Category: On My Mind

  • American Boy

    American Boy

    “Get out of the lake right now, or I will fucking shoot you,” he hollers, staring down an invisible sight and into my eyes, his finger threatening to pull the trigger — a notched branch on the stick rifle he has cocked and rested on his shoulder. None of us respond, but if heart rates […]

  • Entropic


    Haltingly, I minced my way down the steep hill, head dipped, eyes sweeping the cement for potential hazards. One wrong step could trigger my cranky knee and cause issues for days. Months. Fuck it: years. Before menopause and a sudden rearing of injury, I never understood, in the dark root of me, complaints about joints; […]

  • Tell Me Something: 2022

    Tell Me Something: 2022

    She was seven the first time she asked, “Can I make a survey?” Of course, honey, you can come up with some questions to ask people, and we can print copies that you then alphabetize in three-ring binders. And yes, we can do this again in a couple years and again after that and again […]

  • Titties


    I push through the door — it’s late, but the massive cowboy hat on the roof glows red — and step into something more like a night club than an Arby’s. Steady, throbbing beats pulse across the rafters of the dim dining room, threading through stacks of waxed cups, snapping plastic straws with reverb. This […]

  • Flippin’ Pages

    Flippin’ Pages

    To buy a piece of furniture is to force lines and edges around amorphous aspiration. Take the blue chair that lives next to the side table we inherited when Byron’s grandparents moved into independent, then assisted, living in the early aughts. It smacks of the ’90s, that side table does, now host to coasters, cheaters, […]

  • Guard


    Calista Bergerson is twenty years old, a full-time college student who also works twenty-five hours a week. If that weren’t enough, she’s also a member of the Army National Guard under a “six-by-two contract” (actively in the Guard and going to drills for six years; then, for an additional two years, she will still be […]

  • Blue


    “And I’ll meet you at our usual place,” Helen said by way of wrap-up, as she did every time we finished planning an outing.  The first time she said it, I squealed. “I love that we have a ‘usual place’! I’ve only been in Belarus for a few weeks, and already I not only have a friend, but we even have […]

  • The Dress

    The Dress

    While the fall semester of 2020 was widely and rightly hailed as crushing for both teachers and students, it also presented glories. For me, one glory was a 17-year-old student named Miranda who enrolled in my Writing for Social Media class. Every week, I grinned at my screen as I read her work; the character […]

  • Inbox


    6:43 p.m.  I am sorry to bring this up, but I noticed the paper was due yesterday and not Sunday. I finished the paper prior to the rough draft phase, I have been waiting to turn it in. I made the inept decision to wait until Sunday to turn it in. I apologize for my lack […]

  • There


    The back of my head touched shoulder blades as I squinted into the sun, up the ladder rungs to the sky. One, two, three, four, five, six — nope, too high, back down again — five, four, three, two, one. I wanted to get to the top of the shiny metal slide, but not if […]