Ice

Sunlight, shadows, wind. Strangely, no birds.

Out there, ice caps, cold as knives.

Steam from her mouth, his mouth, none from the boy who lay between them. She cradling the boy’s face but he knowing what.

She knowing what but not able to bear it. Continue Reading

The Immortal Cough

If you ever had your Bach, Beethoven, Bartók or Britten on 33 RPM vinyl or 78 RPM shellac, you will have heard my Great Aunt Tilda—even if you’ve never heard of her.

She appeared on every prestigious classical-music label—Deutsche Grammophon, Archiv Produktion, Philips, RCA Red Label, CBS Masterworks—from the late 1930s to the mid-1970s. (She did not, fortunately, live long into the 1980s, by which time, thanks to the digital re-mastering of recordings from the vault, her legacy had been all but obliterated.) Continue Reading

Perspective for Artists

We were the art girls. We had charcoal under our fingernails, flecks of dried clay on our jeans, acrylic paint in our hair. The artsy seniors always lived on the second floor of McAllister Hall; it was tradition. Although our boarding school, Florence Summer Academy for Girls, was beautiful—the dorms looked like magnificent stone castles—McAllister Hall was so run-down inside that they let whoever lived on the second floor paint the walls of their rooms. Continue Reading

Coyotes

I was little when the coyotes came back. They’d been gone so long, people had almost forgotten about them. But they started moving south from Canada again when I was eight or so—shadows, slipping in and out of the woods, elusive gestures of high-held tail and then nothing but the swaying movement of tree branches. We knew they were there.
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