Real Needs

I was in love with him, I told myself, and he had proven himself to be completely unknowable.


a lone guava covered in water droplets rest between leaves on a guava tree

A Grove of Guava Trees

I had hoped to feel some sense of her spirit, her presence— but there was nothing there.

a set of white lights out of focus against a grayish background, giving the effect of luminous circles

My Year of Light

Need I remind you of the properties of light? The way that it indiscriminately fills up any space that allows it in; how it does not hold back or intimidate; how it is simultaneously pragmatic and holy?

a field of weeds and flowers at golden hour


As everyone picked up their forks, placed napkins on laps, you would slide your wine glass over to your granddaughter and let her stick her finger in, suck the acidic sweetness from the tip.

a model ship on a shelf against a dark wook panel wall


My diagnosis allowed every doctor I saw to pretend they knew something about me. The more they knew, the less they listened to me...I could never get across that my body was a whole thing.

image of a younger hand with and older person's wrinkled hand in theirs

Hazardous Sharps

I have no idea if I completed whatever task I had been summoned for, but I remember the vehemence of his plea: If you know nothing else, you need to know this.

image of a pitch black scene, except for a lone illuminated window on the far right side of the image. The yellow light illuminates the walls and orange doors inside the room

Night Shifts

You learned to say “I need a job” in English at the JFK airport to anybody who would listen. That’s when they put a mop in your hands. So you started mopping, and then you stopped smoking, stopped drinking, or at least that’s what you told me you did. Maybe it was when you had Elizabeth, and before you had us, that you stopped having fun.