My Name was Supposed to be Elizabeth Ann

— Stories from the Roads (Not) Taken

… strolling hunched and sandalled along the highway berm. His right hand clutched a blanket ‘round his shoulders. His left, a cigarette whose smoke wafted through my car’s open window. I cat-sneezed, but he kept on walking. Didn’t say god bless. Just shrank inside my mirrors as  I slowed and braked for red. Tuesday, I’d …

Continue reading

The day after, Birdie bins and washes, shelves detritus of a home upended. Dust clogs her nose. Tickles her eyes. She sneezes. Blinks. Sneezes yet again. Birdie knows dust is partly skin, that skin sloughs and regenerates each moon cycle while her bones and heart require ten years of cycles to renew. By which math, …

Continue reading

Outside, monsters roam. They won’t hurt you, bud.  Behind his mask, curiosity battles fear. How come? Magic, she says, sidekick to his cartoon hero. Kneeling, she steps his feet into leggings, arranges a cape about his shoulders and goblets on a table. Their cream faces blush dull orange as she pours.  How’d you–  Witches’ secret. …

Continue reading

Before Everyone discovered Someone’s bones,  Someone stored their faces in a box in a drawer in the middle of their dresser and,  mornings when they awoke, tried on each in turn, discarding each facsimile as smallish or loose or lacking in some necessary, elusive detail  heard about but never seen (like unicorns or potted gold), …

Continue reading

Behind three-starred glass, we swirl pinot while my shade approaches the crowded intersection. Mousy hair, thin-soled Keds. A backpack, frayed, beats an awkward tempo as she scans facades and faces. Awaits the signal forward. On green, she crosses to me. Presses palms to mine, reflected.   I want to rush into the twilight. To console her. …

Continue reading