"A Beach on Long Island"
A Journal of Arts, Literature and Social Commentary, Number 16. Downtown Writers Center. Syracuse, New York: May 2022
“Are you family?” a woman holding a bunch of balloons asks me.
I shake my head no, and then offer, “I’m here to support you. I am… like these women.” Though the words are there, I can’t bring myself to say “a sex worker” – it sounds too political, too cold, too far away from words these families use, words the dead women themselves might have used to describe their experiences.
She nods gravely and the lines in her face crease deeper. “Would you like a balloon?” I do, and I wrap the ribbon around my hand several times to keep it anchored. The yellow globe of it bobs in the wind above my head as I mingle with family members and reporters.
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Lisa had been surprised at how hard fawns could suckle at a bottle. Their needy yanks moved their necks like swans. She loved watching the look on their faces as the glugs of warm formula went down their throats, stray drops beading on their muzzles. This first-thing-in-the-morning task at the wildlife rescue Lisa had been volunteering at since spring began made it all feel worth it.
Read my story on Necessary Fiction here.
"Not Screaming, But Resisting"
When I hear stories of people who yelled at would-be assaulters who crossed a line with them, said no clearly, and then got out of the situation, I do not feel comforted or empowered. I’m not impressed by righteous and good victims, white cis women who know their worth and will not tolerate the disrespect. I am a white cis woman, too, and I know that just as the ability to harass and assault people is connected to power dynamics, so is the ability to resist and reject harassment.
Read my piece and others from the ENOUGH series here.
"She is Our Rock"
The eldest sibling, a long-haired butch who prided herself on her abilities to tend to the sourdough starter as well as fell trees and chop wood, started to feel a push down on her bones during her third decade. A much heralded butch top, a dear friend of hers, had been diagnosed with lung cancer though she was not a smoker and was an ultramarathon runner. The LHB tended to the top, delicately respecting her toughness while also nursing her through a decline that would be the death of her. “She is our rock,” their friends said about the LHB as they came to visit the top while she rested and wasted away on the platform bed the two friends had built together long ago. The LHB was proud to be a solid presence for these people she cared about, but she had nowhere to lean.
Read my queer fable on Penumbra Online here.