Jun 13, 2008


SEATTLE, Washington – I misplaced my words somehow this season. They flew away on Alaskan winter beaches and bamboo-thicketed Italian classrooms and submerged Maltese wrecks and over the frail bones of my grandma, as birds sang her to sleep in Arizona – a last good-bye.

One night I even plunged into Lago di Como, when the rain extinguished all dock's the citronella candles and the grappa had flowed too freely. The back of my thigh blossomed black, then purple for a month.

"I'll go wherever the bruise is shaped," I laughed. The final verdict was elastic: Tin Tin's head. But still, I didn't write.

Oh, I typed (with apologies to that snot Capote). I said little.

Tonight Grammy struggles for breath across the continent. I twist her cheap red-bead crucifix, one borrowed from the hundreds that hung in the attic, back when her husband died in 2003. Even the child of a lapsed Catholic needs something to hold.

I gave her a wrist circlet of rough Croatian stone in its stead. A shrunken novena for a woman who weighs just 62lbs.

Her religion won't ever be more than a talisman to me, I fear.

Yet tonight I wrap it harsh around my palm, this fragile connection.

And maybe Emma's last gift to me is unleashing these words, too long suppressed...


  1. Squidge7:04 PM

    I'm glad you're back in the saddle, even if the impetus is so sad.

    Hugs, SF

  2. Grazie, caro.

    I'm just not sure where the saddle leads... Borneo, perhaps, judging from the bruise shape?