nder the bridge is a bunny. The bunny is pink with floppy ears. The bunny is standing in the water. I am floating in the water staring at the underside of the bridge trying to understand its intricate engineering. How is it the concrete (and steel) doesn’t collapse on me? The bunny is staring at me staring at the bridge. I know this because I can feel the green eyes of the bunny on me. I know the bunny has blinked when the pressure lets up and I can go on concentrating on the bridge’s underbelly. I float over to the side of the river, crawl out of the water, climb up the slope of the embankment and step onto the bridge. I begin walking across the concrete slab, observing the cables strung from beam to beam. When I reach the bridge’s center, I look down at the bunny. The bunny is looking at me.





fter she takes a quick breath of air into her six-year-old mouth, she says, “You can be the mom, I’ll be the dad, and Xena can be the baby.” Bridget, my niece, daughter of my brother Pete, Sweet Pete as I like to call him, starts to arrange the knick-knacks in my parent’s living room in consultation with four-year-old Xena, daughter of my twenty-one-year-old step-niece Kiki who likes to watch TV, including soap operas, bad talk shows like Jerry Springer and this one show that highlights the strength and endurance of one warrior princess, a show that I find interesting, but not so interesting that I’d want to name my kid after the main character who wears, what I would call, a most impractical outfit for the job.
     “Can the mom take a nap while the dad and baby go for a walk?” I say while they attempt to set up house and I lay back on the floral print couch.
     “Daddies don’t take babies for walks,” Xena says and I think, she’s right, her dad has never even held her in his arms.
     “Everybody takes babies for walks,” Bridget says while she wraps Xena’s head and shoulders in a large doily and walks her out of the room cooing, “it’s okay baby,” as Xena imitates a baby’s cry. Finally, some peace, I think, as they close the French doors and I close my eyes.
     “Gina,” my mom yells from the family room, “we’re playing Rook and need another player.” Home for Christmas just two days and I’m already exhausted.
     “I’m going to pass, Mom,” I yell back, curling up under a blanket.
     “Just because you’re a hermit in your own house, doesn’t mean you can be one here, so get your ass off the couch. Kiki needs a partner.” Last time I heard my mom say ass was ten years ago when she said ‘Get your lazy ass out of this house right now’ to my brother Steve when he refused to mow the lawn for Mrs. Trapp, the eighty-year-old witch that lived next door, because he had a track meet. My mom added, as Steve was walking out the door with his spikes, “I don’t know why you care so much about your track meet, you’re only on JV.” Now, Mrs. Trapp is dead, my brother Steve is married to his own witch (mother of Kiki) and I have to decide whether I want to piss my mom off and make the rest of my vacation miserable or appease her and get my ass of the couch.
     “Okay, okay,” swinging my feet to the floor, “I’ll play Rook.”
     Pete, his wife Ann, Steve, his witch Brenda, my mom, my dad, and Kiki are divided between two card tables drinking soda out of plastic tumblers while Xena opens her mouth of chewed up Christmas cookies in Bridget’s face. “Quit it,” Bridget says pushing Xena away as I sit at the table across from Kiki with Steve and my mom in the other seats.
     Rook cards, like regular cards, are divided into four suits—red, black, green and yellow—and the game requires bidding for the kitty, calling a trump suit and hoping you and your partner across the table take enough tricks to cover your bid. Steve deals and Kiki starts the bidding; she bids too high. “Take it,” my mom says pushing the kitty toward Kiki.
     Under the table I can see Kiki’s leg twitch, her shoe’s heel bouncing up and down, and I realize she wants this game over as much as I do. Vacant eyes tell me she is tired. “Well, this is going to be interesting,” Kiki says raising her eyebrows as she picks up the five kitty cards and decides which five to discard. Xena climbs into Kiki’s lap rubbing her half-closed eyes. “You don’t have a chance,” Steve says to Kiki, to me. “Zilch,” I say flashing my eyes toward Kiki.




For me, the violin is the perfect alter ego.
It’s the instrument closest to the human voice,
the human female voice. It’s a siren.
–Laurie Anderson

I. Otherwise Known as Untitled Film Still #48

Before her, a dark, untitled highway stretches into a blind curve. She waits between the road and the grassy cliff. A suitcase stands quietly by, not clinging to, her legs. The thumb of her left hand touches the pawned crease between ring finger and palm. Her back is lit by approaching headlights. A pressed, white cotton shirt holds her nervousness in. Behind the headlights is a truck. Behind the steering wheel a man. On the man, polyester pants. In the pants, front pockets cut open with scissors. In and through one of the pockets is the man’s right hand. His eyes are on the hitchhiker.

II. Ceci n’est pas Le Viol

I stand in the middle of a stage. Yes, there is an audience. Attached to my crotch: a dildo, leather straps around my hips and thighs. A violin is horizontal in front of me; my hands hold its neck and ass. A white cloth tied in a knot over the strings, around the throat. The dildo is not on the strings like a bow, but under. The bridge unhinged. The strings are limp. Rosin in the air. I see nothing but white light.