This part of the walk always gives me the creeps, but my dog pulls behind the circle of apartment houses, back at the edge of the creek, with no regard for my fears. Animals are supposed to be more attuned to the spirit world, right? So if there’s something out there, she would know. This is what I tell myself as she takes a leisurely squat next to the loquat. I ready a plastic bag, and just as it closes around the warm excretion steaming into the night air, I hear it. Click. Whiff.Continue reading →
We reincarnate as beasts more and more cruel. Each pass through fate’s transmogrifier sharpens our claws, sour hunter’s instincts. Why say goodbye when I’ll see you again, your canines extended down below your jaw? Fur matted, dripping blood either yours or mine. It makes no difference. They’re practically the same now. We’re practically the same dumb beasts, playing on inherited senses. Driven by the compulsion to bite, kill, feed. I feel the coiling of your limbs burning in my own sinew, can sense your strike but not prevent it. Then around again through kill, rebirth. Wicked jaws bared, murders stacked.
Wish you’d followed me that night, out to the curb where the air was October crisp and changing. Needed to clear my head, but you were a fog I couldn’t drive out. So I rolled the windows down and let it seep in.
The first time a word’s impressed on my ear, it might leave a mark but never a mold. It takes a second listening for that sculpting to hold, but even then I’ll buckle my tongue before repeating the thing.
He was a bullet swiftly guided through the azure pool. Twenty feet down and his chest tightened like a hammer pulled back to click. This was the farthest he’d dove since childhood, when dares were innocent and stakes unknown. Continue reading →
She remembered the feeling, like drinking cold water too fast. Unsure if it’ll come back up, but regretting the indulgence that led to this moment. Gut full of guilt. Why did she always overreact when it came to Liam? Why wasn’t she allowed to be happy? These are the questions ghosts will ask you when you’re down, when you’ve slept the night in your closet then schlepped to work still hungover, eyes weighty and puffed. The haunted body hurts, rumbling in the joints, ice pick in the stomach. Sylvia crossed the bridge and thought of Noah, nice Noah who had thought to invite her anywhere.
Because a gulf of time surrounds me, I sit at a coffee house across from the trains to await departure. Each engine roars into the station with a wash of passengers, comings and goings. Fresh surf. The wave rumbles. Then they’re gone. And I wait, and wait, my nose in latte foam. Jealous for their oceans, impatient for my own.
Logs crackle as Hasha watches the needle in her mother’s hand pierce and reemerge from the embroidered hem of her father’s coat. Threads weave their family’s history into the garment’s borders: the victory with the defeat, the joy with the loss.
“Here is the day your grandparents married,” says Mother, pointing to two silver doves. “And here is the night fire claimed their barn.”
“What happens when the border’s complete?” Hasha asks, wondering if her life will count towards the colorful threads in her family’s coats.
“Then we’ll begin again,” Mother smiles, and clips the threads between her teeth.