SolsticeOnce upon a time, when you were still sunlighthouses and shimmering existence wherever you were needed most, you found him. He was November, shaky on his first last legs, and you saw through the mind-twistings he feigned to the mind-twistings that were really there, knotted up in his dreams.
You were still birdsong then, and thunderstorms, and your bodyheat melted the frost claws that held him tight. You held onto him as his November deepened. When he howled, you howled with him, and the wind played with your voices and pressed the softness of your lungs against your cageribsand then against each other's.
November became solstice, and you felt him shiver through that long night and didn't mind the coldbitten nails that grazed your skin. He slept when the moon drowned below the treeline, but the iceflakes began to drift in like small animals seeking the pulsing riverheat of your blood, and chilling you. He lay there, vulnerable as his world turned slowly towards the light, and you
Like petals and leavesWhen she thinks of him, she thinks of tree branches:Like petals and leaves1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
spindly fingers spread out, stretching
in angles wide for handfuls of sky.
And she thinks of him.
She thinks of him digging his toes
into soft, damp sand,
wading in shallow depths before
being carried by crescents of the sea.
She thinks of him in a blur of curls, in the
warmth on her waist and the coolness on her lips,
pressing the memories and the maybes
like petals and leaves
And she thinks of him.
Cheap fix, 360Unbound structure;Cheap fix, 3601 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
None of these are meant to be here.
cheap and shaven
grooves are rusted.
There is no tool that can pull them out without breaking,
the planned out
We had the instructions sure
and all the parts
in our fumble,
in the exchange of hands
of ALL the people who
intended to help us;
in all the accidents
no one at fault
for all our faults)
some fell beneath the table
underneath the drawer
into dark unreachable corners
so we worked with what we had
and made our own instructions but it was never
the perfect picture.
It wasn't everything it was suppose to be.
She seeks for the imperfect
perfection or maybe
she just wants to work
in the seams(a) when I was young I was a robin that stole the eggs from another's nest.in the seams2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
fitted upon my stare there was a warning
personal's too personal for me, well i
would not use wings if i had 'em.
a child of rye with a silhouette spoiled by the sun, I was, I am.
and sometimes I see some vengeful sparrows still under my fingernails;
their glistening beaks snap melodies that rib a hundred bird-bone cages,
so light you could blow 'em away with a twist of your lungs.
and there are still words jailed between my teeth and my tongue and I do not speak of,
do not think of
but they rattle between bone and flesh and I
drown them sometimes when I sing.
(b) oh, you:
"love is a hobby like anything else, and I no longer have the time."
she asks me what I'm writing:
I am constructing a corpse can't you hear
me as I speak the meaning out of my name and
you bleed like I smile:
slowly, and without malice.
Send Me the Raintoday, they're all talking about the fires.Send Me the Rain1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
the people on TV, the voices on the radio,
the mouths that open and whisper
and softly touch tongues. even the sky is
revealing black plumes of smoke,
flaunting shameless and seductive curves.
the rain's been too dry and the lightning
isn't wet enough, panic is
rising out of control in this
burning city. that's
we have a crisis on
our hands- the balloons are
running out of air and even
the experts don't really know why,
and on top of those sinking rubber toys
my soul is losing moisture
faster than the crackling grass under the duress of flame.
i'm starting to see the subtle luscious contours
i might not exactly be news-worthy
but if i catch, then
the forest might too.
i'm considered a reasonable loss, however.
they heard it might storm tomorrow. and everybody knows
that means they'll be safe-
because they all talk about it.
it almost stormed-
the sky spat and then
thought better of it,
Automatici.Automatic1 year ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
"So where are you from?" The boy leans toward me, questions swimming in his eyes. I smile.
"Oh, I'm from Boston."
"No, I mean, where are you from?" My smile falters as I realize where this is going. It's an all-too familiar conversation, one I've been having since I was old enough to reply.
"Do you mean where was I born?"
"I was born in China."
"Do you speak Chinese?"
"Does your family speak Chinese?"
He looks befuddled. I sigh.
"Oh!" I see the light bulb over his head go off in a shower of sparks. "Do you know who your real parents are? Like, your real parents?" My temper flares. I stifle the urge to throw something.
"You mean my biological parents?"
"Oh." There's an awkward pause. I have learned to wait it out, to prepare my next automated response.
"When were you adopted?"
"When I was a year old."
"Did you live in an orphanage?"
"Like in Annie?"
Rolling my eyes seems appropriate.
"No, not l
Across the Sea and Around the KotatsuSpringAcross the Sea and Around the Kotatsu1 year ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
Mom starts with rice. Japanese rice, one, two, three Japanese cup-fulls of rice grains into the cooker, because Sis eats a lot of this stuff. It's one of her favorite dishes, taco rice, and Mom's always happy to make it for her because it's the only way Sis will eat her tomatoes. But back to the rice. "You want to rinse at least three or four times, until the water's kind of clear," Mom says as she cups her hand under the cooker pot, letting the cloudy water wash over her hand.
Rice cooking's easy though – just fill enough water to the point the rice's covered, punch in a time (or set it to "Quick Cook," which with our creaking rice cooker still takes about an hour) and let the cooker do its thing.
Ground meat goes into a well-greased and heated frying pan. Break up the block so that it crumbles into fine little pieces, and do this with wild abandon, because this is taco meat. Mom uses any taco seasoning that happens to be cheap; most seasonings rack up t
IfWe canIf1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
draw lines and give them names
as they are discovered
Or etch into our skins
this soloecal desire
until it is impossible to tell
where words stop
and life begins.
Find a common rhythm that includes
you in my arms, my hands
and lungs and thoughts
tracing the outline of you
entangled with me
colliding like two lost particles
locked in a shared gravity
drifting through the vacuum
By Fifty,I'll publish or perish;By Fifty,1 year ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
find someone to cherish;
move someplace phenomenal;
display an abdominal
physique to inspire,
which I shall acquire!
. . . Or perhaps, just retire.
When your hands can mimic birdsWhen your hands can mimic birds,When your hands can mimic birds1 year ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
you lose the need for sound.
A flight of words that bear no chirp
are none the less profound.
They don't perch on a pitch.
They don't possess the need .
They fly until you've seen their song,
then silently recede.
No one could find more freedom than
the freedom granted flight.
No one can see more beauty than in
words passed left to right.
tree, fiddler crabIt took days to hollow out the soft partstree, fiddler crab1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
of the trunk, dig out the tree-flesh and sap,
polish the raw wood so that when he sat,
there would be no splinters. He carved his name
into the side, like a blessing, a declaration
of good fortune, and stowed his forest inside.
The Animal(Howl into my ear;The Animal2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
give me your claws.
I want the animal in you;
in you I shall nest.)
Take your clothes off, take them off for me.
Let me see the scars and the marks,
those dark moles and faint sun spots.
I want to memorize the way your fur grows.
I want to tickle my cheeks with your goose bumps.
Let me count the bruises and the cuts.
I'll bless them with names;
I'll lick away the blood stains.
We can lie skin to skin for days.
I have enough kisses for your brows and lashes,
for nails, teeth and toes, for thighs and knees;
in your curves and dents I'll nuzzle my nose.
Let me see your skin dance.
Through and around; your every breath performs,
through and around, an ancient holy chant.
I don't want your dreams; forget the ifs and the maybes.
All those regrets you carry are nothing but sad stories.
You don't have to utter a single word;
your body holds all the promises.
Don't tell me any secrets, hold your confessions;
just take your clothes off, take them off for me.
© 2012 melekelif
SwallowI swallowed stones for a girl once,Swallow2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
tethered a daughter to my arm,
raised her with my own hands,
and pulsed so much blood
through the wire
it became a vein.
Eventually I fell,
slammed to the floor,
like a marionette savagely thrown
against a wall.
My guts were full,
of sediment and
my stomach swelled too much.
I breathed dust and ants,
swallowed as much as I was able,
and tried to get up
with my daughter in tow.
Clumsily falling back over,
with bruised hands and
forced, rough, breathing,
I felt tension
from the other side.
The line pulled taut and hard
and dragged me from its end
across so many splintering boards
I bled from my fingers trying
to fight it.
it frayed and snapped.
Admittedly, I cried for it
and I shoveled debris and carted blood
swearing the whole time
I'd never swallow stones for a girl
Then I met you.
Brushing Up Against HistoryNovember 1963Brushing Up Against History2 years ago in Philosophical More Like This
I'm eight years old and sitting in class (I strangely recall that my seat was in the middle of second row, on the side away from the window), when the principal comes in to tell us that the president has been shot.
I do not know
what it means, but I know
that it scares me.
My mother meets Senator Robert F. Kennedy while he is campaigning in San Francisco and gets his autograph. I live with my father in a small town in Michigan, where every year leading up to Memorial Day, I sell paper poppies for the VFW.
blood of soldiers on the field
war has come home
I watch the news and see the body count, arranged like a scorecard. The numbers say we are winning, but one of those numbers is from our town, the only casualty that week. I don't know him, but I see his picture on the cover of Life Magazine.
I turn 17 the next month
and try to join the Marine Corp
my father will not sign
As a small-town b
the trouble isi'd like life to bethe trouble is1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
quiet and lovely
like distant church-bells
chiming through snow,
muted by the smell of
an old book and the
feel of a fire warming
me into my chair, and
a mug of tea, steeping
the moment in hushed
gratitude, easily in reach.
Survival of the IllestAre those hints of lemon I detect?Survival of the Illest1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
Look, I'm just here to get wasted, don't try
to make it more than that.
I'd drink motor oil if I thought
it could get me high; chase it with a shot
you can keep your survival instincts,
in that pretty velvet box (along with all
those other things
you thought you could convince yourself
you lived for). Instincts are the bare
bones of the impossibilities we wanted
to believe in,
those times you tried to tell me that
adrenaline was God's way
we were His chosen ones, we were
special, we were free.
I tried to tell you that instincts and God
can't exist side by side, but I was already
far gone, cornea constellations
spiraling and you looked at me with such pitiful
I just gave up the fight.
I told you once that my goal in life
is to kill myself slowly, immerse my organs
of whiskey and scotch
over a fifty-years-or-so period. "Just think,"
"it will be like an ocean, w
on commuting with no hurrythere you goon commuting with no hurry4 years ago in Urban & Spoken Word More Like This
lighting matches in the rain,
walking with two feet
that the gods gave you
because they cannot walk,
heading home as if with news
of some miraculous disaster,
counting the steps between yourself
and the clouds that disappeared
behind the grey veil of October.
thunder and lightning unfold
so close above
and you dream of a destination
somewhere in the south
where birds and stormy weather coexist.
behind you there is nothing,
running water will erase
every footprint you have left
on the dark sand of this metropolis.
before you there is distance,
enough to live your life
in a constant state of travel,
but not nearly enough signs
for you to know
where you are heading.
close your eyes
as not to be blinded
by the red lights and the yellow warnings,
those ever changing speed limits,
and open your arms
as to be looked at by the sun
that will soon peek out behind the nothingness,
ripping the veil
of the vast, unending
This Common BloodI am young when I first hear the word 'adoption'. I am so very young, perhaps three, maybe four. I accept it easily when my mother sits me down and explains that I did not grow beneath her heart, but rather in it. I nod my head, smile big, and ask when I'm getting a little sister. My mother kisses me on the forehead and puts her hand on my head as she stands up. "If you wish on a star, Sarah, maybe she will be here very soon." I practice my wishing until night's companions wink merrily in the sky.This Common Blood2 years ago in Letters More Like This
I turned seventeen just recently. I thought of you when I woke up, and I wondered if you were thinking of me. I like to think that you were, that we think of each other at the same time. That you know I think of you, too. There is no limit to what I wonder, Anna, not when it comes to me and you and everyone else that shares this common blood. I wonder if you have my eyes, the green with murky brown mostly, but bright and vivid when I am angry. Do you have the nose, lips, smile? Do
Continental DriftI suppose you call this time fall.Continental Drift1 year ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
It’s always autumn to me. Your alien mind
likes to speak in a distorted tongue.
And when we see the spinning leaves
drifting down an eggshell sky
I catch oak, and your hands are empty.
There half the houses stand empty,
you say as you watch rain fall.
There the world is bigger than the sky,
with room for my restless mind.
I know you pine for maple leaves,
for bittersweet syrup on your tongue.
The words are waiting to leave your tongue.
This land is small and your heart is empty.
That’s why everyone ups and leaves.
This place is paradise after the fall,
There you can be naked. No one would mind,
no one would see you bare yourself to the sky.
Through the window is my perfect sky,
the places that come easy to my tongue,
If we left maybe no one would mind
but me, I say. But if your land is empty
who would catch me in your wondrous fall?
If your land is perfect, wha
FiftyPlease understand: I do not wantFifty1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
to want this (you).
I realized at poem nineteen-of-fifty:
You (college-borne) are a new you,
I (weaponized) am a new me,
and the new me still wants the new you.
Flights of Fancy Nature is best seen through a window. Cars are nice, but televisions give a better view. The important thing is to keep a window, any window, between you and wilderness. This is my strictest maxim, a rule of comfort I put aside only once, years ago. I spend most of my life expressing shock when friends say they're going on a hike or planning to camp out.Flights of Fancy2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
It took two hours for Leon to convince me to accompany him on a short ride to the hills. I thought it would be safe. Leon was a good friend. Though he knew that particular day was my day to hit the mall and hang out with the girls, in the end, I still went with him. He said we'd have plenty of time and I could do both. Hah! I was ignorance personified.
Leon worked for a group of nuts who said they save peregrine falcons. He said they protect wild falcons from other nuts who shoot the birds and that his group "manipulates" falcon nests at the
relearning i. stardust scatters with therelearning1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
direction of my pupils –
maybe secretly i am an
astrology teacher, waiting
for a sign to wink
happily at me.
ii. excuse the rambling
nature of forgotten question
marks, but tell me:
would you like to be the
object of handwritten clichés
would you like to whisper
secrets in my palm
and would you
like to be the possibility
iii. air brushes against my
skin like the torn petals
of a flower still standing.
[ hold your head up high, honey,
and tell tomorrow to wait just
iv. so you can figure out
the difference between
patience and having all the
time in the world. ]
v. stardust glitters from the
creases of my hands.
perhaps i am not the teacher
but the pupil,
relearning how brilliant
stars can shine.
rootslike drowned men who have lost theirroots2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
clothes and faces, they lay suspended
facing the sun and grinning without
eyes through the ripples of the water.
those passing by wonder how they got here,
these homeless men without fingers or toes
long spindly stumps twisting into lost roots:
reaching to the east, to the south,
to the homes they have forgotten.
YellowMy parents bought a little two-bedroom house when they first got married. It was run down, falling apart, but most importantly: cheap.Yellow3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Two years later, my mother fell pregnant with me. She immediately abandoned her job for some plaster and paint and set about decorating the untouched spare room. She splashed pastel yellow across the walls, replaced the dingy carpet and kitted out the room with furniture.
Sixteen years after my birth, and the yellow paint is flaking off the walls revealing the kiwi green beneath. I can peel back the corners of the carpet to reveal the worn underlay and half rotten floorboards. I can examine the fringe of my cream curtains where the bright yellow hasn't been bleached by the sun. The room is, more or less, unchanged. It has merely lost its sheen, much like the inhabitant of it.
I remained an only child; filling my days with quiet solitary games and elaborate stories whispered under my breath. My isolation only increased as I grew too big for the room that