(From my memoir, excerpt featured @ Hobart)

You elevate yourself onto your tiptoes and reach your right arm up as high as you can to grab the doorknob. You turn and push the door open, grunting from the effort. When the wooden door swings wide, the world outside is full of light—almost blinding. You squint, but can only make out a few things: the beams holding up the front porch, your sister’s bike, and the house across the street where you sometimes go with your sister to play on the Slip and Slide. You hurl yourself out the door, unsure where your feet will land. The concrete porch is cool and firm under your bare feet. You patter down the length of the porch, across the driveway, and into the warm, wet grass between your houses. You hear your father and your sister playing in the backyard sandbox. The quiet roaring sound of sand falling from a bucket reaches your ears. The grass is wet from the sprinkler your father ran earlier today, and your foot slips on a clump of slick grass. You stumble forward, but catch yourself, pushing yourself back up to a standing position before you start running again. Your palms are wet with moisture. Nothing can stop you. When you get to Ethel’s house, you throw one leg up onto her concrete porch, pulling the rest of your body up behind you. There are stairs on the other side of her porch, furthest away from your house, but you do not have time for stairs right now. Your breath is heavy and you feel your heart beating in your chest under your playsuit and inside of your ears. You raise your tiny fist and throw it against Ethel’s front door. Usually, you hug Ethel and run inside the house towards the kitchen, but today, you turn around, fully grown, your hips wide, your breasts full, your hair long and billowing wild around your face, to see that your mother is watching you from the front porch. She smiles at you, still in her apron, the front damp with watermelon juice, waving. She looks so much like you.

You see her.

You see yourself.

You, still your mother’s child, raise your arm and wave.





Other stories:


Other publications:


  • Finalist for the 2015 Indiana Review 1/2 K Prize, judged by Kim Chinquee
  • Finalist for the Iowa Review Award in Fiction 2014, judged by Rachel Kushner