Month: April 2017

spring broke half a nation-state away

so i drive 900 miles home too soon after the surgery, just to bleed on sheets i’ve seen before. just to attest, yes, this is the look that gapes my mother’s face when i tell her out loud i never want my womb to blessed be like hers, to dental patient open wide and bear the flowers of the underworld, to clamor, crack, translucidate, all for an oligarchic demiurge whose grumbles i know not, the deadbeat daddy behind hiroshima and cancer alley, behind the eyeball-eating parasite and leprosy and lice–behind my lifetime, a thousand other maladies line up to...

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In a Chapel Built of Trees

Yes, we had a fight in the logging camp bunkhouse re-creation diorama. Yes, we did! You were looking at an old photographic print glued onto particle board—scratched, faded from greasy fingerprints—of a logging camp group shot. We had been fighting about your brother, I think. He wanted to homeschool, and you—Wait, hear me out!—were all for it, and I, yes, had some things to say about that. But, nevertheless, inside the cramped reconstruction while looking at the tiny bunks, wondering if I’d be able to fit on them myself—if, somehow, I’d found myself traveled back through time, how I’d...

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She and the Bright Bluish Infinity Between

Start with the eyes. Forget the way they sink back into their sockets like shipwrecks, the way her clouded pupils mushroom toward the sapphire horizon of her irises. Don’t look. Concentrate. Inhale the caustic odour of bleach-scrubbed tile. Hear the drone of the exhaust fan behind you. Grip the burnished stainless steel table. Tighter. Don’t slip away. Don’t— —let go. You tread water. Your legs are lead weights. The current coils around your hips, your arms, your throat, and drags you beneath the surface. You pound your fist into the waves. Foaming crests leap overhead and maul your face...

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Waiting for the door to close on us

I contemplate my marriage standing next to a toaster. According to the menu, it is toasted bread with jalapeño flavored butter for today. Strawberries on the side. The crunch reminds me how we used to crack walnuts. Stick it in the space between the closing door and its frame, right above the hinge. If we were lucky, it’d split into exact halves. A perfect divorce. I write down the names of the cities we visited. The skyline we brought back. After a while, there were only clouds between us, our blurry smiles like white markers on negatives. Your essential...

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Autopilot

My brother’s looking at my crooked teeth. “You could cut glass with that mouth,” he says. My brother smells. He hasn’t showered all week. What does he know? I tell him my teeth are as straight as fence boards. “Yeah, and like how you speak with a lisp,” he says. He lets out a long s like a snake. We look at the mountain and it’s hypnotic. “It’s a fortress of good and evil,” my brother says, referring to some dumb comic book. I hate comics. I don’t want to read words in bubbles. People don’t talk like that....

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