My Jonah

My Jonah

Twenty-seven years ago, I wanted a name beginning with the letter “J” for my son, to honor the memory of my maternal grandmother Jennie Strochak. An abundance of boys’ names begin with J, many of them Biblical in origin: Jacob, Joseph, Jonathan, Joshua, Jeremy (after...
Home

Home

The living room was small and immaculately clean. From my place on the carpet, I could see a few tiny crumbs from the crackers I had eaten earlier, but that was because Mommy hadn’t done today’s vacuuming yet. Soon, there would be no evidence that anyone had eaten a...
How I See the Humans

How I See the Humans

Fucking wayward duck. It’s outside the Metro station at Farragut North, where I’m meeting my friend Haley. The bird is so close I can see the concrete beneath its delicate and transparent webbing. It’s rush hour in DC, and the duck keeps waddling out into rapids of...
The Symbolic Coast

The Symbolic Coast

1. In 1991 archeologist Chris Henshilwood dug an oblong piece of ochre small enough to fit in the hand out of the 77,000-year-old level of Blombos Cave, on the coast of South Africa east of Cape Town and near the southernmost point of the continent. The cave mouth had...
The Heart of the Farm

The Heart of the Farm

When I was a child I believed the farm where I grew up was a living being. As a living being, it had a heart. The location of the heart was obvious to me, though it seemed I was the only one who knew. I didn’t tell anyone. I went to visit the heart, from time to time,...
Not Sleeping, Yet

Not Sleeping, Yet

It’s grey hair on the pillow now. Night owl, I inhabit a still house, keeping quiet, not wanting to disturb my sleeping wife. Even for me, awake, such hours have the feel of dreams. A pool of light under my lamp where I sit reading, half-lit hallways and stairwells,...