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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Playing the Player

I’m sitting at the table where the employees take breaks and smoke cigarettes. After closing, it’s where we drink and unwind. I just got off from my fourth twelve hour shift in a row and I’m tired. I’m debating whether I should drink again tonight […]

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marble reunion

Mountain or martian blueberries are two other names for moqui marbles. I don’t know where the name moqui comes from, just that I always want to spell it like the Japanese ice cream, mochi. They’re pretty boring rocks, going by looks alone. Grayish blue, round, […]

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The Sea Hag

Raíz lay down, in a black burqa, on the white sheet. From above, she must have looked like an abstract painting, a single black brushstroke on a white canvas, or like calligraphy. The sun radiated out over her in a massive golden spiral and the […]

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Simple Bouquets

Using borrowed garden shears, I cut the stems of violets then use my water bottle as a vase to bring them home. These purple and white petals will form a simple bouquet to set on the table between our dinner plates. It’s midweek, so nothing […]

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An unfortunate oxymoron

My daughter doesn’t know what I mean when I say, “Family party.” She knows the two words, but together they don’t make much sense. She’s more familiar with family disaster and family emergency and family troubles, words often headlining her absence notes. Close your eyes […]

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just how you do so many things

Your wife isn’t allergic to cats, so she’s at the party, playing board games that pair well with red wine, getting fur on the black leggings she wears under her floral skirt, and you’re at home watching a two hour special about pharaohs on the […]


Making Pizza with Cousin Pauly

Cousin Pauly is teaching my mother how to make pizza like he makes at Yetty’s, his Italian restaurant in Herkimer, New York. Wearing matched blue gingham aprons, faces whitened with flour, they tease each other and work the dough. Haven’t seen my mother laugh like […]