I am a Sinner

Dawn Mailbu


The dawn.  Oyster pink.  The santa ana blows.  All night.  Fires burn onto the PCH.  Miles from here.  Red flag warning.  The strawberries are burning.  That’s what they say.

The house shook, the dogs startled.  In the morning I see that a tree gently fell over.

Could it be possible that I am writing fiction?  The devil is in the detail.

It’s the question du jour.

Am I telling the truth?  Did the tree really fall?

The inside of my mouth is burning.  ‘You can’t get rid of me that easily.’ he said.


I can.

He lay quietly in my bed. Tangled in the white linen sheets.

Yesterday or twenty years ago?  Or… never?

The maid remade the bed.  She sews buttons onto my coat.  You know, the buttons that nobody ever keeps.

‘Why do you push everyone who cares about you away?’ he asks.

You don’t care about me.  You’re just keeping your enemy closer. Do you think I’m a fool?

There ain’t no fool like an old fool.

I used to write these words for you.  Even when I wasn’t allowed.  I would let you know.  Even if you didn’t care.  Now, I don’t care.  Out there.  Dressed.  Undressed.  On your back.  Grunting like a pig.

There was a moment when I knew that everything would be ok.  Don’t ask me how.  Don’t ask me why.

The dawn chorus.  There was stag on the drive.  We looked at each other.  His antlers sprayed, pale gray flock.  I knew what he was up to.

Eating my tomatoes.

I didn’t close the gate.

It’s my fault.


The boy at the expensive coffee shop.  He told me that I was a sinner.  “It’s OK”, he reassured me.  “We are all sinners.  Your sin is no worse than my sin.”

Is that what I have to believe from the crazy Christian at the coffee shop?  I am, therefore I sin?


They don’t give a damn.  The gays.  They’ll be voting Republican as soon as the Democrats get them what they want.

Tom said, even though he doesn’t have any female friends, that Islam ‘refuses to grow up’.  Modernize.  He uses women as an example.

“They wear sheets.”  He mocks.

Yet, the Hasidic women not a mile from where he lives cannot grow their own hair, forced to wear modest clothing.

He is blind to all of that.

The sublimation of women by some Christians, some Muslims and some Jews… yes.  He can’t make the connection.

He said, “All Muslims should be killed.”  That’s what he said.

Yet, he goes to China where they stun the Falun Gong like pigs and harvest their organs while they are still alive.   Yes, they do.

He doesn’t have any female friends because they don’t ‘mesh with his lifestyle’.

Yes.  That’s what he said.