The point of a circle

i. In this twice-awful summer, we’ve become seasoned to the swell of black powder and scorched cedars coming in from Dorian Bandy’s old tobacco farm. One pretty day, I’ll invite you to see for yourself the swath of red-dirt graves stretched out like a shadow across that particular valley.  Joselia, it’s not just us who […]

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You tell me about the elasticity of mourning, and I still don’t think you know what that means. Laurel, am I supposed to shoetree this, fit it into something comfortable for you? How do you carry it, all this anger, and more; do you expect me to carry it for you? So. Here it is. […]

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A collection of things

The trade winds have roughened since yesterday. There’s a cinnamon whiff of Carolina allspice in the air, another thing that’s blown in from the south. It doesn’t remind me of home, but it does remind me where I came from. Each thing in this room is balanced by another thing, and each of them falls, […]

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Brewers Mills 1974

This is the place where the story becomes unbearable if left untold, he said. This is where the tale-teller sacrifices everything that bears the weight of all that noise. I listened to him rant, again. It was always about the providence of the tale-teller, never about the other participant, the sacrificial listener. He could have […]

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Brewers Mills 1971

There we were,  burying a goddamn horse all the clouds smashing against a depthless sky we waited in strained attentiveness for the sound of a moon to howl back at us  we knew this was the distance we were from kings

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Lime slippers

I . You said:  “So — and just so you know this, just so you recognize what I am telling you — this will mean the end of your crisp hospital corners.” “Française, please, Marie. Pas d’anglais s’il vous plaît.” You squeezed your eyes shut. You hated this; I knew this about you. “Cela signifiera […]

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I remember when dust was more beautiful than substance, something uncatchable, something whisked into cat corners. This was home. This was being a child.  There is a box of in-season lettuce on the sidewalk beside the glass doors of Karl’s Barber Shop. Ladybugs — many — are sitting on the cardboard folds. Do they sit […]

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we sleep above the roots our legs knotted our hands folded beneath us listening for the weeds to rinse from our ears all the twitches of the road we have seen all there is, you say, and we will eat what first must be blessed — old hamburger meat and flour tortillas from torn plastic […]

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Ruby, my dear

(Inspired by Ruby, My Dear by Thelonious Monk) She has forgotten the beats of her lightness the circadian rhythm of rest of motion of rest each passing morning presses into her belly and each passing day cinches around her hips and each passing night brails across her breasts and each passing year reaches a suffocating […]

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