T Kira Madden is an APIA writer, photographer, and amateur magician. She is the founding editor-in-chief of No Tokens, and facilitates writing workshops for homeless and formerly incarcerated individuals. A 2017 NYSCA/NYFA Artist Fellow in nonfiction literature, she has received fellowships from The MacDowell Colony, Hedgebrook, Tin House, DISQUIET, Summer Literary Seminars, and Yaddo, where she was selected for the 2017 Linda Collins Endowed Residency Award. She lives in New York City and teaches at Sarah Lawrence College. Follow her on Twitter @tkmadden and at www.tkmadden.com.
T Kira Madden
My favorite holiday of the year is the day after Thanksgiving, that is, the day I get to use leftover scraps to make jook. I have been known to steal turkey carcasses and ham bones from holiday feasts, driving them over state lines on ice, excited for the real meal. Like most (maybe all?) of us in the APIA community, I don’t waste food. My grandma taught me better than that.
Penelope does not want to be a ballerina anymore. She wants her name shortened to Lee, her clothes more threadbare, used. She’s my new friend Misty’s older sister, and lately she’s been playing the guitar for us—Fiona Apple, the Cranberries—her hair twisted in a long, slick braid, her words too big for either one of us to understand. Lee just began high school—five years older than we are—so Misty and I have taken to spying on her, asking every kind of question. We take our mental notes.
Fiction by T Kira Madden
SHE is not blind but getting there. She knows this. She knows it by the way people touch her like a banged-up porcelain doll. She knows it because she will be a teenager soon. She knows it so bad that she’s given up looking.
HE is fucking his palm, thinking of Judy Garland. He is wondering what makes a bad man so bad. He is wondering what makes old, old. He is wondering how he became both so fast, like this, without even noticing.