The robber raised a gun and I peeled an orange. I figured that’s what he wanted. He didn’t look like a robber.
Don handed the letters over my gate, asked how things were going. All I had to say was, “It’s today.”
We’re communicating in semaphore now. Out on the lake with our red and yellow flags in separate little row boats. It takes most of the morning to spell out everything.
Given the size and scope of my family, I consider myself lucky that we are so close.
They say that ghosts can slip through walls, but we can’t. We don’t know if it is something special about us, and by “special,” we mean the opposite, of course—some further way we can’t do what others take for granted.
Grief rubs a red rose against the top pane of the front window during a pleasant time where the day unfurls like a carpet, disappearing under our feet.
It’s a pipedream in the playground with Sierra. She runs to the swing. I tally each arc into the air. ‘I can count too,’ squeals the three-year-old. ‘One, two, five, 40-hundred.’
You don’t remember, but I was thirteen when I met Mort. I’d forgotten my scarf in the church pew and when I went back to get it I found him, sitting alone.
Once she finishes her scene, Claire puts on a pot of coffee to be ready once they wrap up for the day. It’s become a ritual, coffee and fellowshipping after Easter pageant rehearsals.
The woods behind our house, leaves crunching underfoot, trees towering above, their branches keeping out most of the light.
Mrs. Argyll had been adamant on one.
‘If it was me I’d take both,’ said Mrs. Forsyth. Mrs. Argyll’s gaze swept towards the window. The sun was as brazen as the daffodils.
Yellow jackets swarm out of an old tire. Stinging me and my brother on every exposed part of our small bodies. My mother hits them with some Raid.
The earliest ones aren’t yours. You steal them from whoever raised you. Remnants rescued from the garbage: your mother’s perfume bottle, a lipstick worn flat, the paper-towel cardboard you use to trumpet your arrivals.
I tell you I’ve only ever shown it to a girl who I met on a tour bus in Moscow, where I was traveling with my parents. She had bad acne, and she really liked Duran Duran.
The old man fell asleep in his car, his nostrils pressed softly against the steering wheel, but the car kept going, because the old man’s foot was not asleep, was still pressing down hard, and later they would say, it’s not really his fault, he’s such an old man.
It’s been twenty minutes since the first bolt of lightning ripped a scar through the purple night sky. Since my mother said to swim in the rain ― it’s fun. Since her boyfriend Colin said he’d join us― to check we’re ok.
In the barren cold camp, you wear a dusty cape and top hat, wave my cane as if it were a wand and tell me your dream-stories, one after the next, your words spun and tossed like tethers into the air.