Collecting bottles, tossing leftovers, taking out the garbage
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Patricia Bralley is a biologist who lives in Atlanta, Georgia. Her story in this issue is from her as-yet-unpublished Thoroughbreds And Other Lesbians.
I’ve been passing pennies on the sidewalk. There seem to be a lot, as if I’m not the only one who doesn’t bother anymore to lean down and pick them up. After all, what good’s a penny anymore? It’s enough to buy a memory. Every time I see one I think of my Grandma Bralley.
The birds start singing when it’s still dark, the stillness before dawn, when life is poised and light begins a tentative approach. I ponder my investments, none of them financial.
I recall another day back in junior high. He wrote upon the blackboard large: DNA/RNA. He pointed to the letters lying there like some Kabbalistic mantra, then said, “This is the secret of life.”
“Name and form” the rishis call it. “Function and form,” biologists reply. Parallels accumulate. Coincidence perhaps, but I am forced to wonder. How much power is in a word, and can I make it mine?
There is a day in winter when warmth and wetness first come together perfectly. It is Spring, though no calendar admits it. There is a surging up. And it always seems a Sunday.