Thursday, January 25, 2007


We sneaked blood-red tomatoes from the new kitchen. The new kitchen had oak cupboards, the top ones lit behind glass, showing carved flute vases -- green and robin’s egg blue and delicate pink -- porcelain chickens, beaks pointed to each other, two chickens discussing, one cock and one hen, the long ice masher, the silver plate, the Japanese clay plate, the wooden dish. There was a woodworker in the family; one of the grandfathers taught shop and built furniture. The granddaughters quarreled over who would inherit it: the gentle, cut-copper lamp, the small table, varnished and erect, with its legs flared at a stance to seem curved but not, straight. We were to eat just meat and to become discombobulated over bread and vegetables and not to indulge in sex with strange men -- men were all strange once you got used to their distance -- were Lincoln logs, poles, boulders and scrub trees. Sex was for gitting kin -- the new rules same as the old rules. Girls were for sex. Leave girls out of it: Let Latin grow in them. Teach girls joy and “no touching” and "three men max." Slather them with mother’s caresses and dog’s big-face kisses and paws.

(Published in Minnetonka Review, issue 2, Troy Ehlers, ed., March 2008, p. 15.)

1 comment:

Dipstik said...

I read JUNGLE four times and came to a conclusion: ". . . the new rules same as the old rules." Fiction is all about original, brilliant writing.