Door to door in the Banlieue

Door to door in the Banlieue

Sidestep the puddle that stretches from one side of the sandy road to the other, up to the lip of the cement doorstep. Knock on…

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57 Ways to Talk About Your Time

57 Ways to Talk About Your Time

You did not want it. When it came you’d have to enter that veiled, silent place where the women lived, and the things you loved—the…

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The Mistaken Time Traveller (circa 2010)

The Mistaken Time Traveller (circa 2010)

I set the time coordinates for May, the year 2020, ten years from now,I made the jump but, much to my dismay, to a parallel…

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Not a Lion

Not a Lion

1 The fifteen-month-old climbs the winding staircase of their duplex to the small bedroom he shares with his two-year-old brother. The father is close behind,…

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The Fall

The Fall

She remembers it differently. The man did not kill himself, he fell. She couldn’t know for sure but she had just talked to the man,…

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Hiring a Hitman in Chinese

Hiring a Hitman in Chinese

It was on a smoggy Shanghai morning when Wang hired a hitman to kill his wife. Wang’s wife Li Ying was rich, a fuerdai. Her…

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Tea for Two

Tea for Two

The first time our neighbor, Ms. Plinkett, made me a cup of tea, all the illusions of adulthood and demure culture I was working so…

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A Feminine Rage

A Feminine Rage

After Poe I. Shriveled up leaves hang from the topmost branches of skeletal trees. Black smudges against a ghostly winter sky—like sleeping bat babies, or…

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Us Kids

Us Kids

In Winter the teachers stop patrolling the school grounds. They stand in huddles, hands wrapped around steaming mugs, finding relief in the alcove out of…

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Perennials

Perennials

In the garden. It looks like snow, a surreal May frost, but the sun slaps my winter-paled skin as I hunch over the tiny growths…

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One Year, One Hundred Years

One Year, One Hundred Years

Imagine entering an apartment building that is outwardly non-descript, concrete, post-modern; it rises shadowing a mosque next door.  Imagine the muezzin’s call to prayer is…

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Lost and found

Lost and found

The old book’s cloth cover had turned gray. A friend, who knows my passion for Eastern poetry, had just given it to me as a…

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A Natural Arrangement

A Natural Arrangement

The caress of the morning call yanks my soul. It screams for attention. I cannot tell who calls whom or why. Beneath me, the dusty…

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On The Prowl

On The Prowl

The tightening in the center of my back and a slight tingling sensation inside my nose let me know that she had arrived. Mid hug with…

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Checkpoint 104

Checkpoint 104

In the dusty, windy hills above Bethlehem, she drove alone along the lonely by-pass road leading north from Wadi al-Arayis toward East Jerusalem. It was…

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In Gresham

In Gresham

Temperature hit one hundred, making our third floor apartment close to like Hell. I spent the day with Ben in the playground, leaving him under…

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The Almost Mother

The Almost Mother

The Almost Mother sits with me on a park bench, smiling to herself, humming a lullaby, while she looks for children to trip. A strange…

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A Light Eulogy

A Light Eulogy

Now for the eulogies. My brother goes first. He sobs. He and my father were close. They were both good at science. I can’t say…

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Until They Fall

Until They Fall

The dentist says, “Oh, oh…”  her hands in my mouth while her assistant holds the suction gun limp-wristed, like a pencil she might use for…

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Heavy Wings

Heavy Wings

John didn’t come home that night. Reports said that a young Black man, suspected of robbery, was attacked by police officers on the corner of…

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