On Twerking and Writing

As anyone who has ever heard a black comic perform or listened to a rap song knows, we don’t do
humblebragging. When you are the bomb, you simply say so.[…]


So, if I feel so alienated from gender, why should it be such a determining factor in who I would like? I can’t imagine making any woman who likes men happy. Wouldn’t we all be better off just liking everyone?[…]

Monstera Deliciosa Variegata: Grief and the Search for a Rare Houseplant

My feelings didn’t shift, but my body did. I knelt beside you on our bed and brought your head to my shoulder. I repeated her message. But you already knew. You had seen my face change.[…]

A Life in Six Thousand, Five Hundred and Forty Songs

The small FedEx box arrived in DC bearing an unlikely return address: Peter C. Hulsebosch III, Houston, TX. Surely this wasn’t from my brother, the brother who’d once told me he would never send a card, much less a gift, because then I’d get used to it […]


Simian Immunodeficiency Virus adapted to live in the body of a person, and then the window was pried
open: open to spread through the villages of Cameroon, and then the rest of Africa, and then the world
beyond, until it found its way to a club in the suburbs of New Orleans and into the lifeblood of the man
who lived next door, my uncle.[…]

Returning to My Father’s Kitchen

I take solace in knowing how to make my father’s chicken adobo, because when he died in 2017, it was one of the many dishes he had made for us that wasn’t lost to us forever with his sudden passing[…]

The Story of the Family Samovar

During childhood I heard the stories about the shtetls and the pogroms that escalated to become the
Holocaust where 6 million Jews—two thirds of the Jewish population in Europe— were killed for no other
reason than for being Jewish.[…]