Bills come in like falling leaves. They soothe me: a record of where I’ve been, as if the things I have might possibly define me. Sometimes I look at the statements, feeling good knowing these things I bought are still with me.

I put art on the wall: I’m drawn to water, people in the pictures reclining by a sea, or on a pool ledge. Food: I gather cookbooks, stuff on living healthy, carbon footprints, the taste of a pea. I buy the peas, things like star anise, spiralina. The recipes expand. Potatoes, onions, garlic. Lemon juice, tomatoes. Basil and cilantro. Cashews, pine nuts, almonds. Sesame, flax, and hemp seeds.

I sit on a chair of my new house. The chair is yellow. The chair is new. I look out to the sleet, the shadows of light. A motorcycle passes.

I think of my son, his last days as a junior in high school.

My kitchen is so new. With granite countertops, dark cabinets that I chose on my own. Stainless steel dishwasher and microwave and a fridge that fits more food than my son and I ever had before now.

He lived for fifteen years.

I never expected him to leave in the same way I lost my father. In my head I still see pictures.

When I found him with his hands out.

I keep seeing hands, everywhere.

I look for a new catalogue.

I find a series of hats. I find a lot of gloves that I like.



PictureKim Chinquee is the author of the collections PRETTY, PISTOL, and OH BABY. Her webpage is