A Center

If others call you a maniac or a fool, just let them wag their tongues.

A Country Doctor

A gravely ill man was waiting for me in a village ten miles distant.

A Dream of Ease

I shoved them one by one, easy as pie yet with care, just shy of mercy.

A Human History in the Wilderness

My grandfather committed my grandmother to a mental asylum.

A Lebanese Feast

Lebanon’s dreams of a homeland were fading with every rocket launch.

A Matter of Appeal

Felicia knew why he was there. He was waiting. Waiting for her.

A Partial History of Lost Causes

Chess was a humiliation that hung over him like a leper’s bell.

A Smile of Fortune

She favoured me with an even more viciously scornful “Don’t care!”

A Storyteller’s Story

Americans have always a kind of tenderness for cheat.

A Summer in Between

In a way she enjoyed the slow, sad feeling of letting it go.

A Vacuum Is a Space Entirely Devoid of Matter

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


However hard you try to make amends, they will still condemn you.


On my way to the airport I hit a Christian. This was in Arkansas.

After Saddam

He said he had come back to the prison because it was home.


Mostly he was in a hurry, so he’d just stick it in and away we’d go.

Afternoon and After

The event was an accelerator. So much matter crashed, vaporized.

Aim High Olongapo

From the flight deck Gray could see home, wherever that might be.


I’m mourning in the armpits of a lover we once called a family friend.

All My Friends Are Sad & Bright

We’ve seen the news. We know the story. How even our bodies hurt us.

All the Girls Are Fat in Heaven

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

Alphabet City, 1985

Tony’d had guns pulled on him more times than he had toes.

And Yet Beauty Lives

We are like a village here, separated from the rest of the world.


I tell him: junkies are the only people worth talking to about love.


Howard found himself dancing the merengue with a buxom Puerto Rican.

Are We Not Men?

The girl marched directly up to me, glaring, and said, “You hit my dog.”

Arthur Arellano

The pillow into which her face was turned muffled her voice.

At Swim, Two Girls

Why do girls want to cheerlead? Don’t they know it objectifies women?

Atomic Facts

I do not want to fall prey to the bewitchment of my mind by language.

Bad Samaritans

A Good Samaritan refused is no more good than any Bad Samaritan.

Be Patient

The dead children were wheeled away, covered with white sheets.