East Durham Bake Shop

Above me is a map of the world. Australia sits sweetly above my head in camellia pink, and beside me a jade plant pushes its dozens of green palms into the sugared air.

Jesus Time Tabernacle

...it seemed blasphemous somehow, thinking about Jesus as a toddler, or worse, a baby in diapers. But, Ashley supposed, he must’ve been one once, right? She had never thought much past the infant in the manger bit, like somehow in her mind Jesus went from infant to grown man to savior on the cross, but of course it couldn’t have happened like that, even if Jesus was a miracle.


My dad says if you knew what a bullet did to a body after it entered the skin, you’d never pick up another gun.

Highway 70, Psychic

People don’t come to a psychic because they want to know the truth. They don’t even come to a psychic because they want to know the future. They come because they want to be listened to.

East Pettigrew Street

You didn’t know it then, but you made me to tell a singular story of this land and I am telling it: we are all, all of us, mad and solemn and desperate in our insistence on being here at all.

Red & White

 I was still thinking about the meat ... the pink glistening packages of pork shoulder and flank steak, the chicken livers shining like wet rubies, the earthy texture of the ground beef, like furrows in red dirt.

Trinity United Methodist Church

... the man had smiled down at him. “Merry Christmas,” the man said. His voice had been deep and rich as the man who sang his grandmother’s favorite Christmas song, the one about silver bells and Christmastime in the city.

Geer Street, Chimney Swifts

James used to wonder where to find his group of swifts– a group of creatures who, like him and his mother, did not settle in one place, but traveled from one to the next, clinging with whatever weight they had to whatever small space they could claim.

Pine State Electric

"There are crystal chandeliers, linen drum lanterns, wrought iron sconces – all of them burning with different levels of intensity. Some white-hot, some soft yellow, some a deeper glow that borders on auburn. 'Who turns them all on?' wonders Carli."

Northgate Park

"The artist's grief was untouchable but still knowable, somehow, and the winter branches of the trees seemed imbued with the simple promise of life." 

Window Co. (North Roxboro Road)

Charlie always said to people worried about bad luck that a piece of glass is not a mirror, even if it sometimes serves as one. And a son is the same as his father, though their reflections may be similar, and though they may cast a similar shadow.