Barefoot to the Bridge in Winter

(excerpt) fiction premiere, New York Woman (link below)

Sensei was a man from another age and place, maybe from a different species, a stronger Homo-sapiens strain, not usually encountered in New York City. And even if you were not a man, he made you want to be more manly-resolved to vanquish fear and dump your cumbersome load of frailty. With the compelling power of his strength, he taught you what you had already learned –that weakness would never save you. As you watched his tensile lion’s feet subdue the floorboards of the dojo and his callused hands, perched on his wrists like a Roman’s falcons, deftly knotting his frayed black belt, you forgot your disdain for groups and leaders,your reservations about acquiring fierceness. And then, whatever Sensei asked,you heard your voice, amazingly deep, crying “Osu!” which means many things in Japanese, but mostly “yes.”

Barefoot to the Bridge

The Great Pigeon Massacre 

(excerpt) published in and The Best of Terrain. Link below.)

On the first day of spring, cries and the rush of wings in my rent-controlled building halted my work. One of the pigeons that nests in the air shaft had flown in the hall window on the floor above mine, and Rose, Fay, and Grandma, Fay’s ancient mother, were trying to chase it back out. Fay billowed a thin floral sheet at the intruder, perched on the wire remains of a light fixture ripped out of the wall. Rose thwacked a broom, crying, “Get Out! Get out, pigeon” in a plaintive voice, still cautious with English. Wearing her nightgown, Grandma looked on grinning delightedly. “Piccione! Entra la note!” she explained to me, winking and fluttering her mummified hands.”

To Cole Cole

(Excerpt) Published in Ploughshares, which also featured the story on its website, and American Nature Writing, ed John Murray. Nominated by magazine for Pushcart Prize and performed at the Unitarian Church in New York in “Stories with Soul”

She knew she would not reach Cole Cole even before she started to walk, knew she could not do twenty-five kilometers in the sand with this pack. These new boots, she had learned on her last hike with Freyda, were a half size too short, had bruised her big toenails on the Towers of Paine in wind that tossed her body against rocks.  Worse than the bruises was the raw blister that oozed into grit trapped beneath its loose moleskin plaster. She was determined to do a minimum of fifteen kilometers, but how far was that? Eons dispersed into the sky’s opaque membrane–she had not worn her watch–and she had no idea how long she’d been walking, or if darkness would strand her on this wild beach overnight.

To Cole Cole


The Beach of Silk Clothes

( Excerpt) Published in Del Sol Review

After we quarreled I went to the beach. The devalued peso had continued to drop, and in the remodeled fishing village of pastel hotels, lines stretched uneasily in front of the bank. Wandering the fake cobblestones of what were once dusty streets, I finessed jewelry stores, open late, searching for a cheap place to eat-my first meal in Mexico without him. At the door of a small restaurant in a hollow alley, a tiny, iridescent woman beckoned customers in…