“Cold Comfort” returns

As we move slowly into autumn and the days grow shorter, I’ll begin to dwell on cold thoughts again.

That’s why I’m so delighted to report the return of my lyrical essay, “Cold Comfort,” previously published in a now-defunct literary journal, and now given new life by Doubleback Review.

It’s not lost on me that Doubleback Review takes as its mascot the Bactrian camel — not to be confused with the single-backed Dromedary camel native to the Middle East, the backdrop against which the central events of “Cold Comfort” are set.

Steady, soaking winter rain lashing at the windows. I remember Amman winters. I think about huddled refugees, about the cozy refuge of a big family. As the rain pours down, I remember bombs pouring down on the desert.

I didn’t expect to find rain in Jordan. I expected sand and dust and unrelenting sun, but downpours are standard for winter there, too.

Conditions are significantly different in Jordan and Palestine now than when this piece was written, whether that’s in public health, environmental urgency, the refugee situation, economic shifts, political quakes, or even recent earth-shaking events in nearby Beirut.

Nevertheless, I hope you’ll find “Cold Comfort” compelling and relevant still.


  1. […] All of that is true enough. What I wasn’t prepared for in Tucson was the variability of its summer weather. My experience of the Jordanian desert was eight months of hot and dry with clear blue skies, followed by four months of daily cold downpour. […]


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