When Nonna Venere visited, she arrived by train like in a movie, stepping down from the first-class compartment enveloped by smoke, wearing a cloche with a veil. She had four large suitcases and no gifts.November 2022
I feel close to Dad on the drive home, our legs mud-dry and tired, the tackle box between us, the pillowcase full of fish and ice. She’ll never admit it, but Mom will be impressed, I’m sure. In a million years she’d never guess how we caught so many. I’ll never tell.October 2022
We can see, if we care to look, that the way we treat children — all of them, not just our own, and especially those in great need — defines the shape of the world we’ll wake up in tomorrow.September 2022
People laugh about pubescent horniness and untimely erections, but nobody talks about getting them before puberty on a regular basis. I was aroused whenever nothing was demanded of my limbs or mind — in class, at church, on the bus, in the car. Once, I even got hard at football practice while staring off at the Catskill Mountains and half-assing my way through groin stretches.September 2022
Hitching a ride, trusting a partner, marrying the same person three timesSeptember 2022
The roots of a child’s ability to cope and thrive, regardless of circumstance, lie in that child’s having had at least a small, safe place (an apartment? a room? a lap?) in which, in the companionship of a loving person, that child could discover that he or she was lovable and capable of loving in return.
My chest, which was beginning to grow round in the wrong places, had to be hidden under a T-shirt no matter how hot or sweaty I became. Out in the desert I had to squat behind the cover of creosote bushes to pee. At home in my family’s Airstream I was my parents’ youngest daughter, but up in the paloverde I felt like one of the boys.July 2022
Most days I stick to the periphery — / produce and eggs and chicken and cheese — / but tonight I am buying peanut butter, / which here is inexplicably placed / with the popcorn and chips.July 2022