She looked after these kids once a week, so had to put gas in her tank then drive all the way across the valley to a neighborhood full of restaurants that offered $15 bowls of soup and shops that specialized  in yoga leisure wear. For weeks now, her Subaru had been comically tilted to one […]

The Wetlands

Our kitchen table is sinking in the middle. It’s from Wal-Mart and made of cheap vinyl and was meant for cards, not three years of cut-rate meals with real tears and served with Smoking Loon wine. I promise to always hate you from the bottom of my heart. It’s a cute, small hate but shined […]

Bear Season

This time there are men on the bridge with guns, and big ships going under. You can pass but only if you don’t stop, they say. The woods at this distance are still just broad brushstrokes, but you know soon the details will overwhelm you: tiny caps of brown mushrooms springing up between ancient roots, […]

New Plastic

I was inspired by an article I read about a local artist who would take cigarette butts and arrange them into glorious, intricate paintings. I would rake the muck in the street and pick out all the garbage: a medical marijuana pouch, a Pringles top, one time a condom, unopened. These items went into a […]

Four Dollars In Quarters

Four Dollars In Quarters Sunday begins. My boyfriend tells me I need to write to let it all out, to feel normal. I tell him what I need is a job, a stand-up boyfriend, some groceries, and maybe a baby. We are not trying, not preventing: NTNP. I do not drive to Indian Hills Laundromat […]

One Day, You Need Pie

One day, you need pie. You can’t explain it, Your new sweet tooth. But in your heart of hearts It has to do with Your 40th birthday, Silver sprouting in the nest. Your best friend brings you Her baby to hold. You put your nose to her neck, Yes, familiar as your dreams It doesn’t […]


Superbowl Sunday and I finally feel pretty. My bangs have transitioned. I take my dog on a walk to look for flowers for the table. There is one bush of candy-striped rose-shaped blossoms, but it sits on the corner of the yard of a self-proclaimed Bachelor’s Palace. Out front is someone’s son shooting a basketball. […]

The Sound of a Shadow

It’s a thick fog morning and only the dockworkers are coming in so far, this early in the day. Still, it’s enough to keep busy and I’m working through my cups, reading Adrienne’s thick Sharpie scrawl, juggling the syrups in one hand, the shots in the other. Sometimes she writes little jokes on the cup, inside stuff, that our customers wouldn’t pick up on. She draws a football for the nonfat latte (NFL) and a few minutes later writes “CAPP,” the quotes being a mockery of somebody’s 20 ounce cappucinno (a drink that doesn’t exist, but, “Okay. Here’s your c..a..p..p..u…c..i…n..n…o!”).

I’m starting to recognize the old men by their moles, the shape of their glasses, or the thing they say. There’s always a thing they say. One guy, he usually exclaims at the prices. “$2.75?? For a cup of coffee?” He will ask, shaking his head, all
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