Tulip Tears

from The Lascaux Review, (January 2016)

When lightning strikes the tulip poplar, five hundred years of leaf lifting crashes into splinter wood, and several notables roll over in their graves, so Mama says. Among the dead mourners of the mighty poplar are: Christopher Columbus who shares its sproutday; an Indian chief, Emperor of the Piscataway, whose councils held under its green pavilion failed to stem the white pestilence; a Civil War widow by the name of Trump who to this day leaves her ghostly hairpins on the branch where she upstrung herself, Mama says. Not only that, but me and my younger brother Beeboo’s old fort, hidden in the tulip’s roomy trunk, is charred black as burnt marshmallows. Beeboo tells me girls don’t belong in forts. But I’m twelve and don’t take lip from ten.

The Bicyclist

from Witness, Vol. 27, No. 2 (Summer 2014)

I didn’t hear it coming. I was walking west on B—Street in lower Manhattan, minding my own business in my own neighborhood, enjoying the careless sunshine on the wide, uncrowded sidewalk, trying to avoid the cracks. Suddenly a bicycle sailed up from behind and tore past me on the sidewalk, just grazing my left sleeve. I uttered a startled shriek and heard the bicyclist laugh in response. I caught a glimpse of him, the pumping of a muscled thigh in black tights, the matching jersey with its bold yellow stripe hunched forward over the handlebars, so like the cycling outfit my ex-husband used to wear—could it be he? But what would he be doing so far downtown? “You asshole!” I shouted after him, and his laughter became uproarious. He sped by a woman and a young child walking toward me and disappeared around a corner. My heart pounded, his laughter rang in my ears, and I felt the air rush from my lungs as if sucked out by his slipstream, leaving me empty and gasping.


from Hamilton Stone Review, Issue No. 27 (Fall 2012)

“Un descanso, por favor!” Elizabeth gasped. A rest, for God’s sake.

An American woman, in midlife and freshly divorced, she had shed the constraints of New Jersey and left the known world for Guatemala. Booted and clad entirely in exploration khaki (even her close-cropped hair was khaki!), she clambered up a steep trail after her native guide, gulping in air woefully deficient in oxygen.

The Flor

from Green Hills Literary Lantern, Vol. 23 (Summer 2012)

Felix Pérez Cruz drove the last bus out of Huehuetenango bound for Todos Santos, the bus called the Flor de Cuchumatán. The night his mother died, as it would turn out, he was driving too fast, and the Flor went off the road on the curve above my house, tumbled ninety meters down the mountainside with a big clatter of metal and rock, and landed upside down on my patio.

A Little Night Music

from storySouth, Issue 33 (Spring 2012)

“Dear cunningvixen349, Your profile was pure pleasure—one of the most fascinating descriptions I’ve read. We definitely have things in common, both big and little. However, I only date women my own age or younger. I suspect that I don’t understand younger women, and I probably bore them. Nevertheless, your age would be an insurmountable barrier for us. Good luck in your search. Signed, eagleonthewing557.”

I stare at the screen. Lands sakes! How much abuse does a gal have to take? With the five years I’ve shaved off my biological age, I only superannuate him by three. What do these men want?

Baby Snatcher

from The Adirondack Review, Vol. XII No. 4 (Spring 2012)

Concepcion’s idea was to give the jaladores just one baby. Think about it. Is a woman not overblessed with two identical sons? One son is a gift, a joy, a polestar. The second? A redundancy.

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