Leto the saint

Leto and the Fox Den

Half a lifetime ago, I came here to take pictures, to drink, to get infested by the city. It’s where I found the Fox Den and Leto with his wild, blonde dreads and black reader glasses. There were others like me; creatives, doubters, dreamers and

picture of heart

in a heartbeat

Valentine’s day, twenty-three years ago, was the first time I gave you flowers. You were ten, same as me.   I didn’t know I'd do it when I got up that morning, not until Jessie hit the ball over Mrs. McGinley’s fence. I went after it, climbing

bench with streetlight

Fried Chicken and Waffles

You said it was poetry––the block of grey blue sky and greasy clouds. You patted the bench beside you, but I didn’t sit. The park smelled of fried chicken and waffles from that place across the street, the one we never did try because who

living room chair

For Sale

Your mom’s selling her house, your house. She called me up, needed some help with the toilet in her bathroom. Always hated fixing other people’s plumbing (kinda goes without saying) but I didn’t say no to her, I never could. She was the gateway to

girl on the wall

Ash and Sky

I quit smoking. Did it without you. But that’s not how I wanted it to be. There was a lady at the picnic table, smoking, flicking ash on the ground. I sat down anyway, hanging onto my coffee with both hands so I didn’t rip

in hand

Lost and found

She was crouched down in the corner, clenched up and tucked like a scared dog. The street was empty but for her and her crying. The kind of crying I don’t know what to do with. The hiccup, snotty kind. I asked if she was

surfers

Night Surfers

It was a cold night and most of us weren’t dressed for it. We collected dead wood in the trees and started a fire on the beach. The usual place, but not all the usual people.   Turned out we didn’t have much to say. So, we

condo

Check Mate

It’s morning. There’s a sense of waiting for someone, like I’d forgotten a friend was coming over. The squares of light on the living room floor got me thinking of how we’d play checkers. How we’d take plates or plants or books and set them

pay phone

Collect Call

I’m back in my car but I may as well be walking. Traffic forgot how to move and I think I’m high on exhaust. In the rearview mirror, in my back seat, you’re looking at me, brown eyes too big. Nose too straight. You’re young.

Level 5

Level 5

I was parked on the 3rd level but I kept climbing, breathing my way to the 5th. The door was a grimier version of what I remember. You’re parking spot is taken by a Range Rover. Black. Spotless.   Somehow, I think you’d hate that it wasn’t

cafe

Sockless and Happy

I’m writing your name on a bar napkin, the edges sopping from beer glass sweat. I missed work three days in a row––keep calling in sick but I’m not sure what’s wrong. Maybe gravity just stopped holding me down.   This morning I passed the coffee shop,

house with crypt

House For Sale: Crypt Included

The temperature dips as the black-haired realtor leads us down the stairs.   “Be careful,” she says, hanging on the rail. “The wood steps are a little slippery. And don’t mind the smell.” She tosses a look over her shoulder, her next words sharp with glee, “I

scary house for halloween

A Few thoughts on halloween

Fall is here! It's hard to tell when you live in Arizona, well, the Valley anyways. There are no trees changing color and we're still waiting for the temps to get out of the high nineties. After ten years of living here it still seems strange that

metal shed

One Way to Nowhere

Mrs. Marcy, the neighbor from upstairs, said she saw you the other night, shivering behind the Greyhound Bus Station. I went to look for myself. There was an old man warming his hands over a burning garbage can. I asked if he’d seen a brown

Rains of Forgetfulness

There were wildflowers, yellow and purple, growing wild in the fields. The kind of flowers you would make me pull over for. To take a picture of. Or maybe to pick a few.   Two stops back I thought I saw you in a blue rusted pickup,

Postcard

Treasure Hunt

I think I came here once before. There was two or maybe five of us following lipstick clues written on recipe cards. I’d found one duck taped to the bottom of the bench, the lipstick smeared and ripped off along with the tape.   We laughed, tossed

House on wheels

Just think, you can pull it behind. Oh, you don't have a vehicle. You have a bike. A motor bike? Oh. BMX. OK. Well, it does have a sturdy shell and the blinds mostly work. There's even room for entertaining. You don't entertain? Well then

lone shopping cart

Survival

They left it there. As if it hadn't held all they owned––the scrounged up, the stolen and the bartered. There was a time when it was full, heaped with what they thought of as survival gear. The first day out, on the road outside the