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For Sale

The room where she sits is gray, dull, and pale. Night is falling. And the moon is shining in through the blinds on the back window, casting shadows on the colorless walls. She sits with her back pressing flush against it and she stares at […]

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November 22

He’s been sitting on the sidewalk for an hour, the umbrella man, his collar too tight, his feet falling asleep. He looks around and this is what he sees: the plaza, the county jail, the freeway sign, the book depository. Everything. He checks his watch, […]

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The single gloves I find in our orchards mostly have rough-out leather palms and long wrist gauntlets and sometimes tags: “Hecho en Mexico,” “Lobo, Ltd.” and “for citrus picking.” Citrus trees have thorns that would make a rose bush weep green with envy, so if […]

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13 Ways of Looking at a New Professor

I.     After an initial interview for a first teaching job at a small liberal arts college in the late 1980’s, I wait in my office. The phone rings; it’s someone I don’t know from the department that interviewed me. “Are you a member of […]



At night she lies in her dusky bed and blows bubbles. They expand on the ridged loop of the dipping stick and with a puff of her breath they float away, dozens at a time. I hop around the room, dodging the piles of claustrophobic […]

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Waltz for a Cat

Judy and I were lying in bed, alone together. We had opened the window to let in a breeze. The sounds of life at street level entered the room. Cars honked, birds chirped, and in the craziness of life, I felt safe. “Have I ever […]

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Like a Post

I’m not a violent person, but if I could go back in time and sucker punch the lady in the Nike tracksuit, I would. I remember the way she shaded her face as her teeth came down on her gum over and over. She smelled […]

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Barrel Farther

They could have been driving down any street in America. The only things reminding her that she’d reached Los Angeles were the palm trees—just the occasional palm, squat and brown, barely rising above the single story houses. Junior hadn’t been driving for long, yet his […]

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The Murderess

Shedding old lives like a snake shedding skins had become familiar to her, but this one was proving more difficult than what had become standard. It wasn’t the emotional attachments that encroached themselves upon her in the past five years that made disengagement hard. Though […]

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     On a late night when Paul was twenty-two, he walked past two men just inside a dark alley. The larger of the two had the other pushed up against a wall with a knife under his chin. The smaller man looked at Paul […]

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My Old Man’s Suit

Man, how long has it been since I have seen my Old Man in that suit? Or any suit for that matter. Well, if he was to be seen in a suit, it would be that one. Don’t think he ever owned any other. Mom […]

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A Roman Taxi Ride

Mother and I arrived, via shuttle bus, at Termini Station in the center of Rome. From there we intended to take the metro to Battistini, the northernmost stop on Line A, where our landlord, Angelo, would meet us. That was the plan, anyway. Mother took […]

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