The Depths of Finer Things

The Depths of Finer Things

The first time I died, Ima tells me, the sun flared its great, fiery disc and swallowed the whole world in a moment. And everything that had been was then no more. The second time I died, it was at the hands of a grand, dark army, their bayonets through my stomach and heart. And when I fell their boots marched over my corpse as though a body that falls was never standing to begin with.

Duality: On Conscience and Guilt

Duality: On Conscience and Guilt

The morning. Baby and I arrive in Berlin just after eight. It’s raining. A cold mist cleaves the streets. We left early and our eyes are half-open from half-sleep on the train. We lost our tickets crossing Karstädt and had to search our bags, our pockets, the floor when the conductor asked us where they were. We finally found them at the bottom of the valise, tucked away for safe keeping. Cities look different in the rain, wrapped in cotton-white mist and rising through the fog. Like a dark army marching through the clouds. I notice the way people move when I arrive someplace new – the city’s sidewalks and sounds. I notice windows and doors and alleyways and wonder about the places they lead. It’s a quiet army that leaves the streets vanquished in a gloomy, gray calm. It smells of curry sausage, perfume, and gasoline on the street outside the station. We stop to get a salted pretzel, it is soft and warm in paper, fresh from the oven, and coffee. This makes Baby smile. Berlin is not, in the fairy-tale sense, a beautiful city. Not like Rome, full of statues and archways and ruins. Or the more delicate scene in Paris. It is also quite different from the skyscrapers and skylines of cities in the United States. The buildings in Berlin are low and dark, stretching for miles into the horizon. But it is a great and multicultural city, established in 1237, home to almost four-million people: A constantly changing array of poets, artists, thinkers-and-the-like. The weather here is not as warm or as cold as...
Bury Me in St. Paul

Bury Me in St. Paul

It is a warm and humid night in summer. The sound of dogs barking on the street. The sound of crickets from the brush and cicadas in trees. Fireflies flash like tiny cameras through the grass along rows of dark cars parked along the curb.

Not For Sale

Not For Sale

Gogo was raised by her uncle, whose name was George Sale, after her mother died and her father left for Africa. Her father never returned from Africa, and whether he was alive or dead she never cared to find out.

The Definition of Hope

The Definition of Hope

The day breaks sweaty like the last. Like every day in summer. And especially so in the city where there are no trees to provide shade – only countless blocks of cement baking like the desert, or like the desserts baking in oven pans from the church basement after service. All we can do is hope for rain.