The Fourth of July Parade

The Fourth of July Parade Manzanita, Oregon We swing our pick-up truck into the library lot, and settle in the truck bed, kingpins on folding chairs. There’s a husky in a red-and-white bandana and a bloodhound with a Statue of Liberty crown. Sweating, paunchy men wear goofy hats. Aging women in sparkles guard igloo coolers. […]

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June Bug

June Bug Neighbors told me his name was June Bug. He was as black as any black man ever is. Two years younger than I. Liquid brown depths of kindness. I saw that in his calm eyes and quiet way. I don’t know how he tied up beetles. They said he got his name because […]

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The Lepidopterist’s Collection

The Lepidopterist’s Collection Mine is a flimsy passion. Awe for false eyes. Mothy deceptions. Zigzag symmetry. A simple color-code: I may be toxic. Mounting butterflies is tricky — pinch lacy wings in stainless-steel forceps and relax them. I have a ritual. Listen to string quartets. Block sunlight behind flowered drapes. Square the mounting box. Set […]

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White Girls

White Girls Cede to other women skin tints of caramel, taffy, and fancy maple, heady Jamaican vanilla extract in amber glass. The glow of copper wire. Oxides, raw or burnt sienna. The roughed-up walnut heartwood deepened on roofs of the Lower Ninth Ward. The songs black poets sing. Eyeball my elbows. Cabbage whitenesses, garden spawn. […]

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Nuclear Winter

Nuclear Winter My grandmother told stories of smoke and smudge to save her navel orange groves in a Florida freeze. Sometimes her work failed. Then each Christmas she shipped a crate of oranges so thin-skinned they had to arrive fast. Fruit so flame-y orange we fell in love with hand-squeezing, licked juice from our fingers. […]

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Booze Writing

Booze Writing She writes the non-fiction marathon, grabs her metaphysical hangover to record the distillers, blogs recipes for old martinis, notes where mezcal comes from. Serious, full-time writing about booze, barstools and body/mind benders. Codifying as a way to stop her bingeing. Is that how it goes with loneliness? Scrawling about virtuous alone as relief […]

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Simulacrum

Simulacrum Forget woolly lambs, tin can stars glued with glitter, German glass globes passed down from grandparents. Deck the halls not with tannenbaum, but fiber-optics & PVC. Cell towers seduce the highway eye with spiked green bottlebrushes and dust wands. Firs in New Jersey, cactus in the desert, Mexican fan palms and long-needle pines. Like […]

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