Duke Park Bath House

I suppose I always knew mama was different, born in New York City, loud and full-hipped, with thick dark eyebrows that pushed down against her even darker eyes when she was angry, which was often.

The Durham Co-op Market

I find a tin of candies melted into their wrappers, a tiny book of love poems by a very sad poet, the crumbling skeletons of a palmetto bug, a pair of withered camel crickets, and the perfectly preserved shell of a cicada, copper eyes bulging.

The Regulator Bookshop

So, I ask myself: What will it bea soundless existence steeped in the solace of language and letters, or a raucous existence marked by danger and dereliction, dragging my books along with me in a dirty satchel laden with dreams and lembas bread?


Joe Van Gogh

Rosetta was thinking about how free it looked up there on the moon, so clean and airy, a place where even your own story couldn't weigh you down. 

Family Fare (Roxboro Road BP)

She called the weather man by his first name, “Greg,” and said it so lovingly, it’s like she had another son, but a wise, all-knowing one who could deliver us from whatever hell or highwater was coming.

Durham Skate Park

But in the end, I always came back to Durham, a city that fit me like an old leather jacket, edgy enough that I didn’t feel embarrassed to call it my own, but small enough that I felt safe there, even with my father breathing down my neck about getting a real education.

TC's of Durham

A woman in red underwear and one of human Bill’s undershirts was sitting on the couch, looking back and forth between Regina and the parrot. “Hi,” Regina said, and she suddenly had the overwhelming urge to paint a pomegranate. Maybe it was the smell of sex in the air, or the thrill of finally letting go of something that had been haunting her. The sweet sourness of it all.

Home Depot #3620

I questioned all of Elise’s preschool teachers and the parents of her toddler friends. No one knew a Cindy. I wanted to be as nonchalant about Cindy’s apparent non-existence as my daughter was about finding God way deep down in the mud, but I didn’t have it in me. Cindy was creepy. She made Elise creepy.