September 19, 2021

Dear Frances,

September, and what is there to say?

The heaters have kicked on, and already I’ve forgotten what it’s like to live without that metallic rattle. The grey days and the early dark — it’s all coming. …

August 16, 2021

Dear Frances,

. Everything is smokey and orange and stale.

The geese will be leaving soon.

I’ve always seen these birds as beastly compared to the more delicate members of their species. The feathered dome of their chest: I feel the need to crack it open…

July 18, 2021

Dear Frances,

I don’t know how to . For hundreds of years, storytellers have trusted ‘once upon a time…’ to do the job.

In Germany, they say, “Back in the days when it was still of help to wish for a thing…”

In Korea, they say, “Back…

June 13, 2021

Dear Frances,

, again. That’s okay. We’ll make it through.

Remember, asks for very little. You only need to find shade and wash behind your ears at the end of the day. June does the rest.

See, June takes me to the sunset. June opens my…

May 19, 2021

Dear Frances,

You’ll be happy to know that the other day, during a regular shop, I bought something I wanted but didn’t need. A box grater. I haven’t owned one in the past. I thought anything a cheesegrater can do I can do with a sharp knife…

April 25, 2021

Dear Frances,

Some weeks the shop feels impossible. But not today. The walk over felt as long as I wanted it to feel, and the tea I was looking for was exactly where I wanted it to be. In the aisle where it always is. …

March 21, 2021

Dear Frances,

Today, I nurse an old hurt. With one hand, I write to you. With the other, I hold a bag of frozen peas to my shoulder in vain. I can’t reach the ache on my own. I’ve created a funhouse of all the mirrors I…

February 21, 2021

Dear Frances,

The week was cold and quiet. The plumber came to fix the sink. He stopped the drip but now the handles turn the wrong way. Out instead of in. It’s like that one Richard Siken quote,

“I take off my hands and I give them…

January 9, 2021

Dear Frances,

Yes, birds. And heights, merging, and public speaking. When I say public speaking, I don’t mean delivering a speech to an audience, I mean speaking to anyone I’ve known for less than five years—in or out of public, really. I worry that I’ll say the…

Zoe Mills

“Nothing happens here except that I write and write, and curse and burn.” – Virginia Woolf

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