What a Sunday afternoon treat! I especially love Morano's descriptions of her family and her marginalia, both of which remind me of my own. (I say this on a Sunday afternoon in bed with my copy of BAE2015 lying to one side of me and my feverish three-year-old sleeping on the other.)


"2008. Dark-grey cover with a light grey band at the top. A wrinkled spine and pen marks on every page. How is that possible, I wonder now. Who reads an anthology cover to cover?


"Back in the apartment, after the final feeding and the bath and the lotion and powder, after stuffing the five-month-old sausage legs into cotton pajamas that zip to the chin, they dance. The baby loves Lori McKenna’s 'Bible Song,' the up-tempo and slight twang of her crooning about the urge to flee a small-town world. The man holds the baby in one arm and the woman in the other and they sway, dipping their knees, the baby smiling as he looks from face to face. When they get to the verse about the cousin who killed himself, leaving two kids behind, tears fill the woman’s eyes. But she doesn’t stop singing and they don’t stop dancing and she thinks that this is what it means to be a family: anything can happen. The future has thin edges that, if handled the wrong way, can cut to the bone.


"Later she will think of these months in Madrid as very happy and, at the same time, very sad, a period when the future was daunting and, at the same time, filled with hope. In the face of all that contradiction, what else could she have done but continue to call that disconnected number, continue to rock and wipe and walk and dance, to wait and withstand, to take notes and to read, above all to read, as if every word on every page were a tiny yawp of prayer."


"The back of my neck constricts, just below the hairline, and I feel I’ve been here before, with this same response to these same words. But is that true? Am I remembering reading them, remembering being moved, or am I simply moved anew in a familiar, pleasing way?"

And there's so much more! Read the rest here.

AuthorJohn Proctor