Essays

They say the brother died and the sister plucked out his eyes and flung them high, sun and moon. She pushed his heavy breast until it arched, became the heavy sky. They say the brother’s heart drummed and they say the drumming is time.

'Three Myths from the Northern Mariana Islands' published in StoryQuarterly 50. Order your copy here!


Some people in this world live so many lives end to end. He's one of them. Maybe I am, too. In the end, I hold on to this: we can be lost forsaken, and we can find ourselves homeless on an empty beach with nowhere to go, and still it is not over. The world can be reclaimed, the sweetness returned. Another life is possible -- it's just around the corner.

"Life after Life" published in Arrive magazine, June 2016.

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Is this significant: Sometimes I see him swimming in the winter ocean. Other times, I notice his car, abandoned in an empty beach lot, black tie-downs whipping away from the roof racks.

                   I want to say that I did not set out here to write about love, not in the least--not about love, the institutions we've constructed to house it, or the ways in which we attempt to escape it.

                  But here I am, caught in the act of coming back.

'Between Dog and Wolf{Essay as Ideolocator} anthologized in 27 Views of Wilmington: The Port City in Prose & Poetry, 2015.

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Let us say, then, that this essay is an accounting of dusk as I am currently experiencing it:

between two lights

between my selves

'Between Dog and Wolf [Essay as Ideolocator]' published in Southern Humanities Review, Issue 48.3. 2015.

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The dress was white with big red blooms all over it. 'A woman who doesn't wear perfume has no future,' I said to the girl in the mirror, and waved goodbye. I floated to Van's house, actually floated. When I tied my hair up in front of him, he said, 'Beautiful armpits, Hannah,' and I winked recklessly. Just then, Helms appeared at the door, a bottle of wine under each arm. The boys played some songs, and I poured, and I tapped my feet. We lit a joint and the plumes coiled up blue in the lamplight. Helms scratched the strings and his beard at the same time until his beard sounded metal, and we told him very seriously that he was a genius. Van rubbed some lemon verbena on my wrist--he was always up to these things--and I repeated the Chanel line, which really, if I'm honest, I'd socked away just for him.

'If We Were Really There' published in Tethered by Letters, Issue 9. 2014.

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First, anticipate it. In fact, anticipate disappearances, jail time, lawsuits, death threats, broken things, cocaine, young wives, younger girlfriends, children. Don’t be fooled by the pauses. They will be full of bluegrass, money, convertibles, grand homes in foreign countries, pet orangutans, and infinite promise. Also cocaine, young wives, younger girlfriends, children.

'A Guide to Surviving Your Father's Homelessness' published in the Oxford American, Issue 85. 2014.

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The two inside climb the curving staircase, which will in my mother’s memory build until it winds up at least three levels and in some of her memories even further, in some the staircase keeps going and has no top.

'Glass House: The First Moment of Her Leaving' published in Waccamaw, No. 12. 2014.

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Prima, when you called me, the trees were lit up with Christmas lights in the town where I lived, and the air was cold and smelled sour along the black river.

'Letter to Laurena' published in MAYDAY Magazine, Issue 8. 2014

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The unleashed sail like torn paper. Nesting wasps tumble down in black bundles, loosening. The wind, salt-heavy, deposits gray scales on the skin. Today, I’ll fish a blue Linckia starfish from the fire coral, keep it in a yellow bucket.

'Of Wolves' published in White Whale Review, Issue 1.3. 2009.

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