the therapist says nothing
I haven't told myself -
rainless clouds


Red squirrels have been part of my life since the first day I moved into the house. Every morning they race across the roof and bounce into the trees, chattering and chasing each other. Every so often they freeze upside down on a tree trunk, tails flicking, nostrils twitching, eyeing me as I watch them cavort from one of the garden to the other.

One day I hung a bird feeder from one of the trees. The squirrels chattered for joy and raced across my rood more than once. The friskiest one walked the length of the branch, hung from it by his hind legs, stretched himself out as far as he could, grabbed the feeder and brought it close to scoop seed into his waiting mouth. The next day I came home with a metal pole with an extension arm and planted it in the middle of the garden away from everything that squirrels could climb. It stood there like the forbidden tree in the Garden of Eden. No sooner had I hung the feeder than the squirrels found their way up, reached the feeder, shook it hard, watched the seeds scatter to the ground, and then jumped down eagerly to feed. Refusing to be defeated, I greased the pole with vegetable oil. Now the squirrels strain their way to the top, red bellies glistening in the sun, their brown eyes fixed on me as they slide down the pole like firefighters.

                                  broken promise
                                  a magnolia bloom thuds
                                  onto the ground



rejection -
a bruised apple rolls
off the shelf

                                     Buenos Aires tango
                                     at the end of an alley
                                     the Big Dipper

sultry evening
the moon's tide
pulls me in

                                     his oil paintings
                                     so unlike mine—
                                     passion fruit

old pier
boats in the marina

                                     carrying on
                                     as if nothing had happened
                                     dogwood in bloom


tai chi
slicing the morning mist
in quarters

I Hear Her Say

My father, sister and I board a fishing boat to take us out to sea. I am holding my mother’s remains in a wooden urn. I am the one tapped to do the deed. When we are far enough out, I walk to the back of the boat. The driver slows down and then cuts the engine. I pull out mother-in-a-bag. I begin to pour. Just then the breeze kicks up and throws her ashes back in my face. Not so fast, sweetie! I gasp. I am covered in my mother. I cough. I spit. I move fast. I finish the job. In a dramatic gesture I toss the urn overboard. It bobs up and down on the waves like a turtle. Then it begins to sink. Oh crap! I can’t swim!

journal entry
the last word



"My mother was born without toes,” my friend said. “As a child I didn’t think anything of it. I thought all mothers were the same. Then one day, I went to the beach with some friends and their families, and I was shocked. All the women had toes. So I thought girls grew into them as they got older, like breasts. Except all the girls had toes, too. That's my coming of age story."

                                     ink dripping
                                     down the canvas
                                     bamboo forest


Everybody needs money. The subway system is in the red. The non-profits are in the yellow. And I'm in the blue. You left me holding the bag of recyclables that you were meant to cash in on your way to work this morning, past the car dealership, the school and the bank where we have a joint account, which will need to be dissolved now, but not until we discuss with our lawyers who gets custody of the unanswered questions and who gets the explanations.

                                            worn out marriage
                                            we blow out the light
                                            of a hundred candles


When you are nine and the daughter of a British father and a Jewish mother from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and you’re afraid of people, and live in your own make-believe world, then moving to Mexico City can seem like a rude interruption to an otherwise idyllic life of denial.

                                                  snow on the tarmac
                                                  tire marks all the way
                                                  to customs



get-well balloon
losing air every day -
the long journey home

                                              drying in the dish rack
                                              her long-haired wig

afternoon break -
a fused-glass artist pours
honey in the tea

                                             late night at the airport
                                             the shoe shine man
                                             polishes his own shoes