Archive for March, 2010

Don’t go yet, I said,

because the car keys are lost.

Where are you supposed to go without them?

And I’m not done yet and I prefer you don’t you walk out on nights.

What are you going to do, walk home?

What then?  Then they’ll know our story

isn’t a story at all

and that our timeless American adolescence

is over.

I remember being so proud.

And you would just shake your head.

You’ve no right to be the peacock of the bunch, you’d say.

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Another on the side.

They must fry bacon and eggs every morning. Layers of black grease built up around the burners. Under the sink, pots with food dried in them, post-depression era thinking leaving piles of pans passed their due — can’t throw anything away, but always important to buy new, and more. A sale means stock up, who cares if you never eat canned pumpkin. You know how long it takes that stuff to expire?  These did.

Every morning he is propped up, struggling to find breath, four or five pillows keeping him near upright. It’s easier to breathe that way, his wife tells me. He is giving as much attention to breathing as I would give to removing a splinter from my daughter’s finger. “He’s just having a bad day,” his wife says to me, and then to him, “You’re just having a bad day.” He never lays all the way down.

She goes out to finish laundry. She does the laundry with a stick in a plastic tub in the back yard because the machines are broken. I told her my cousin is a plumber, and would fix it, no problem. She said she didn’t want to be a bother, “You already do too much.”

She’s got a list of errands to run, asks me if I could stop a few places for her. She wants me to pick up a shower rod, some children’s aspirin and pistachio nuts. That’s what’s written, pistachio nuts.

I clean out pots and pans, throwing away most that I find. I scrub the stove, get through a few layers and give up. I hear him gasping in the room next to me. I look in and he’s still, staring ahead.

I’m scrubbing, she’s got her stick in the clothes, and he’s in there, watching his exhalation, hoping the inhalation will come next. We’ve got our distractions. Maybe that’s why he only gets weaker.

And I wonder if that’s why I’m here, again. I don’t even want to think about what’s in that closet, yet I go open it, and start breaking down boxes.

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Mr. Glenfrankus’ favorite color is eggplant.


Mr. Glenfrankus has a pet fish named lizard. He is allergic to reptiles.


Mr. Glenfrankus has the talent of having no difficulty reading while walking, even up and down stairs.

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Mr. Glenfrankus peeled a mango with his hands. The juice got all over and was sticky under his finger nails. It was early, and that’s just how the mango needed to be peeled and Mr. Glenfrankus wasn’t to be told otherwise.

He was sleepy and the kitchen was silent, just the humming breath of the refrigerator.

“Man,” Mr. Glenfrankus said. “There’s mango juice everywhere. Better go get my hat.”

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‘Twas hours and hours after dawn.

The last guests were finally gone.

Oh là, ça va, hélas, it’s time for bed.

Oh my, leave me, my limbs feel like lead.

With that, it fell silent, quiet and true.

No time for trifles, worries, hitherto.

Never was there an hour simply so full.

But leave me here, Mr. Glenfrankus, wrapped in wool.

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