Fiction

Eulogy to Language - After these words are written, after they have been absorbed, only then will they be true. Because as I write them, everything they are supposed to mean is made false by their very existence on the page. It is when the words are no longer here, when there are no words in existence to express their absence, then they will mean what they desperately want to. Language is lying, not quite dead. And as it writes itself into its ownRead more
Dear Jonathan - Dear Jonathan, I just wanted to let you know why I could not complete this week’s assignment. Please bear with my verbose explanation. As I was out walking and brainstorming thousands of edgy approaches to completing the assignment (all of which would have surely been spectacular stories if the “incident” had not happened), I came across a gothic style church. It was out of the way and behind a flat concrete wall, and I thought it would be an appropriateRead more
Paper Hands - I lay next to you either for the last time, or for eternity. Your paper hand in mine. My hair, white, as I never imagined it, though my reflection has revealed its truth for years. Am I not still a little girl? And your hair, brittle. Like your fingers in mine, placed, but not quite holding. And here we are, side by side, as we have been for years. Decades. The final race. Will you be first, or will I?Read more
The D’s and the B’s - Finally! I am fulfilling my implantation duties! I! am! the chosen one! The latexed fingers of the surgeon squeezed the B-cup saline implant. From the beginning. Ah, the necessities of breast implants. The elastomer shell with its clever self-sealing filling valve on the front. Or the back! It doesn’t matter which, as long as when they’re filled with that silicone gel or saline, they expand like angry blowfish. And this is appealing to a large amount of men. (…?) Oh but theRead more
Family Happiness - A family of four sits at a table for dinner. Together, all four. A square table. The mother stood over her empty seat next to the father, scooping out potatoes onto his dish. The son, the daughter, waiting patiently for theirs. There was no television, no radio, no candle. A family of four and a table, and that was all they needed. “Peas, please,” said the father. The daughter, not young, reached in front of her for the bowl ofRead more
Two-Face - He sat in the velvety seat. And stood back up. The sun, fading to a distant point. He closed the shades over his painted window. Yes. A painted window alongside another, truer window, through which the sun streamed by day and the darkness violated by night. On the shelf, amidst the others, sat the book he had written. One copy, filed by print date. Before his hair had been salted and his eyes had drooped he had taken a penRead more
Black Orchid - She sat upon her father’s grave, the hum of death still loud in his ears. One day she would know that sound, and then would know nothing else. The orchids in her lap, her skirt over her knees like a blanket. Her tiny backpack by her side, red, yellow, blue. The wind blew in, and Death himself followed, winding his long bones around each stone. He slithered up behind the girl. She felt the change in weather. She didn’t haveRead more
Pages in the Wind - She walks along the beach, her hair in long knots behind her. Out into the ocean, she looks. Then back down to her bare feet on the cold sand. Her notebook held closely to her chest. Do it. She thinks. She contemplates giving in to the urge to toss the pages into the water. To lose them forever. To feel exhilarated for a moment, and then to feel despair after it becomes real. She won’t do it, of course. She holdsRead more
The Girl in the Glass - There she is, the girl in the glass. She looks at me, and I forget who is standing in front of her. The stranger in the mirror, no longer recognizing me. No longer the girl looking back. She moves forward. I grow, closer to her. And then she walks away, out of sight. I disappear. She is captivated by me. She looks at me, at herself through me. But only I have seen her. I feel her forget her selfRead more
Theseus Family - A Ship of Theseus family. Mother, Father, Brother. And me. Close. And then, Brother dies. And I regret, resent Time. Now I am a Mom, married to a Dad. A new family. My family? No. Not Mother, Father, Brother. And me. But then, Mother and Father pass. And all that’s left is me of this Theseus family. I replace Mother with myself as Mom, and Father with Dad. Two roles I am reluctant to recast. And a new little SisterRead more
Ball and Change - I used to run to greet you when you’d walk through the door after work. I was small. Maybe it was 7pm. I’d hear the garage door before it opened. I’d hear you before the dogs heard you, because I’d be waiting, listening. And I’d hear. And then we’d all run over together, me and the dogs, and wait at the door. “Dad’s home.” Or I’d hide on the couch, the back of it facing the door, when I wasRead more
L’Insoutenable légèreté de LIS - He stood, watching the sun burn out. Well. In his mind he stood. He remembered what it was like to stand. He remembers standing. How his legs felt, which muscles engaged, he never noticed. What is it to stand, anyway? He sat in his wheelchair, aware. He felt the cold. He saw the cold. He saw the nurse leaning down next to him, looking out. There she was. And where was he? He sat in his wheelchair, trapped. His legsRead more
MIRRORЯOЯЯIM - I find it absurd: your face, straight-on.           There I am, inside of you. What are you made of, tell me, that my penetration is so unobstructed. So smooth. I slither around, my movements imitated. Is there a time lapse between my movements and your reflection of my movements? There must be. To be inside would be to break me. But to look: without your world, mine would not exist. I reflect just as emptily emptinessRead more
Unspoken Words - If I had said, “It’s OK, we will be alright,” would that have made it easier for him to let go? The plane went down. And he was alone. I wasn’t there. And yet, it’s so present in my mind. He felt the force of the nosedive press his back against his seat. Or was that his arms, pushing down on the armrests, throwing his back into the musty blue seat? He tries to keep far away from the noseRead more
Phase 1 - Phase 1. I am little. I learn to play the beginner’s version of “Sunrise, Sunset” on the piano. It’s fun. My father brushes my hair. I ask him, “How do we know that we’re awake and this isn’t a dream?” Phase 2. I’m working the summer before college. I missed my mother’s call. She wanted to have lunch. I realize it’s probably the last time we would have been able to do that, since I’m leaving for college. Phase 3.Read more
Blue Mary Jane - They were blue shoes. Navy. Mary Janes, I think they’re called. Well, it was just one shoe actually. A tiny, buckled shoe without a foot. I saw it there, the little toddler shoe, sideways in the street. The taxis passed by, but not close enough to run it over. Who would leave the shoe? It’s winter. It’s not so far into the street that the mother or nanny or father couldn’t reach down from the sidewalk and pick it backRead more
Sit DOWN - What time has passed! What time has passed? What time hath past, At last. Alas! Alas past hath passed Past past did pass, At last is past Passed at last. Dear Friends, In My Unforgivable Absence I Bring You…an ti ci pa tion. Anticipation. Is what? For if anticipation can build from nothing, out of nothing, is it anything at all? If nothing cannot be created from nothing, what have I given you? Nothing. And yet! Dear Friends. The anticipationRead more
The Descendent - The color was supersaturated. After I walked past the green and pink plants plastered against the heavy midnight screen, I wondered where the moon was. It was unnatural. Perhaps I should have gone back. I pushed through the gate, which locked behind me. I didn’t mind; I kept walking. “Trust me, says the ocean, vast and deep atop pearl sand.” And I search for an honest ripple. The moon perches on the ink. My feet are pulled into the water.Read more
Passing Trains - “Sometimes, before the smile actually hits your lips, it peers out through the corners of your eyes, on the very sides of your face, and it makes you look old. But at the same time, the lines belong there, because they’ve been there so often in the past that it makes your smile seem permanent, even when you’re not smiling.” He touched the side of my face with the back of his hand. “Another train.” He picked up a sliceRead more
Forget Me Not Black - Without darkness I cannot see. The light is blinding. For as long as I walk this earth I will seek the dark event horizon, and struggle to climb from the depths once fallen. The light at the end is a trick of the mind. There is no light beyond this horizon. I walk further into dark to find it. A shimmer, I see, and am plunged into darkness. The velvet black comforts me. I know it is real. The smilesRead more
Death and the Girl - I used to be afraid that if I feared Death, He would sense my weakness and seek me out. I always reasoned “I am not afraid to die, just not ready.” I created myths about Death residing in the dark oil spots on the street, and the only ones who knew what the marks really were were those who had seen Death. I imagined how Death would drag my brother into the woods at night and keep him there forever.Read more
Closer - There were pants hanging from the ceiling. Shoes attached. Shirt resting above the belt loops, supporting a swollen face. The veins in his eyes protested this, and red bloomed like ink from beneath the hazel. He was not dead yet. He hadn’t even tied his wrists. I suppose he figured if he decided it wasn’t for him, he would simply step down onto the table next to him, take a shower, and go to work. That’s what made him soRead more
La Mort - I. La Mort It exists. I know it is real. I see it. The red soaks into my hand through my coat. I should feel the pain. I know it is somewhere–but it’s an invisible pain. The elevator door opens and they walk past. Do they walk past? Have I changed positions? They do walk past. But I am dying! What chance that I had not pierced my own entrails a second earlier. How would the crowds have changed? ThatRead more
La Vide - Is it so dull that I have cast away sadness and found that I am missing it? There is a gargantuan crevasse that is all-consuming and obliterates my sense of self. I am left solely with an expanse of nothingness. Complete empty, as though if it were the case that there existed no space and no time, this would be my soul. I have accepted that eternity does not exist. So I live for the present. But as I analyzeRead more
The Fall of the Beetle - I crawl on the outside of the window more free than he, trapped in a penthouse. Worming upward. 20 stories is not high enough for me. He sits on the ledge inside thinking: This is too high. It is too close to God and he must now make me miserable.  How did he overcome the solitude previously? I wonder. Was it because he had an illusion to look forward to? And what will become of his solitude when he realizesRead more
Butterfly Lenses - I watched the camera blink as the picture was taken. There I was, the background, staring right into the future eyes of a family I do not know. How many other people’s pictures am I in? Pictures that they cut up, cut me out of, and discard. The unknown in the background–the “extra.” But this one–I will not be an extra in this one. When they take that camera to the pharmacy, develop the pictures, ogle at all the photosRead more
Theseus’s (Relation)ship - My ceiling is new. No, it is not new. It is new to me. Here I lie, watching my not-new ceiling exist. We stare each other. But I AM, and it is not, even though it exists. How can something fail to Be, despite its existence? A paradox I am unwilling to explore, as I stare at my ceiling. It is an impostor. It is not my ceiling, but a replacement. I call it my ceiling because so many partsRead more