She Wants to protect herself from recollection. To think back is to enter her parent's house, nothing left but a child's cryptic script. Her mother's voice is an apparition she reads as warning of her world without end, a loop a daughter hopes to fall out of. Refuge is a self inserted inside a self, slick as the space between two teeth. She allows herself to linger. Even now, when her palms want to lift in praise of recollection, she keeps them still beneath her, and the past shrinks to another abstract sentence: the place we keep returning to is the place we've just left from. It's the punctuation she'll end with: a period, an exclamation point, a question mark.
Maria McLeod writes poetry, fiction, monologues, and plays—three of which have been performed on stage. Honors include three Pushcart Prize nominations and the Indiana Review Poetry Prize. Originally from the Detroit area, she resides in Bellingham, Wash., where she is an associate professor of journalism at Western Washington University.