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The radio said that Silvia would be a category one hurricane. Hours before her arrival I developed a grade-one buzzing in my ears, much more troubling than a common tinnitus. I feared that Silvia’s song would knock the rhythm of the heart out of synch, the little dynamo would go crazy, initiating a loud whirring that would make dogs growl and whine, sending all of nature into a spin, for once subduing the daily uproar of the streets.

The Other Acapulco

The rain came down that day in angry, ruthless sheets, turning the hillsides to mud, pushing the workers’ shanties down toward the beach, toward the fancy hotels where they labored serving the tourists who now huddled at the bar, little umbrellas poking their noses, as they sipped tequila and waited out the storm. But we […]

A Song of Silence

I am young when I meet him. I don’t think I am (no one does at eighteen), but I am. At that age, I think I’m queen of the world. Level-headed, responsible, mature to a fault. Careful. Reserved. In the grand span of life, he’s young too, but not as young as me. At twenty-four, […]

Dark Matter

If the boy continues to ruminate, he’ll have dark thoughts. No one to stop him. Not even the girl he is always thinking about, the one who plays with toads, talks to them, and squints hard when he talks to her, when they meet near the village square.


Grandma Cillie has never said a word about the three weeks spent at her sister’s when she sought distance from what was happening with my Uncle Avery. Good thing Grand Aunt Moll talks, or I would still be dreaming of guessed-up scenes:  So, Cillie all day indoors at the kitchen table, beside sliced homegrown pear […]

We Were Girls Once, Dancing

I cup my hand to the DJ’s ear. We’ve stumbled into that sloppy part of the night. The cake cut. The bouquet tossed. The grandparents and children on their way to bed, and the men around the bar loosen their ties and order another round.

Train in India

I arrived first. Empty, the train compartment welcomed me with silence and glorious space. A temporary respite while I got sorted out. Years of travelling on the fly had taught me that solutions could be invented for every problem, even if far from perfect. By the time you entered, I’d fully lodged in. I might […]