Lily

I guess I don’t much care, she said, if there’s an afterlife for humans. We live a long time, and we outlive our loves. But if there’s nothing for dogs, after, that seems unfair. I guess I need that to be true.

Women’s Work

I did not weave the linen where you lie;
I did not gather flax nor spin this thread,
but I will sew the sheet up and I’ll tie
a different knot to keep you in my bed.
And I will wash your hands and your cold feet
as once I washed the shirt upon your back;
And I will make the stitches small and neat
that mend you in this shroud, your sleeping-sack.
I’ll sing to you a lullaby of screams;
I’ll cry ochón instead of tura’lu
to send you on your way into the dreams
you dream without me, and I, without you.
I wear the cloth you taught me how to weave:
it’s women’s work to sew, to mend, to grieve.

березы

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“They are the lucky ones, to be living now, hey?” The Captain of the Letat’ Nefrita Yaschcheritsa said again when the last of the prisoners had been herded away from the maindeck and into the belly of the gondola. Kolya nodded, not because he agreed but because it was what one did when the Captain had had a bottle, and this was Chernenko’s second today. Continue reading

Variations on a Theme by John Williams

1.
Roll a boulder
Run away
Why’s it always
Always
Al
Ways
Snakes?
Fight the Nazis
Get the girl
Indiana
You wanna
Come see him
The great Dr. Jones

2.
Dark Lord
Here comes the Sith
Here comes the Emperor Palpatine

Death Star
That is no moon
That is a weapon a trap your doom

Stepping down
From the ramp
To the floor
Guards salute
One by one
Faceless clones
Here
Here and now
On this battleship
He stands
In a galaxy
So far
far away
Long ago

3.
The sun sings
To
Me

Dark side of
The
Moon

Play the five
Tones
Now

4.
One alien man
Came to earth
One alien man
All
Alone

Starship in a field
Kansas road
Mr. and
Mrs. Kent
Found
Him
There

5.
This has

Gotten

Really
Really

I mean
Really
Really
Silly

Not so
Silly
As the people
Swimming in the ocean
When a shark is coming people
Please stop swimming in the ocean don’t you know the shark is coming can’t you hear the music speeding faster ever faster and the shark is coming people running screaming shoreline bloody shark is coming

6.
We’re gonna need a bigger boat

I swear I’m working on some proper blank verse but this week I’m about up to “have fun with scansion, be serious later” so… I did.

Irrational Numbers

The doctors say that an infant breathes 30 to 60 times a minute. James breathes forty-seven times. Forty-six. Forty-eight. I build a (forty-seven) wall of these (forty-eight) statistics around my night fears; I don’t worry (forty-six) about forty. Thirty. Twenty. Ten. None.

Fathers

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Author’s Note: This is part of a collaborative project. You may want to read the other part first, although each portion is meant to stand alone. If you’re signed up to view the yeah write coffeehouse, we’ll be discussing the process by which these stories came to be.

***

It won’t be dark here for another two hours, he thinks, staring at the sunbleached sky over the jagged teeth of the mountains. At home – no, in Chicago, he reminds himself – the last light will be leaching from the skyline, the top of the Sears Tower (or whatever the fuck you’re supposed to call it now) still illuminated as the rest of the city fades away beneath it into the greys and blacks where he’s spent his life. Continue reading

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