I write to reconcile my own story. I develop characters to see the world through the eyes of someone entirely different from me.
from the Civil War series
A Letter, forgiveness
My darling girl, I think of you brushing your hair on the porch-- twisting it into a braid at your neck, the babies playing in fallen pine needles nearby. You can never seem to keep every strand in place, and the stray pieces surround your face in a halo of gold.
I think of you baking bread-- flour on your fingers, kneading the dough, sneezing in a white cloud, the sheen of hard work on your forehead. I imagine touching your shoulder.
We had rain yesterday--a restless downpour of fat drops and flashes of lightning. I wish I knew if it came from God. I wish I still knew God.
Remember when we ran home from the town hall meeting in a storm? Ran from all those raised voices. All that worry. The babies giggled so, and we were soaked through. We tucked them into our bed-- all three talking in their sleep, sighing.
That night, you begged me not to follow these men. You kissed me through your tears. You smelled like a field of spring grass.
Please forgive my blunder-- we cannot win.
from the Mythology series
Letters and Notes Eurydice and Orpheus
His high notes hung from her fingertips. His music bent into vibratos and wrapped around her wrists.
They had begun with hope. Now, she prepared to end them with quiet resignation, to shelve the books, tie the photographs into neat bundles,
and try to forget.
It had been a ridiculous fiction--her books, his music-- and while she stood by the river, a weathered umbrella damp and skinny in its corner, the fiction was still being written--rehashed in her torn pages, his shivering phrases.
She’d wandered there, disjointed parts moving in chopped rhythm--
try to forget.
She left scuffed lines in the soil, her feet muddy and bleeding. She touched her thumb to each finger, tapping out each sound--
Try. To. For. Get.
If she stood there long enough, ankle deep in the current, maybe the lacerations would heal. Maybe they would become tender, white scars. Maybe the books would close, the music stop playing.
Try to forget,
try to put the weariness into weary words, so it can grow legs, and walk away. She signed her letter,
and left herself, suddenly-- a fragile page, turned, a tremoring string, snapped, and though she believed herself dried out, believed she had nothing left to leave him when she went, the rain came, connecting the above to the below with silken threads of water.
The river could not rewind itself, the storm overflowed its banks, and the water reminded her, go,
say goodbye to yourself. Say goodbye to yourself. Say goodbye. Say.
from Relative, Relatively
Later, on the porch-- we had done too many shots, the tang of lime was still on our lips-- we watched everyone else get high.
Making hundreds of dimmed spotlights, the moon weaved its way through the leaves of the backyard trees obscuring us in small shadows.
In the buzz of smoke, of him nursing a beer, our knees like interlocking fingers--I forgot, again, to say “thank you”
for earlier, when he called me a work of art after we’d been drinking on the docks, sun-soaked, coated in salt.
And there were the words, rushed out of his mouth like he didn’t want me to hear.
The blue tinge of night dripped onto us--we sat close, his skin touching mine, talked shit under our breath.