This is not America: A Letter to my Children

If anyone builds a wall to stop you from dreaming, or if someone nails a glass ceiling down over your dreams, trying to suffocate your desires, I hope that your mother and I, and the education you are actively pursuing, have given you the fortitude to fight back for the right to have your own desires. Tear down any wall built by fearful boys. Break any glass ceilings put in your way by insecure boys.  

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Ineluctable Modality of Photographs of Daughters

If ever there existed an in-between world, a land not answerable to our laws of gravity and movement, my daughters inhabit it every time they see me once again for the very first time.  Frozen by this neither here nor there moment, they linger with breath held. They wait just as they had been waiting before my arrival for my return. They know not to trust me. They know that even though I have just returned yet once again to Pittsburgh from California that in a week or so I will return to California away from Pittsburgh. The sole purpose for this arrival, of my stepping off the plane, is to make possible another departure. One evening while we are playing outside in my sister’s yard, an airplane flies overhead. Quentin will say, “I hate airplanes.” So my daughters cannot move when they first see me. Will not budge an inch. Not until they find enough courage to release themselves.

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