Exodus

We had come so close. We rationed proteins, we doled out water in scant mouthfuls. If we were careful, there would be just enough. Then we ran out of fuel. Outside, a blue-green world rotates tantalizingly out of reach. I lick my dry lips and send another mayday.

Sijak

Last week, I was sparring a black belt in Taekwon-do. Let me first say, sparring is the thing I find most intimidating about the sport. I like practicing forms, I like breaking boards and kicking bags, but facing another person? A person who is unpredictable and fast and (presumably) kind and not actually intending me … Continue reading Sijak

Have yourself a merry little everything

The best Christmas song out there is Brenda Lee's I'm Gonna Lasso Santa Claus, and I know just why, because: This song is a social justice anthem. Think about: it's pretty much impossible to escape Christmas music around the holidays, whether or not you celebrate. From old classics like The Christmas Song to newer ones—Mariah … Continue reading Have yourself a merry little everything

The perfect tree

Every year, it's my job to pick the perfect Christmas tree. And every year for the past fifteen or more, we go to the Red Shed, a family-owned outdoor tree lot that pops up around Thanksgiving at 18th and Burnside, in the heart of the inner east side. Some years we take the kids; some … Continue reading The perfect tree

Insomnia

It is nearly light and I have not slept. Pine boughs scrape the windowpanes. “Stay,” she murmurs when I stir, but the name she whispers is not mine. She drifts in and out, clutching the covers to her chest. Frost limns the window, and yet I lie here and burn.