I remember poking my finger in the clay –what served as soil in the side-yard of my youth in Kansas– burrowing about an inch down, as if to prompt the bursting of the hyacinths which I loved so much. It would rain.
Not a timid spray of west coast fog or an upright new england shower, but the stomping Pawnee thunder that shook the screen door frames and filled the lake to swelling with its release.
The clay was an unforgiving slab of liver. Silt that has been packed to forgetting: a form between lake and rock, an inevitable, infertile,
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Listen to a podcast of Joly Herman’s “Closer.”
He pulls and she rolls away. He smells like leather. He pulls her back. She’s not convinced that she wants him. He pulls at her again. Sandpaper sobs next door. She stiffens herself against him. He strokes her arms; he puts his knees between her legs. She lets him have her and then she falls asleep.
She is climbing out of the shower when Sylvia walks into the bathroom, naked, a toothbrush crammed into her mouth.
“You sleep good?”
“Si.” Josie covers herself with a hand towel.
“You go today
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