Paw Print

She has lines of scars on her arm and a smile on her face. A single paw print tattoo settles lovingly on her left forearm like a friend reaching out to stop the pain. “Does it have a special meaning?” the artist had asked, eying the reference. “My Precious just died. This is her print,” … More Paw Print

The Morning Chai

A cup of water at a rolling boil, a teaspoon of Assam tea leaves, lower the heat, add some milk to temper the theine. No instants for me. Not for chai, not for relationships. The first sip awakens, the second enlivens, the others taste insipid, tepid. Too prosaic, too soon: chai and relationships. I add … More The Morning Chai

The Intervention

The call autologged at 3:51 am. Rebe screened for enrollment and talked with the grandma before deploying. “That boy gonna kill hisself.” “Does he have a weapon?” “He always got something, girl.” It was a two-story frame deal on Farr near Mt. Elliott. Not as rough as others on the block. A light was on … More The Intervention


Miss MacIntosh greeted her students with a smile over lukewarm coffee. She complimented Lucy’s lost tooth and Steven’s haircut. As the class stood for the national anthem, loud pops interrupted the music. Miss MacIntosh slipped out of her heels and raced across the room in stocking feet. Peering out the door, she met the wide … More Lockdown

In the Ruins

North of Siem Reap, our guide shows us a sandstone bas-relief of battle, 12th century war elephants forcing a platoon off a cliff. The soldiers’ faces as they fall – horror and capitulation. There’s a rash of thumb-sized pock marks in the center, obliterating tusks and armor. “Is that part of the design?” asks my … More In the Ruins


His reflection wasn’t even trying to pretend anymore, he thought, as it blinked, once, and then twice without him. It smiled. Were his teeth really that sharp? Later, if the police were to come looking, and they always did, the only thing they’d find would be a statue – beautifully crafted, very well-sculpted, ornately detailed, … More Myths

The Southwest Chief

I figured Amtrak was the way to go. Chicago to L.A.. A private sleeper on the Southwest Chief. No checkpoints, no scanners, no dogs. On the second night out we made an unscheduled stop in the desert ten miles east of Tucumcari. I stuck my head out the window. The idling engine rumbled. The night … More The Southwest Chief

The Ruler of the Army

“Plees call me Valter.” “Is that Walter?” “To you iss Walter, to me iss Valter. I was forced member of Hitler Youth, Hitlerjugend. I have chust fifteen years. A kid. I not conform. They arrest me and others. Kill my parents. Afterwards, good people help me, and I come to zis country, to new life. … More The Ruler of the Army


He was raking up the dead grass in the field next to the camp. He couldn’t get them out of his mind. The people he saw hanging from the light poles each day when he went out on the work detail. People shot when they tried to escape. The guards left them there on the … More Awakening