When I need to break your hold, Loose my grip; when I need to hold my fire-- All I can do is drive. In the city you drive Me to distraction; you hold Me accountable for every fire. Out here, the sting of salt-smoke--the fire In my chest--dominates my drive. I breathe it in, as … Continue reading Mojave

Learning to Swim

I speak when I should listen. Leap when I should look. I ride the wave of my self-righteousness until it crashes and, drowning, reach for the first hand I see. Now, fist closing on air, I am engulfed: I've never swum alone.


I can picture it. The orderly, bringing in the mail. The postcard with pictures of us, the happy couple, dated two weeks ago and signed, "With all my love -- Renie." The orderly asks, “Who got married?” My mother replies, “I don’t know.”


In the span of a breath, everything changed. Only I didn’t know it then. Before, back when I was just plain Renée and things were easy, I'd walk into a place, score another notch on my belt. I'd bring them home and let them leave. And that was okay. It was more than fine, because everybody … Continue reading Exhale

Ladies’ night

Tonight is Ladies’ Night! the sign read. Scrawled underneath: Every night is ladies’ night at the Mink.  I straightened my tie. Paid the five dollar cover just for show. I caught your eye, and in the span of a breath, everything changed.