New Writing


I want us to be the miracle I once believed.

Photo: of Iran's Aab Sefid waterfall: Sara Hanif





Friendship is prayer (Photo by Sara Hanif)



Fly Trap

The carnivorous blossom hung on its stem under a plastic canopy that sweated on the inside with a miniature, mock-tropical atmosphere. We nourished others: the philodendron, and the kentia palm, but the plant that was a mouth kept our purest attention. Why didn’t we ask questions in those days, what it meant that green life accepted flesh?

Your divorce was gaining, and your latest job, the puppy and the cold north wind that winter enough to make us feel we knew our selves and our lives. Gently tugging the plastic canopy, and placing the nugget of red beef just so, the drowse continued, the long dream.

We had a new stereo, and the woofer made the hardwood shiver. Twice a week you called your children, and every month you lasted a weekend in the distant town. Home together again, we nearly named our ultra-lash relic, laughing.

It was our adopted conversation piece, a stare that required sacrifice, the living relic of a vanished god, the heavy lids that needed blood like a previous life, or a life to come, one we would repeat after this because of all the truths we were too preoccupied to learn. Until one day it folded and was a withered empty strand.

Perhaps we should have named it, and perhaps we should have taken more time in those days to love what we were. We forgot, if we ever knew, how one day needs both the mornings to come and the ones past, that to live is to take from air and wake hungry.


Fly Trap appears in the December 2017 issue of Stand.



 After Fire


The canyon is empty.
Even the scarlet stems
of poison oak.
Car hulls, ash.
Trees among
trees like breath.


We step across the field, char crushing underfoot,
carbon in the lungs, you beside me, hush, hush
and the soft, softer fault-line of desire.


What is left?  The house burned to a chimney, a front step to nothing. The sky gone except for the absent sky.


This was where she opened the book and burned.





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