work every day wondering if he will come home safely that night.

I think about my son teetering at the edge of a concrete platform, his terror-filled eyes locked on mine until he reset his balance. I can still summon the rising bile as I waited, out of reach, to see whether he’d plunge backward. I am grateful my fear was momentary; I am devastated for mothers who never get relief.


Marching for science

April 22, 2017

In the bathroom, my toddler son has sunk a piece of paper under water in a plastic tub. He peers at it, and declares the single letter and two scribbles on it to be his name, writ large.

What do you think will happen? I ask.

I think it will fly all the way up to the sky, he says. His arms lift with the emphasized all, his whole body certain. He pronounces sky like chai, like life.

Is that your hypothesis? I ask.

Yeah, he says, and he marches out of the bathroom and back, awaiting results.