The Sprig

You didn’t need a reservation for Wren, but you would in three days. The waiter set Charlie’s grilled oysters down between the critic and a pale American ale from Fifth Hammer in Queens. With the window glass removed, May breezes ruffled the hibiscus centerpiece. The foodies had sniffed out Mark Wren like a truffle, and … More The Sprig

The Lesser One

Father told me nature reveals creation through paradox. It sits at the center of contradiction, gleams in the contrast of opposites, makes known from the unknown, dispels the dark to view sacred light. Wisdom that guides me still to provide remedies for villagers long after Father’s death who dared share the mysteries with a daughter—a … More The Lesser One

Fairy Dress

A deceptive mind can be concealed neatly by innocent black eyes. A sweet smile can hide vicious plans with dexterity. Mampi learnt that at thirteen. Her 25-year-old mother scrubbed floors, cleaned dirty linen in the big house next to her slum. She wore torn sarees. But Mampi wasn’t like her mother. She would buy that … More Fairy Dress

Locked-In Syndrome

David’s in my face, then Ricky. Please not Ricky, my heart racing. “Worst crash they’ve ever had on I-70.” I can’t move. David, I beg with my eyes. Trying to blink. “Crippled. Can’t hear us, she’s a vegetable.” But I can, I can hear you. I’m here, my David. See me. Help me. David, in … More Locked-In Syndrome

I Don’t Trust Me

He loves me, he is guilty for all the things he couldn’t save me from. I hate that. I hate the guilt. I take off my shoes and slide across the floor. It’s freshly waxed, Chris tells me, and I skate around like I’m six, not sixteen and Chris teases me for my socks, which … More I Don’t Trust Me

I Trust You

He asks how many pillows I’ve got and I tell him forty-two. We fortify the pillow fort and get drunk. I’m drunk enough that I start laughing at everything he says and he starts lisping. Words sound desperately funny to me. He hits me with his bony elbow and confirms he’s drunk. Then he closes … More I Trust You

I Don’t Trust You

My brother stands in the kitchen with a knife. He chops vegetables and I watch him, looking for signs of blood. He notices me and asks what the fuck I’m doing. I tell him I’m doing nothing and I don’t take my eyes off his hands, even as he points the knife at me and … More I Don’t Trust You

Dangerous Poodles

Poodles are not dangerous creatures unless provoked. Take the time when evangelists knocked on my front door insisting on converting the household. Gracie, an elegant, empathetic and extremely intelligent companion, stood by my side listening with her cocked head wondering what sort of nonsense was being thrown our way. When the tiny mob of zealots … More Dangerous Poodles