Summer casualties

Everything colorful was gone from the woman’s flower beds, despite all her ardent work. The summer just wouldn’t allow anything other than perennial green now. Listening to Chopin’s tender Nocturnes as dusk descended, I gazed into her yard at a wheelbarrow holding slender planks of oak she had acquired for a trellis. A large ceramic […]

Sunday morning at Charlie Frias

Up ahead I see a man lounging on the pavement in shorts — no shoes, no socks, no shirt. Leaning up against a utility box, he is a white man tanned browner than a band aid. His feet nearly reach the curb, so I step off my bike and wheel it gingerly past him. We […]

My story is online at Entropy magazine

My creative nonfiction story The Size of Hummingbirds was posted yesterday at Entropy magazine. There was an American robin on a bough above us guarding its nest. I had pointed it out to Rob, as well as the male grackle that had been looming higher in the tree for several days, as if setting its […]

My great-grandmother lived into her late 90s

In my late great-grandmother’s building on Bathgate Avenue in the Bronx about a block from my old Catholic elementary school the stairs creaked like a rocker on the front porch they had resonance as if empty crates walked upon. A skunky amalgam of boiled cabbage and potatoes still in their dusty, cratered skins always permeated the air as I […]

The mushroom lady

The mushroom lady is afoot after a winter-long downtime. She has the air of someone who worked in retail or perhaps an administrative office in a grade school. In her Old Navy shorts and button-down shirt and her hair done like Margaret Thatcher, she prowls the grounds of the apartment complex for sprouts of fungi. Then […]

A note about perfection

I sit in the morning, tweezing my eyebrows, my coffee turning lukewarm. Over the past few days, my hairs have gathered like the poppy seeds on my toasted bagel — a small colony near the tail of my left brow, spread out like the homes of a suburb on the periphery of a city. But […]