Take Me Out/Tell Me My Name

To be an anchoress                  is to be a bleach bath       is to do something                                             big in six minutes               until you can manage half hours alone           the need to be embedded              in a cottage with a baby       adopted from Michigan            or Nicaragua confused when cicadas            don’t whip summer’s end.   No one but me             cares … Continue reading Take Me Out/Tell Me My Name

From Motor City Mulch

If you take I-75 north from Toledo, you can smell Detroit’s aroma— rendered fat next to funeral pyres of slag and smokestacks sprouting from Motor City mulch. When asked what suburb I come from, I say Detroit where children play in oil slicks like little bruises in the shadows. Where else could you live as … Continue reading From Motor City Mulch

Killer Pussies

On Monday, I posted on Facebook three Padaung women, their necks so stretched by brass rings they look like snakes. But this is an illusion: the weight of the metal pushes their collar bones down, collapsing their rib cages, slowly suffocating them while making their necks look long and keeping them safe from tigers. My … Continue reading Killer Pussies

Dinuguan, or In Honor of the Writer from New York Who Longs for Simpler Asian Food

Lola, Forgive me for the times I scrunched my nose at the pungency of what you called chocolate meat, the offal cooked in pork blood, that saccharine name meant to make pretty this ugly food, which is neither white nor slips easily over the tongue. This stew slopped brown in chipped porcelain bowls on nights … Continue reading Dinuguan, or In Honor of the Writer from New York Who Longs for Simpler Asian Food

The Art of the Blues

“Yeah. Sorry. I mean, things have just been a little weird for us lately.” He knows, but he doesn’t press it. Not yet. She stirs her coffee, quick flicks of the wrist, blackish-brown in a buttermilk mug. Warmth pressed through winter windows, pink morning rose of the sky, big painted mural (blue, green and purple) … Continue reading The Art of the Blues

Lunch Box

Once when I was in fourth grade, Tally McMasters came up to me and asked: “Are you Chinese?” I was waiting for my turn at double dutch. “No,” I said, eyeing the line. “Are you Japanese?” she asked, peering at me intently. “No,” I said, again. The line was getting shorter. I glanced at her … Continue reading Lunch Box