Any City

Mom came downstairs, her eyes looking like she’d been crying all morning. I was still in bed, in the unfinished basement that was now my room. The leggings under my sweatpants itched. She barely ran the heat anymore. Getting out of bed meant getting ready for work—putting on the yellow…

Far Post

My lip is swollen like a bee sting. On the inside it keeps rubbing against my braces, sore. All I can think about is the salty flavor of the cut in my mouth, and I’ve been late to every class, my mind wandering down the hall, sucking on this sore.…

Scalpeen

1 There is a racial memory by which the past is continually accumulated and preserved. —Henri Bergson, A New Philosophy Even before my father bought a remote parcel of brushy-up land in Appalachian Ohio’s Monroe County (which land and the people living around it has become a major source of…

At the Gate

Say you are not watching people take off their shoes, put their belongings on  a conveyer, empty their pockets of change. Say you are wearing  an extravagant silk scarf, oversized sunglasses, a brilliant smile. No searches stand between you and the silver jet warming its engines at the gate. But…

The Warp

Everything rusts, warps, settles off-center askew. I ask you, Is this what I meant to make of myself? Except what’s entered the cracks in the smooth façade of my intent is bright—unforeseen as moonlight’s body in the radiant dark. Rusted solid, I am stuck in spots I had set all…