How to get close without going over. How to feign lust for whatever’s on offer. How the largest possible quantity of anything is a lifetime. A lifetime of oat bran. A lifetime of timing belts. A lifetime of saying, sure, why not, i’m only on earth x number of years, and not knowing what to make
I live a small life, barely bigger than a speck, barely more than a blip on the radar sweep though it is not nothing, as the garter snake climbs the rock rose shrub and the squirrel creeps on bramble thorns. Not nothing to the crows who heckle from the crowns of the last light’s trees
Six years ago, the big museum sold eight famous paintings to purchase, for unspecified millions, Gustave Caillebotte’s Man at His Bath. Now it’s hip to have a print of it, and whenever I see one hung for decoration, I’m almost certain that this is what Caillebotte had in mind when he broke out the oils in
Mrs. Yeager’s handout of college prep vocab words was meant as an onerous task for a neophyte, a germane lexicon, but I ascertained first what had been my uncle’s initials: S A T. I heard no more of the lecture, repeated silently his moniker. Was this (a) auspicious; (b) ominous; (c) merely benign? My
Toward the end, she could only lift a cup of coffee. Closer still, even that became too much for her, my mother. A sponge, then, I’d dip in coffee, or dip sweet bread, and put that to her lips to suck. That was all the cancer let her manage. The IV was her sugar water,
In those days, my dreams always changed titles before they were finished and I wanted only to love in that insane tortured way of poor dear Dmitri Karamazov. Suddenly, I was speaking the language of lapdog and samovar. This is the ballroom, the barracks, the firing squad. This is the old monk with the beard
My parents worshipped at the altar of the present, each moment an opportunity for bickering, for one of them, in their elaborate game of cat-and-mouse—Didn’t you say it was going to rain today? Who put the salt and pepper here, it’s gone in the cabinet above the stove for sixty years—to gain a slight advantage.
The music of the anthem has no boundary, no sworn allegiance, no nation save the one we lower into its dying body. A soldier kneels over a soldier’s grave, and the tune is not the name he reads but the hand that brushes the dirt to read it. If you search the anthems of the
if the body is just a parable about the body if breath is a leash to hold the mind then staying alive should be easier than it is most sick things become dead things at twenty-four my liver was already covered in fatty rot my mother filled a tiny coffin with picture frames I spent
The colors are off. Muted, like a confession. That’s what drew me to it, this rug in the middle of my living room floor. I found it enchanting. We’d lost our first to moths—what could we do? It was their season. I didn’t know how to save things. This one would be different.