A Dark Place

There was no sense in brushing off or any other civilized thing.

A Dress Rehearsal for the Apocalypse

History howls for direction so I remind him how the hero was lost.

A Farmer’s Life: Xiwuqi, Inner Mongolia

For my vacation last summer, I visited the Bateer family in Xiwuqi.

A Model for the Priesthood

Tongue, eye, nose—which has the shortest route to the brain, heart?

A Numbers Game

We are in his car. “Bell, I’m starving. Want to go for a burger or pizza?” I panic. Pizza. 285 calories per slice. Burgers. Harder to estimate.

A Palazzo in Florence

In Florence I gained a sense of how I might want to spend my life.

A Pot of Red Lentils

I want to remember us this way—sun streaming through the window.

A Separate Set of Signs

Is she dreaming of the rivers soft with codling in her hometown?

A Small Blip on an Eternal Timeline

I grabbed him by the face and told him life only comes to a person once.

A Vacuum Is a Space Entirely Devoid of Matter

I needed a paycheck a lot more than I needed to be kissed.

After Nazim Hikmet’s “Things I Didn’t Know I Loved”

I never knew that the song of the first summer cicadas could ease my hips


I want to be bright scarves, soft rain, seabirds pecking at receipts.

Against Surrealism

…when you walk to the edge of the Mekong and make a wish…

All Saints All Souls

This is the day when the saints all go silently to church in France.

All the Girls Are Fat in Heaven

When you are sixteen and sixty-five pounds, you are all shadows.


Underestimate the beauty in the world and spill coffee down your shirt.

An Ethical Dinner Dilemma

“Even though we aren’t carrying out the deed, we are the most responsible.”

Another Decade, Another Mouth

she was sixteen, and swimming. she was seventy-one, and soft.

At the Big Table

Why kill something so mild-mannered, entertaining, and sociable?

At the End

Think of the fish whose stripes appear only on cooking through. Fold each thought: the highway stop where toilet paper is piled.

At the Supermarket

This must be what it’s like to be seen by God as we inch toward the infinite.

Bald Eagle

Your image is on my credit card, you and the old red, white, and blue.

Best Advice

My advice is to take advice with a grain of salt.

Biologists Test Promising Treatments for Hibernating Creatures

It seems too late for them to change, to find a way to survive awake.


We pried the last of the pallid squid from their crevices and ate them.

Birth of the Hippo

She transfigured into a swallow in flight, or a hippo in the rainy season.


Border Patrol

We loaded the packs and started down, into the bluing of dusk.

Brave Morsels

I’m the one with the most crumbs, little bits of salad or fudge.


When we’re all together like this it feels like hope is a possibility.