sky-high

THE CONVEYANCE OF SOUND

First published in The Hudson Review

 I turned toward Tommy, sitting at the end of the examining table, his white-sheathed arms wrapped around himself in an involuntary embrace.

            “What happened?”  I said.  My voice echoed in the bare room. 

            He looked down at his dangling feet, the only limbs still free.  He moved them aimlessly as if he were sitting on a dock, cooling his toes in the water.  He acted like he belonged here, like it wasn’t all a mistake.  But it had to be. ...

TANGIBLE ASSETS

First Published in Alaska Quarterly Review

Anthologized in Gravity Dancers, edited by Richard Peabody (Paycock Press)

           

This is how the argument goes: I do what I think is best, and my mother sighs, rolls her eyes, taps her fingers. We get along fine.

            We live in different places: my mother and father in Tucson, and I in Seattle. I live in Seattle because it’s everything Tucson is not: wet, green, and full of surprises.

                     This is my job: I find people who make art. You can’t find these people just anywhere. They don’t advertise, and they’re often amused at my interest. They’re just doing what they do. Some of them are woodworkers. Others construct things out of matchsticks. Others, out of junk. Some make sculptures out of farm implements, lawn furniture, toys, buttons. Outsider art, they call it. I bring it Inside. ...

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Imaginary Friends story Iowa Woman cover

IMAGINARY FRIENDS

First published in Iowa Woman

 

I’m on the starting block. I can hear my father yelling, “Cup the hands!” 
          This time all I’m going to concentrate on is cupping my hands. I hear the gun, I feel the slap of the water on the front of my body—all at once the water hits my outstretched arms, chest, legs—and the only things I think about until I touch the other side are my hands, my cupped hands, they'll cramp if I think about them anymore. As I finish the first length, I go for the turn and push off and no one else pushes off. Yes! This concentration thing is working. I must be so far in the lead...Cup the hands, cup the hands, I think. I'm digging with every stroke, pushing the water past me as I barrel toward the starting point. I can hear people yelling, and I know my dad is in the stands yelling for me because I'm winning. I'm winning. I touch, and stand, and pull off my goggles. I am breathing hard—beaming, and breathing. I look up, and see feet lined up on starting blocks. All the other swimmers look down at me from their blocks. False start. It was a false start. They're laughing—
bug-eyed goggles, latex heads, big goofy grins all grinning down at me. ...