I live in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, and teach at Wayne State University, in Detroit. I wrote No Return Address: A Memoir of Displacement (Columbia University Press, 2000), for which I was awarded the YMCA Writer’s Voice Grant for Creative Non-Fiction in 2001, the Wayne State University Board of Governors Award and the Arts Achievement Award in 2002; I have a poetry collection entitled Through the Straits, at Large; a chapbook of poetry entitled The Evidence of Spring; and a detective novel entitled Missing Members; as well as short stories and over two hundred poems in literary magazines such as Porcupine, Poetry International, Branches Quarterly, Barrow Street, Nidus, Full Circle Journal, Short Story, Natural Bridge, Center, Evansville Review, Santa Barbara Review, River Styx, Spoon River Poetry Quarterly, Weber Review, etc.

Old Wives' Tales

it always begins with him who wants
to remain the invisible worm
who cannot bare himself even to candlelight

his disappearing act, his daring
her to play hide-and-seek

and she?
what can she do
bologna paris oxbridge harvard yale will not
let her climb their ladders
as for wittgenstein, he pulled it up
she falls for it

i don’t mind the journey it is an old motif
what troubles is the small finger
she must cut off to open the door
as if
still attached and throbbing
with its own quiet pulse
it could not serve as key

she must maim herself
so live
if the wound does not go on bleeding
or fester
if scars don’t rip

she must keep about her those small bones
chicken they say but i have my suspicions
only with bones can she build each rung
and even that life those lives cannot suffice
she must cut away again
at herself for the last highest step
to what?
everyday light on her want