There is nothing grandma wants morethan a little pace. She mutters in Italianfor Our Lady Madonna Mia to give her some then sighs over the tagliatelle she cut that morningfrom the flattened dough, yolk-tinged stripsfloured and arranged on the coarse white cloth she’s laid out on her tall bed soContinue Reading

I. Papa takes you to the tracksand lays the pennies on the rails.The bushes are frothy withQueen Anne’s Lace. Fireweed and loosestrifespindle and spike.Some kind of nettlehas to be watched for. Gravel plinks the steelas we head for cover,crushing springy buttercupsand clover as we go. A smell, ferrous, poised,riotously secret,Continue Reading

She remembers snow forts packedwith ammunition, ice balls snivelingdown her back, frost stiffening her mittensbefore she could even launch a defensive. Icicles were nearly as tall as little Mary-down-the-street, who once fell in the sticker bushes,and, before she screamed herself to death,had to be rescued by someone else’s frantic mother.Continue Reading

Pipe cleaner ponies pokewinsome hooves above the stone stage. Conspiracies giggle from the nest of gniessand tree limb. There is no doubt that the fairies are involved withthe tricksy lighting and rustling stagecraft. The vireos and warblers suspend songand disbelief while ponies sprout wings and Pegasus promenades airily in,pastel feathersContinue Reading

She liked the way I watchedthe redstart work the berryfrom the butcher’s broomand how I quieted my bodywhen the stoat poked itstwitchy whiskers from its den. She liked when Mrs. Trengrousepoked me with her hazel stickwhile I crouched to see the pearlson a fritillary feeding from a thistleso I didn’tContinue Reading

In the darkness,women and childrenare wading in the water. I. Cebu, Visayan Sea When the imagination failsto discover a girl, Magdalena,scanning the tie linesfor clumps of swaying guso,the harvesting of which willschool her into lifting on moredistant, choppy, speculative seas. II. Gorumna, Droim Quay, Ceantar na nOileán Bríd Ní MháilleContinue Reading

for Anna Laura Grace Elena The crushed rubies and sweet woodruff are Angelina, who died of her ninth bambino, making a bed of her memory for her two-year-old Laura who would see her mother’s ghost ever after on the landing, backlit by gaslight and need. The lapis lazuli and bluebellsContinue Reading

A gorillazooed in a kindly habitatnot quite likeits mountained ownrecently cradled a fallenhuman infant, unused to heightsand jarred from its slipaway from mother’s arms.The gorilla, a mother herself, understood yowling when she heard it. She set the child before the keeper’s gate, assuming kindshould goimmaculate to kind,knowing the bandied creaturewouldContinue Reading

She struggles to breathe in the icy air,gulping trouble and guile from voicesnot her own. She has learned to skate betweendazzlers and blunderers on the gridlockedcity rink, ankles burning with intent andtentative discovery of the sweetspot for equipoise, remaining mostly upright,steering into a valiant glide, knowinga fall is imminent, inescapablewhenContinue Reading

This day limps and whimpersin a sudden mob of jeers and taunts.Remorse muscles in, blockingthe tease of possible lightwith a fuggy pulse of wayward,gravel-blind, monstrous self-absorption. This is the end of the worldand only imps and devils are afoot,the wrecks beset by iron-hearted lootersstealing movement from the air, invitinga tepidContinue Reading