Yoga makes me feel better, but it doesn't stop the heat. I practice in the shade of the mesquites. Something feels not quite right. The swamp smells of sulfur and methane. Do odors cast shadows? Screams interrupt my practice. A man at the edge of the swamp is in flames "Drop!" I yell. "Roll in … Continue reading Mrtasana


Jarrod the Lightbringer says to do yoga, lots of yoga. I trust Jarrod as if he were my last and only line to sanity, which I feel he may be. I have discovered a methane blowhole in the field behind base camp: That's what causes the dizziness and nausea. I'm limiting my time at the … Continue reading Vasisthasana

The Lightbringer

I find shelter in the library. It's not cool, but it's cooler. A woman laughs over a book on organic DYI recipes for mosquito spray. I'm not dying. People die from exposure. I am not dying, not at this moment. It's cooler in the library. I can't erase the sight of the woman--Martha Sally--lying at … Continue reading The Lightbringer

Wet Bulb 95

It's so hot. I water my plants twice a day. The plants aren't much--people call them "trash plants." The smell warrants the name. They produce dense black fruit that smells sulfuric but tastes surprisingly delicious--like broccoli, actually. I eat at least one a day. The fruit satisfies. I'm guessing that the high sulfur content protects … Continue reading Wet Bulb 95

The Impulse at the Center of the Void: Second Letter to Stacy

A reply to: A letter from Stacy Dear Stacy, Do you know? Your letter took no time at all to arrive! In fact, I found it waiting for me as soon as I returned from my walk. I feel sad that you sometimes expect letters to carry criticism and yelling. Do others sometimes tell you … Continue reading The Impulse at the Center of the Void: Second Letter to Stacy

Data without Names

I don't remember the names of most of the people I've met. I remember Veegan the Freegan's name. Maybe if everyone's names rhymed, I'd remember them. I have a hard time even remembering individuals' distinguishing characteristics. There are the blue guys. There are others. That's about it. But I remember Tessa's name. Tessa is the … Continue reading Data without Names

And Solitude

It's more than twenty miles. It's thirty at least up a steep incline with switch-backs. I leave base camp early. I trek all day, stopping now and then to gather wild berries growing alongside the empty highway, to cool in the shade of a boulder or, once I gain altitude, beneath a pine. And then, … Continue reading And Solitude

A Crowded Path

I can't waste energy wondering if this is a dream, or trying to wake up, or calculating which path brought me here, because I am here, and I need to figure out what I will eat. A cooler sits beside some tables in my camp. I'm not sure if I trust the food inside. The … Continue reading A Crowded Path

Author’s Letter 1: Reality is Beautiful

Hi, Stacy. I'm Cathy Tea. I found your profile on the Pen Pal Project site, and when I read that you wanted to write someone who knew that reality is beautiful, I chose you. Because reality is beautiful. My current writing project centers around that. Maybe I should say it explores it--I'm not sure if … Continue reading Author’s Letter 1: Reality is Beautiful