Month: November 2017

Restoration Management

I have a sister. We don’t always get along, but that’s generally what I say when asked the perilous question: How many people are in your family? There are too many in the mix; around the time my sister was born, my parents split and began to acquire and then inevitably lose stepchildren. I have one half-sister. One stepbrother stuck around too, and he’s a good guy so he counts in some way. I also have an aunt and uncle who were raised by my mom. I never know when to include them, or when they include me. I...

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Thanksgiving

First was your uncle, flattened by a tractor thirty years before you were born. Second came your eldest cousin, who wishing to examine the inner workings of the cow feeder, split open their thighs on razor-sharp blades, only to be carried to the farmhouse and stitched together again. Third was your father, who shed his blood in increments. A rambunctious bull and his kicks to the fourth and fifth fingers. A drunken four-wheeler ride into thorny bramble. Three times a tumble down the stairs of the farmhouse, each step framed by upturned nails, a nudity you never understood. Your...

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Angles

The dog ogles the woman as she bites into the cheese with strong, white teeth. You see how he dreams up the possibility of chewing the cheese between his own teeth, which, if he looked at the mirror ten times a day like she does, he’d know are bigger and sharper than hers. But it wouldn’t make a difference. He knows better than to bark, put his paw on her leg or dirty her dress, so he fetches the turtle in the living room and hurls it into the kitchen, for the young woman to bend or slip over...

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Advice from the Institute

We want to help you with this. People always say that but we mean it. You are in search of a kiss. A common journey, but not easily accomplished. Many obstacles line the path toward it, or toward them, if you are imagining several. It’s hard not to imagine several, or fear the judgement you may place on yourself if the kissing were to stop at one. An abrupt end to a kiss creates a lifetime of confusion, and worse still is the kiss that is accepted, then refused. “Okay, this has gone on long enough,” that sort of...

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Cavern Obscura

That old expression about the fox in the henhouse, she’d woken up thinking those words. Everywhere, the fog was thicker than where she stood on the rocky shoreline. The hissing and fizzing of the ocean below could beguile, and did. News reports lately of elaborate missions with helicopters to retrieve the bodies. Yesterday in the courtroom, when she’d taken her daughter’s hand in hers, the hot flesh and bones, a primal circuitry fired in her brain. Her girl’s hand, a young woman’s burning soft hand. How long since her girl had been touched in comfort? Her daughter tolerated but...

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