Friday, July 24, 2015


He goes my average speed. This is good. Real good. So I ride the wheels of the man on blades. Legs on eight spheres propel him around a lake path. He stays in form until he yells at others going slower. At a jogging dad behind a biking child. At a woman cruising alongside a man running. At a man and woman, like me, astride their own sets of two wheels. There goes Speed Demon Joe, a voice cries in return. Look how fast he goes holding shoes on his back. (Speed Demon Joe has sneakers on his hands crossed behind him.) I could slow and provide the other yeller with Joe's pace (more than thirteen miles per hour) but then the demon could turn and breath fire at me. Not prepared to burn, I mumble a remark, letting him know someone quiet with pedals will pass on his left. 

Vain Talk

Nice veins says the Needle Woman pressing the inside arm of a friend resting supine on a blood donation cot. Great veins, the blood really flows, she says. Envy roils. I want nice, great veins. Some people, like my friend, roll up a sleeve, get in the needle and bleed a pint. I do not. You have rolly veins Needle Man said when I tried to give. The blood started, stopped and dried up. He pulled the needle when sweat formed on my forehead. I tell this to Needle Woman. Rolly veins are easy she says. Just hold down the forearm and insert the needle. A halo forms above her head as she speaks. Her beauty makes me blush. Standing before me I see my blood donation angel who can shorten my bucket list. Next time my appointment will be with you. You won't see me again, she says, I'm a traveling phlebotomist. My angel has wings. My dream dissolves. Friend with nice, great veins readies for departure. She picks juice and cookies. I take her empties and put them in the trash.

Friday, April 24, 2015


She wants me to love her as she loved her mother. She wants me to devote myself to her as she devoted herself to her mother. I loved my mother, she says. Sweet, dear mother, she says. That, I want to say, is the issue at hand. Your mother, who died before I was born, was sweet, or so you remember her to be. I have no personal confirmation of this character description. But I believe that your mother held the succulent nectar of sugar. You describe another mother, not mine, I want to say. So much I want to say that's not sweet or dear. Your mother, not mine, so sweet and not here.