The plane is rolling back from the jetway. Pushing, they call it. We’re going to push. I watch it, the chill ash of my heart drifting down to fill my entire body like snowfall into an upturned barrel. I remember my grandmother telling me that it’s bad luck to watch your loved ones leave. “You should say […]

The Gate of Horn

We strolled through the Old City  past soldiers carrying machine guns at the ready. Pops didn’t seem to notice, intent on educating us. “This gate only looks old,” he said.  “Ottoman Turks built it in 1898 so the Kaiser didn’t have to walk. Wide enough for a carriage.” An armored car idled in the square, […]

Just Gone

The sheriff stood with his arms folded, dead cigar dangling from the corner of his mouth. “Dogs been all over the damned forest. Not a trace.” The mayor sighed, ran his hand over his weary face. “Well, we gotta keep looking. That’s all.” The sheriff shook his head. “It’s been almost three weeks. I think […]

The Descendants

Everyone named Christian on this island descended from the same two bastard boys, Charles and Thursday. There are hundreds of us now, spread as far as Australia and the States. When we recount the history, we agree Fletcher Christian seized the Bounty from Bligh and sailed it to Pitcairn, that he brought along the two […]

On Bainbridge Island

“Are you done crying?” he says. “For now,” she says. In the back, Suzy sleeps fitful in her car seat.  He watches the tiny face in the rearview, the red stain of the taffy covering her cheeks like a rash. “I don’t think giving her sugar is such a good idea,” he says. “I’m sure […]

إن شاء الله‎‎

Abu bin Dasha sat cross-legged in the center of the gorgeous carpet. The fabric walls of his tent were affixed in such a way as to catch the slightest waft of breeze, should one appear. The desert was capricious with breezes and everything else. He opened a carved sandalwood box and took out a pinch […]

A Few Questions

“May I get you another?” I picked up my glass, shook the melting ice. “No, I’ll wait. She’ll be here any minute.” “Very good, sir.” He strode back across the patio, watching his tables. The place was filling up. I glanced at my watch. She was taking forever. I watched the moon for a while, […]

Estos Días Van Despacio

Hector wipes his hands on his shirt before turning his newspaper page so as not to stain it with sweat. He is used to the heat. Not so his nephew Martín, softened by the air conditioning in his mother’s apartment.  “Doesn’t this place have any customers, Uncle?” he complains. “Some,” says Hector, not looking up. “Not […]


All living things. Animals and plants, but especially plants. Her delight. The house smells of moss and acorns, of blossom and verdant decay. Her apron still hangs on the hook by the door, the soil-stained pocket  sagging with the weight of  spade and wrotter and trowel. She favored hand-made tools made by her husband, the […]