“Did you bring me out here to kill me?” My grandmother filled the Buick with her thin, old woman voice; it ricocheted off the headliner as we slewed back and forth in the loose gravel. She was partly right: we were going to help an old woman die. Just not her.
“Can I have another one?” The middle-aged lady scuffs up in her sparkly flip flops for her second box lunch. She ends up with four every day; I worry what they’ll find when they clean her room. Still, I smile at her under my mask and go ahead and hand over a stack of lunches in brown paper bags.
As the insurrection flowed up the steps of the Capitol, spilled into the chambers of our legislators, and wiped its shit on the walls of our democracy, it was easy to conjure images of Iraq, Afghanistan, or even Somalia. Instead, I saw Guatemala.
I am driving my father halfway across Mississippi so he can die a little more. He's doing his part, sitting next to me with cancer eating his insides.
We turn the volume up one notch and everyone carefully looks straight ahead and we all pretend that their mothers don’t come into our houses and clean every week and that Josie didn’t raise us while our parents worked.
We had passed the point where words were laced with venom. Now, there were only flashes of emotion, like the
glimmer of the sunset over the ocean.
The ground gave them up one by one, like stubborn births. I lifted them, brushed off the clinging dirt, then carried them to a new place where they rest, gravid, waiting for me to decide how best to use them. I may take years to do that; after all this time they have earned just the right spot.
Admitting that was not a sign of weakness, but of power—I had the power to recognize, admit, and try to remedy an area that needed strengthening.
perception is layered, and we often describe it in hollow ways, excluding strata of sensory perception that can give life to a description.
The Story Behind the Idea: An Interview with Edward A. Farmer.
You labored over your creation, crafting every turn of phrase, agonizing over every comma, all in the hopes that it will be appreciated—that your brick will go into something “worthy” of the work you put into it.
I was intrigued by K.J.’s path. MFA programs are geared towards producing literary writers (think sad eyes and big feels).
A small tensing of the hand triggered a collide of hardened steel and unwanted bits of vegetation. The blade usually won.
We recognize that many conversations are, by their nature, transactional. We don’t often think deliberately about how our words, pauses, and inflections will help, or hinder, that transaction.