BABY, WOULD YOU TAKE THE BULLET FOR ME?
Time had run out. Decked by hubris, Admetos dropped on the mattress. Comatose from too much champagne? He had had much to celebrate these past years. A new pregnancy had followed the birth of a son. The girl was born before the boy’s first birthday, with another possibly on the way. Alcestis’s breasts had been giving milk as her belly transported his heirs.
Her arms, marble to his touch, clutched her knees. Dawn tinted the windowpane pink. Sunrise sculpted the nightgown to her body. Nothing would go with her. Alcestis, rigid with resolve, did not wake him. Apollo agreed to come after lunch. She had found a volunteer. Read More
GROWN IN CRACKED TURF
Janet and Louie kiss under the tenement-lined street. The sliver of daylight falls between the cellar doors onto the top steps. The metal rattles when someone passes on the sidewalk overhead. I kick a loose clump of cement with the toe of my saddle shoe. My mother keeps an eye on Janet while her mother is at work. I am sent with Janet wherever she goes, to the corner grocery, the candy store, not the cellar. Janet and Louie kiss in hidden places. Other girls sit in their boyfriends’ arms on the stoop; some make out leaning against parked cars. Louie presses Janet against a metal pole, his thin black moustache covering her pink mouth. I wait on the edge of their shadow, afraid of the dark and worrying what my mother will do when she finds out. I tell Janet we have to go. Her voice sticks in her love-soaked throat. Janet and Louie kiss. Strange odors seep through the timber where a bodega has taken Chigimara’s spot. Green bananas and rice sit in the windows that used to be stacked with macaroni in blue boxes and cheeses hanging from string. Read More
Bougainvillea cascades to the ground like origami folded love letters. A turn taken from my usual path, pass the gates of the Jewish Ghetto, through Campo Dei Fiori, down the street of shop windows displaying, shoes, clothing, and chickens dangling from metal hooks. Not lost, never lost, just not advancing. No longer a tourist, my visa expired, wandering, not noticing street names. My Italian teacher, the guy subletting my apartment, and some of my friends, had given me telephone numbers. The names are written on a page torn from a yellow legal pad. I call just to hear someone say my name. Millet. I have almost stopped calling the man whose letters had arrived at my New York address, stamped posta di aria. Pronto? I am not ready. His mother answers the phone, when he is home, she shouts, e´ La Americana. EndFragment Read More
She picks a peasant shirt from the rack and looks for her size. There are 2 smalls, 3 larges, and 1 medium. Her fingertips pass over black paisley embroidered borders. The hanger dangles over her arm like a compass pointing southeast in the direction of its country of origin. She slides her bra straps off her shoulders, unties and reties the ebony satin ribbon into a bow. Spring ahead, longer daylight hours, summer not far off.
Washington Square Park:
Six Floor Walk Up:
A Fish Story: