The Prairie Town

She says, everything happens somewhere. Directs those eyes like lighthouse beams someplace west. Doesn’t find what she needs. Looks at her feet. What she is out here: alone. It’s not so bad. When he landed he was only sixteen and piloting a light craft. One wing bent earthward and the old man slumping. Alone among […]

Moon Pies

I go over and over the day that the blue girl drowned, and still I can’t think why I didn’t help. I turn it over in my mind, that first image of her out in the lake, already blue, the girl who turned blue and stayed blue, the girl who drowned and yet still lives. […]

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One Reason I Don’t Go to the Beach Anymore

A long time ago, a lifetime ago, really, I rented a lovely summer house by the sea. Not exactly by the sea, but close enough, and it had a big pool, and five bedrooms and a sunroom and an English box garden and you could see the ocean from a widow’s walk on the roof. […]

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After Watching Carlos Saura’s Film of Lorca’s “Blood Wedding”

  Your wife had left you post-diagnosis yet here you were this night stumbling on fire with dance and blood, a retired high school Spanish teacher, now learning the new syntax of multiple sclerosis. It burned from your hands and feet, the castanets, the dark mole on the flamenco dancer’s cheek, All the broken stomping, […]

Losing Oak

To lose an oak is no heartbreak. —No, but to see them go by the acre, at a stroke, is enough to crack a man open, the heart not broken so much as stricken, torqued at the root and left in a thick choke of ache. Just so, a whole forest’s felling will take faith’s […]

Buona Sera

“I’m home!” Lydia cries out. “Dov’è la biblioteca?” says Lyle. He’s at the stove, his back to her, tossing something into a pot. His voice is steady, reassuring, as seductive as the all-night jazz radio host who inhabits the parallel universe that of late has revealed itself to Lydia—a world populated with graveyard shift workers, […]


Last week we played out the deathbed scene and it wasn’t a life-changing experience, but with Dad dead my tool collection tripled. I have enough power drills to arm a framing crew, which I do in fact arm, since I run a framing crew. We’re the guys who put up the outlines of houses—braces, trusses, […]

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At Miriam’s insistence, Estelle scheduled her flight so they could meet at the concourse and cab into the city together. She supposes that, given their mission, there’s a likelihood one of them might back out, and really, neither should be alone as they approach the business at hand, the crime. Estelle is the first passenger […]

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Dog Day

72 Degrees You’re wide awake at six a.m. when the sun tips its hand. You barely slept at all last night in the hot box that is your cramped third-floor apartment. There’s no air-conditioning, the windows are all propped open. You spent most the night on top of the sheets, waiting for a breeze that […]

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The Bog Body

Chucho and I were searching for golf balls in the protected wetland on the twelfth hole when my feet found a body. There were already several hundred golf balls sitting on the edge of the marsh ready to be cleaned and sold and I’d dug my feet into the mud expecting to feel the cool […]