Chrysanthemums

Loretta took the withered chrysanthemums from the old bottle on the windowsill and replaced them with a few fresh flowers. She dropped the dead ones into the round bin at the side of the Maura’s bed. Maura watched her as she did so, motionless but for her eyes and the slight rise and fall of […]

Mermaid’s Tail

Juteau is sleepwalking again, the first time I’ve seen her do it since her uncle died. She comes downstairs and into the living room where I am laying on the sofa reading. I am invisible to her, and I pull my legs back before she sits on them. Her eyes are open and focused on […]

Off the Shelf

He buys his anger off the shelf in little green bottles, each stoppered with a tiny cork, each cork sealed with wax the color of obsidian. He pays with pieces of bone and twists of hair, laying them on the scarred wooden counter in front of the woman with the cloth face and stitched eyes, […]

Navigating the Latitudes

Bez lays beside me on the mattress, still asleep. It was a late night last night, and she and Juteau were up long past the point when I went to bed. I never felt her slip in with me. She is facing me, hand curled palm-up beside her chin, the blanket riding low and covering […]

Afraid to Sleep

The funeral is a small affair, attended mostly by friends. The only members of the family present are Juteau and her uncle’s wife, who was his second wife, and therefore according to Juteau is to be referred to as Patty and not as her aunt. Family dynamics are always a tangled mess of secret pains […]

Fearless

She whispers her name in my ear, while Bez sleeps beside me and Juteau stalks the house in her sleep: Sabina. The scent of eucalyptus faintly slips through the air as she leans near to me. I can feel her breath as she whispers, cool like fog, and I turn my head in her direction, […]

Something I Rarely Do

I don’t normally do these sorts of things, but as I have been tagged by two of my favorite people in the world, Roxanne Piskel and Cameron Garriepy, I find that I have absolutely no choice in the matter. I am outnumbered. And so it begins: The rules are: 1) You must give credit to […]

A Tiger In the Hollow of the Throat

There is a tiger in my house, stalking through the halls. He is thick and terrible and the color of snow on ice.  He smells of spice, hot spice that stings the eyes and burns the back of the throat. He crawled out of my bathtub two nights ago, dripping water all across the small […]

Illumination

“I want to tell you a secret,” Bez whispers in my ear. “We don’t have any secrets,” I say softly. “We just have things we haven’t told one another yet.” We are in my bed, which honestly has become our bed over the past few weeks. Juteau still occupies the guest room, when she’s not […]

Sargasso Sea

There is a girl on the beach, nine or ten years old, who reminds me of myself at that age. Her hair is cut in the same pageboy, her face carries the same mixed look of seriousness and wonder. She stands in the sand at the edge of the continent and lets the water wash […]