At Galveston

I’m standing on the sidewalk in front of Mrs. Snay’s house. I’ve just finished cutting her grass. My shirt is soaked in sweat. I’m waiting for my mother to come pick me up. Her car should be coming down Fisher Street any minute. This is years before my dad dies so she still has that shitty green Ford wagon that burns oil and smokes for ten minutes every time she starts it. Later, with the insurance money, she buys a Pacer that she keeps until she dies and leaves it to my sister who drives it for two more years before it burns up on the highway while she’s driving to Lawrence to buy cocaine and when the police get there they arrest her for driving under the influence, her third strike, and she spends four years in state prison where she reads Audre Lourde and comes out clean and clear and with the help of a social worker goes right into college, gets a degree in Women’s Studies and then a job teaching underprivileged kids in a poor school district in Houston where she meets her partner Lucy. They’re finally able to marry in 2015 and I go down to Houston for the wedding and find out that my old friend Paul lives just a little way out, in Galveston, and he wants me to come over and sit on his deck that looks out over the Gulf and when I’m sitting there I’m reminded for some reason of the time my mother dropped me off at soccer practice and wanted to kiss me goodbye and I said, Mom, please, not in front of my friends. I got out of the Pacer and she sat there in the parking lot for a few minutes and then drove away. I start crying right there with the water lapping below the deck and Paul says, It’s the Gulf, man, she’s so pretty at this time of day, it’s not the first time she’s made somebody cry. Then my mother is driving down Fisher and the exhaust haze fills up the street behind her and all the rest is way far in the future and none of us suspects what’s coming.

Dogs

Here he is again, he’s here, again, here he is, walking, here he comes walking, he is walking, he walks, look, look here he comes, here he is, he is here, the long walk here is the long walk, he’s opening now, look, long walk, the questions he has, he’s here, here with the questions, the long questions, he’s here, here with the questions, questioning, the stairs, the porch, the long walk, the stairs the porch the long walk the feet the steps the long walk the stairs the stepping the legs, the feet, the long walk, he’s here after the long walk, the night the day the long walk, he’s here after the long walk, he’s here, he’s here after the long walk, the stairs the porch the door the stairs the porch the door the fingers the hand the palm the door the door the knob the door the knob the finger the hand the palm, he’s here, the long walk the fingers the hand the palm, the door the knob the room, he’s here, the room the door the knob the steps the feet the shoes the shoes the shoes the stairs the porch the door the room, he’s here, he’s here, the man the walk the porch the room, he’s here, the man the room the jacket the hand the fingers, the man is here, the man the jacket the shoes, his hand, his hand, the man is here the man is here, the man is here his hand his arm his shoes his legs his knees, he is here, the man the room the room the next room the next room the boy the girl the man the man the woman the table the food the chairs the man the woman the boy the girl the food the table the room the chairs the legs the table the under the legs the feet the floor the table the food the napkin the napkin, the nose, the mouth, the food, the sounds, the man here the woman here the by here the girl here the window the night the light the man is here the man is here the food the voice the food the chairs, the man’s voice, the other voices, the voices, the food, the night, Give them some, it’s okay, the man, the man, the voice, the boy the boy’s hand, the boy the hand the bread, the bread the hand, me, me, the brad the bread, the man the boy the hand the bread, me, me, You too, go ahead, the man the girl the bread, the laughing, tap tap tap tap tap, Look at those tails going, They love that bread, the man the woman the boy the girl the food the night the end the legs the moving the dishes the floor the dishes the floor clink clink wait wait wait wait okay, Go, the plate the food the tongue, me, the light the legs me, me, me, the door, the light, the wind, the grass, me, the hill, the fence, the pile, the leaves, the stump, the stones, the wall, the tree, the garden, the ash, the house, the corner, the door the door the door, Already? Okay, okay, the woman the girl the boy the man, the lights the lights the lights the stairs the dark the light the dark, me, us, the beds the beds, the man the hand, Lay down both of you, it is time it is time, light dark, bed, Thank you heavenly Father, Good night dear, good night, good night, good dog good night good dog good night good

Physics, Explained

All stuff is made out of smaller stuff and the smaller stuff is made out of different smaller stuff that is also made out of stuff even smaller. It’s difficult to imagine the smallness of the stuff that’s making up the all the rest of the stuff, but get this: that stuff is also made up of stuff even smaller! The stuff way down there at the bottom is so small that it’s not really even stuff at all, or not like stuff that we understand as being stuff. It’s so small that it’s not really even there. It’s more like it’s on the other side of the stuff and that’s the side where things get interesting.