I do not know what verb tense to use when I write about homework help, because it is happening both now and thirty-five years ago.
In Ostia, 1975, you were not yet the explosive teen who became my explosive husband. You were thirteen in tight jeans and a turtleneck sweater.
Start anywhere…The day my father and infant daughter first met on his hospital bed birthday, both grinning, happy babies.
I catch the Skip at the last bus stop on the route, the one right next to the homeless shelter. Usually, I see folks riding from this stop for a few weeks before they move on.
I am visiting my grandfather at the nursing home. All night, I must swallow my rage. I swallow my rage at the nurses who are rude to me, at the broken healthcare system. I swallow my rage at him.
The beach erodes. An entire diner was consumed in less than 13 hours, swallowed by the maw of the ocean.
From the front-row pew, reserved for the junior choir, I sat up straight, careful to keep my Sunday dress covering my knees while I kept an eye on Hologram Jesus in the ornate fake gold frame.
When the men come to my house for the last time, they cut off all the services and take everything apart from my swivel chair.
They say that I was burned, that a Roman statesman ordered my destruction with his words, screaming them into the Mediterranean winds, salt crusting his beardless face.
If I called the authorities once, I called them dozens of times about the Aye-aye.
Mom said Grandma never stood a chance. Because a name’s a shove. And when Mrs. Shapiro introduced Grandma Leary to our junior high class, the new girl was shoved into a room of cruel expressions.
When Christmas shows up, first one without you, we leave your chair empty.
Under the Florida sun, Ryan moves like a sloth through water. When he and his daughter finally reach the front of the line for Space Mountain, she bolts underneath the divider.
Leah rolls through the valley of ghouls, where she is an anxious slave to the economic order. She has found the courage to take time off work, by pretending to be sick.
Ignis, the flaming wreckage, bubbling rubber, liquified cloth, her skin charred and blistering, acrid smoke, the tiny thunders of survival’s kicks
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.
Kate is not ‘imagining it’. There are small tufts of pale fluff on her neck, and no, it’s not ‘just a tissue in the washing machine’ as John suggests. There’s nothing drifting off his shirts, nothing clinging to Ella’s favourite black top, Josh’s Minecraft t-shirts. It’s more solid than tissue, just on her clothes. And only she can see it.
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.