Having found everything I wasn’t looking for, I have forgotten the crucial thing I had to have, too long distracted by the beauty of all I thought superfluous.   Interested in comets and only comets, 18th-century French astronomer Charles Messier doggedly catalogued 103 not-comet celestial objects that frustrated his search, including star clusters and nebulae, […]


My old buff hen sits the nest as if still young, her plump red comb signaling fecundity she no longer possesses, being nine, or decidedly geriatric in woman years, her last viable ovum having gathered yolk and dropped sweetly into her infundibulum long ago, no fanfare, quietly adding albumen, spinning slowly down the tunnel of […]

I Having outlived our reciprocal usefulness, we mull the stubborn residue of the situation: the nostalgia of remembering, the impunity of forgetting, how the past may persuade the present, but not indefinitely; how time makes plain what romance adorns. The gifts we cherished have become white elephants; gold spun patiently into straw. II Choosing honesty, […]

Whether I can be something different next time: Male. Straight. Dark-skinned. Not American. An ocelot. Whether I was stupidly happy all along, but felt too smart to admit it. Why all guns aren’t toys. Why all children don’t have ponies. How You made the color of Liz Taylor’s eyes. How You made purring. (Whether the […]

Squirrels snort spring though estral arteries, leaping the lengthening days, tails backlit by sun. Shall I care more for the latest manmade drama than their tussled play, their animal exuberance, the heated unions that will bring forth kits — naked, blind, burgeoning, beautiful — a better telling of a better story? Shall I bemoan my […]

Not apprehending time, my old cat says she will live forever. I tell her that in the last years — — of forever, which she does not apprehend — she will need other humans, that I will have gone ahead to answer to God, right after I plug in the heated bed, prepare her favorite […]

The January 31, 1955 cover of Sports Illustrated featured a fresh-faced young skier, blonde curls¬†falling languidly over her sun-and-snow tanned forehead, blue eyes meeting the photographer’s lens with a seriousness that belied her exuberant personality. Her name was Jill Kinmont, and at 18, she was the national slalom champion and a likely medal contender in […]

You do not have the flu. The cat is not sick, nor the dog lost. The bitter cold has not burst the pipes. The firewood is dry enough to catch the perfect flame thrown by the ordinary wonder of a rough-struck match. The small, wild things — plumed, delicate — fly hollow-boned to the feeders […]

Really. This gallery of images goes out to squirrels everywhere whose beauty, acrobatics, comic timing, perseverance, adaptability and fabulous tails continue to impress and delight any human with sense enough to appreciate them. Most especially,¬† I remember Chloe, whose intelligence and charming sense of entitlement graced my life for five years and inspired this prose […]

Why serial killers are handsome, and sociopaths charming, as if we don’t have enough trouble telling good from bad. Whether islands float, or go all the way down. Why baby animals are so much cuter than baby people. Related, why humans don’t have fur, which would make us more attractive as we age. Also warmer. […]