Belongings

Belongings

The daughter’s wind chimes have been stolen. Someone swiped the singing things right off the cobwebbed porch. But more, too: her dusty rolling pin she bakes pies for her mother with, chef’s knife she rocks over garden-grown herbs, Guatemalan painting, Danish desk—all...
The Migration of Kiruna

The Migration of Kiruna

It began with the mail. That’s not true. It started generations ago when we came on railcars pulled north by the steady tug of buried ore. But then it was the arrival of the mail—two envelopes, bulging with declarative sentences and government seals—that pushed us...
Adverse Reactions Include Sudden Misplaced Temper

Adverse Reactions Include Sudden Misplaced Temper

The ocean is storm-crazy, just the way I like it. It is as if the storm inside me plays itself out there, with the sharp dive of pelicans, gray spray, and choppy waves. At least this out-door break-room has a view, unlike most restaurants I’ve worked in. Below me, God...
The Toad

The Toad

Flattened by a car, its arms spread out, a little like Jesus. The sun had baked it as crisp as a potato chip. “Poor toad,” Maria said. “Didn’t know how to cross the road.” “Maybe he thought the car was a new friend,” I said. “Rushing to greet him.” “Or he was puzzling...
Landing

Landing

In the evening I sit out on the back porch watching the lit up flight pattern of the planes coming in for landing. They come right at me like a surging highway. I wear my binoculars. Sometimes I even make signs. WELCOME TO EARTH, said one of these signs. I mowed it...
Sidney and Jane: A Play

Sidney and Jane: A Play

(A rainy evening in a poor sector of London in 1890. Crossing a street, Sidney sees Jane and goes to greet her.) Sidney:      Jane! Jane:          Sidney? Good evening. Sidney:      Rather a harsh evening, in fact. Jane:          Yes, the rain is so chilly. I keep...