It was a family meeting under the singing pines in 1972. /
The look-alike humans were breathing hard and moving /
up the hill to their meeting spot. What would soon be said /
would soon be lost to my ears for twenty years but never /
leave the hippocampus of my eyes.
In your country, where you are from, I don’t know what / your people say to you, when they recognize you for the // first time, looking like all the rest, with your dirty sack of / laundry and your pencil dangling like a spider on your ear.
In a dream my nipples have been cut / open along the seams of my areola. A perfect dark circle, // the cavern of my breast. There, against the rims / clings a white paste, dried-up milk. // Elation. I have it in me after all.
Inside my hip a mother bird / is still constructing her nest— // beak against pelvic bone, scraping / as she arranges twig upon twig, little // splinters in the hollow where / once my own child ripened.
In a backyard suburb east of the Willamette river / my grandma sat my cousins & me around a well / waxed wooden table, had us pronounce each other’s / middle names until we could do so without stumbling.
An idea so fleeting it’s mere outline, dim constellation. / I think of abducting you— // a consideration as gentle and banal as what fruit to buy / for the week. It’s really only the word that compels, // abduct, abducere, to lead away as if by the hand, lovingly.
The Winemaker Has A Story He’s Going To Tell You Whether You Like It or Not
The tasting room is a dozen steps down from the tourist-packed street and at least ten degrees cooler. Abby lets out a relieved sigh and flaps her arms at the elbow to dry the pit sweat from her dark t-shirt.
And he thought of his father, and of how he had always thought as a boy that a man was a family thing, and he thought that the next time he went home, he would tell his father that he knew now that a man was not a family thing, that he was not firstly a family thing at least.
During the spring semester of my international graduate program, I responded to an ad for a babysitter. The father wrote back and invited me for an interview. I consulted my Amsterdam map, hopped on my bike, and found their address, a house somewhere on the edges of affluence.