The Listening Tree

What made me want him? That supple, brutal kingsnake of a boy, wine-lipped and longhaired. He was strange. People talked, but nothing touched him. I wanted strength like that, to find iron in my thin bones. So when he grabbed my wrist and asked me to come, I went. He...

While Drinking Sangria

I measure your wingspan. We split a pitcher of thick sangria. You say the circus stole your identity, wiped you off the grid and, in exchange, gave you rust-feathered flappers. Wings made of dog bones and plastic flutes, lamp posts and tin foil. You resemble an angel...

Genie in Pieces

Father is the name for what guards the front door. The world outside is full of noise. A truck, a lawnmower, a dog, and then another. Someone shouts, someone slams a door. Always someone’s anger sneaks in through the cracks. He will not subject his family to this. Not...

‘Mus Maximus’ and ‘Venice’

Mus Maximus In Pompeii we didn’t distinguish rats from mice. Just mus maxiumus or mus minimus. We didn’t know, back then, that rats tend neverto be without their kin—sure, mus maximus might eattwo of her litter, but she would neverleave the nest nippleless. I know...