Birthday Party

What hard work it is pretending to be happy at the birthday party when there is so much gaiety and laughter floating in the air beneath the colorful balloons. Your smile is without joy and you hope that your stomach will kill those goddamned butterflies that are without beauty or wings that you could grabContinue reading “Birthday Party”

Moral Superiority

The meeting was off to a start so good there were homemade cookies and bottled lemonade iced down in a cooler. The knitters guild gathered in the cliché of a church basement dimly lit. The colorful skeins strained to show off their true colors as they were added stitch and purl to the scarf orContinue reading “Moral Superiority”

The Sex Talk

Dearest son—fifteen years is how old I was when my mother felt too awkward to share with me the details of our nature. Words like desire and sex occupied a vocabulary incompatible with her hopes for me. She must have thought that speaking of love and reputation would be enough to exempt me from theContinue reading “The Sex Talk”

Happy Guy

Some mothers keep it all— everything. Every little thing the lost child loved or touched or made. I wasn’t such a mother. I wanted only a few keepsakes— made more precious by the value he had given them. His favorite thing was my favorite thing— which was one of his earliest drawings he called “HappyContinue reading “Happy Guy”

What We Want

Don’t— don’t give it to me. Do not give it to me. Even though I want it. I want to want it— whatever it is don’t let me have it taste it bruise it ruin it — just let me sit here with it out of reach— my heart singing and burning and longing forContinue reading “What We Want”

Mother’s Day

Children— each of you, listen. I love you all. All three of you, who have aroused in me a unique and independent love— three different loves all rooted in the womb of blood and warmth. How many days have we buried in the soil of years? Can you see how much good has grown evenContinue reading “Mother’s Day”

The Place Where You Live

For some of you the ache in your body has nothing to do with youth which is what you’ll be told when you’re found on the edge of your bed like an aborted love letter crumpled into a ball. This is the seed of your happiness. This is the beginning of your comprehension. For yearsContinue reading “The Place Where You Live”

What Have We Done

What have we done but fall into that bright darkness where everything has edges so smooth and soft it seems impossible to feel lost or wrong or even sorry for what we found What have we done but watch each other fall into that bright darkness where everything has edges so smooth and soft weContinue reading “What Have We Done”

Artificial Light

They both have warmth— the two sources of your illumination. One has given you a kind of promise by showing up every day proving to be reliable, predictable, something you can sink the teeth of your trust into. The other you can turn on and off as easily as flipping a switch depending on yourContinue reading “Artificial Light”


I lied to you. It wasn’t true that I had to leave, that I had to step away from our clandestine conversations for fear we’d be discovered. There was no danger we’d be found out— no risk of my losing it all because we shared ourselves as best we could with seventeen hours and twentyContinue reading “Mistaken”