The Unanswered Question

29 June 2019 in Writing

The accordion lies dismembered on his workbench. The front grille and rear shell, having been removed and placed near the window, throw pearlescent shadows on the wall. Pins and small screws rest on individual scraps of paper, identified by designations written in spidery handwriting. It’s a cipher only he understands: A1, Z2, H, 5, O. He stretches the bellows from one end of the workbench to the other and begins examining each fold for bugs, or holes, or both. While working, his mind drifts but he doesn’t realize it. He wonders what love is, and if he will know it, if he were to love. He cradles the keyboard end of the accordion in the crook of his arm. Closing
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Laundering

1 May 2019 in Writing

The clothesline was in the back yard, not at the edge of the garden, where neighbors placed theirs. Clothes don’t grow like carrots, I remember thinking, and I wouldn’t thin a line of clothes by plucking and discarding the undesirables. The back yard was better, anyway, for the swath of thick green grass that separated the house from the field. There, the clothesline spun around, an almost spider’s web of cotton and denim, sheets and underpants, all crisping in the sun. Actual clothes on the line were long ago; now, I hang the laundry of memories and lost loves. My head flops back as I stretch to pin each one on the line. From under the lilac bush, one of
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On Love

10 April 2019 in Heather, Writing

Sometime one summer when I was almost or maybe ten, I found a bird under one of the lilacs behind the house. I watched it gasp a few last breaths and knew it would die. I kept watching. My little brother swooped in, hollering, and scooped the bird into the bowl of his hands. It’s what I had wanted to do but wouldn’t allow myself. My brother and I examined the bird, from the flutter of the smallest feathers around its neck, soft as love, to its round eye, hardening like spilled ink. I stared into it, and the eye seemed to expand. I observed the point of its beak and was tempted to see if it might pierce my
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My Boy

28 March 2019 in Writing

He slammed the screen door, but the screen door demurred, bouncing against the door frame with a polite pat. He threw his backpack across the cracked-ice Formica tabletop, but the sweat-soaked canvas stopped it in its tracks. With two desires unmet, he couldn’t help but bellow: “I want ice cream!” At this, his mother opened her eyes. Cat nap over, she kicked her outstretched legs off the chrome-framed chair. The thin fabric of her dress, no longer caught in the current of the box fan on the floor, deflated. “The fridge blew out. Everything’s melted.” The boy fell to his knees in front of the box fan and screamed, his voice phasing against the spinning blades. “Ice cream!” He vocoded.
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Magritte’s Lovers

21 March 2019 in Writing

After enduring the humid chamber of clasped teenage hands, We vowed, as adults, intimate anonymity. The only sweet saliva we would know was our own. The perfection of our matrimony mimicked the crown moulding. A necessary unnecessary that sought to define us as separate.

César

20 March 2019 in Writing

In the reflection of his mirrored sunglasses she could see the ironed smoothness of her hair— a gleaming halo of gold—as the late afternoon sun crowned her: Queen. From the café table on the sidewalk, they could patrol the borders, of the countries of murmured conversations inside the restaurant of the brilliant green lick of the median dividing the street of the as-yet-to-conquer City tucked in a thin envelope of fog, beyond. She raised a glass of pink champagne to her lips, smiling as the dishes and cutlery in the kitchen fell forward in audible supplication. He lowered his head to the clay dish of olives on the table, counting the slick orbs as if they were coins and parsing
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