Hawaii, 2014

My daughter is passed out in her grandmother’s bed – the steady rise and fall of her ribs in her tiny Ariel swimsuit. She sleeps through the sound wafting in through the screen door to the balcony. Rasp of a breeze through the palm fronds, […]

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Thanksgiving with Uncle Charlie

Uncle Charlie sits alone on the porch. The rest of us are inside getting ready for Thanksgiving dinner. I sit by the fire and watch him through the big window in the front room. It’s a cold, windy Thanksgiving in the mountains of Eastern Kentucky. […]


Tobacco and Tea

Granma’s room was always dark and cool no matter how hot it was outside. Shaded by aspidistra, ferns, ivy, begonias, she sat on her armchair. Jaundiced light slipped through the tobacco-stained fabric of the sun blinds she kept pulled low. Silent as a mouse you […]

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The morning after the dastardly attack by the Japanese on Pearl Harbor, when that ole recruitment center in Amarillo opened up, I rightly recall Sam Lofton standin amongst the other men crowded against the door. Lofton was the son of Jim Lofton, out in Hutchinson […]

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Dive-Bombing Tourists

And when I get to the cafe on the breakwater, mum is picking at a cinnamon bun but not really eating it, just deconstructing its parts and sorting them into distinct piles on the table: icing, raisins, bread. My sister is squished in beside her […]

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Right Turn

My friend drives the car with her left foot propped up against the window frame.  Helps circulate the air up my shorts, she says, keeps me nice and cool in the summer heat.  She had once signaled left with her foot, but the cop tailing […]

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Art of Language

Only in my mind can I talk. What about these neuron dashes across the dark screen of my injured brain? Those are the words I cannot form. Nerve signals to my face, tongue and mouth muscles are jammed. Held up. Can’t get through. So, I […]

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It’s an eclectic place with two dragon heads and another dualistic art piece: two coal black drawings of hollowed women are framed in one rectangular piece of glass. A library is carved into the wall with well-manicured spines of books and a couch is carved […]

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My childhood was one of outdoor games, cuts, bruises, torn clothes, muddy shoes, mischief. Even though playing outside strengthened mine and my sister’s immune systems and we rarely got seriously ill, minor cuts, infections, and colds were unavoidable and somehow inevitable. My grandma Lena took care of […]


Reality Reality

There’s a camera crew in the bushes outside the restaurant when I walk in. I can’t see them but the bushes rustle as I walk by and I hear the whirring of what must be cameras. It’s our first date. We sit at a white-clothed […]

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She’d never liked how she looked in pictures. Photos were fine, actually—most were pretty accurate, the diminutive black machines saw to it. It was the paintings that annoyed her, prompting her to hide behind the nearest water-logged cloud. Which would explain why they unfailingly depicted […]

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Black Coffee Barista

Jeremy served his hundredth morning expresso while watching Beth. Continuous orders interrupted his view as foam hearts, leafs, and kitties dominated coffee requests. Instagram was a barista’s worst nightmare. Yet Eliza “Beth” Adaline predicted with unearthly accuracy what pleased. She danced through her morning shift, […]

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