For My DaughterDear daughter-I-do-not-have-yet,
You will be my perfect. You will be my proudest moments in one small person. You will be made in love, or maybe anger, or maybe even desperation. But that won't matter. What matters is what you will be made into.
You will have Daddy's hair and his nose, and my eyes and my smile, the smile that happens not because someone with a camera told you to, but because you're genuinely happy. But you will have your very own heart and will be full of all the things that give you your you-ness. Whether you sing in the bath or make Valentines for everyone in your class or give your last homemade chocolate chip cookie to
SorrowbirdI watched him flap helplessly between the teeth of a barbwire fence, screeching for help.Sorrowbird6 months ago in Short Stories More Like This
"Papa, look Papa! A boy!"
My papa stood dazed for a moment, dust billowing at his legs, his eyes teetering along the field. It wasn't until later that evening he told me he hadn't understood what I had seen. What he had seen.
With grass tickling the backsides of my legs, I bounded toward the boy, "What are you doing? Are you okay?"
As I approached him, I felt his skittish eyes rake across my every movement. With his ten-year-old arms slung inside the gaping maw of a fence and darkened feathers pasted along the creases of his face; he looked squarely
the opposite of a love letterSometimes, I think you forgot me.the opposite of a love letter2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
To admit it, most days I've forgotten you, too. But sometimes a moment comes along that feels like you in my bones, and suddenly you're crashing through my veins, riding my pulse straight to my heart. And you sit in my chest, heavy and unwelcome, and it's hard to breathe because I cannot shut off the reel of memories playing in my head. So I close my eyes and count to ten, breathe evenly and steadily, tell myself that you are miles and years away. But I wake up the next morning with a dry taste in my mouth and a hollowness somewhere in the pit of my stomach and you're hanging onto me like a shadow even thoug
For Sarah, Forever AgoI worked the midnight shift last night. It was the sort of night where you body feels so heavy that your mind just starts floating away. I was exhausted, worn. Sleep reached for my heart like a vigilante reaching for a gun, and I couldn't stop thinking of you.For Sarah, Forever Ago1 year ago in Letters More Like This
You filled my head with poetry.
I could write something beautiful, that it was a clear night and the stars were out, that the moon shone above me like a love song in the sky. But it wasn't. The clouds were low and heavy and the streetlights painted the sky orange.
It was the kind of night that makes you feel trapped. The kind when there's no one alive but you, no sound but
And Here Is JohnParis, 1917And Here Is John10 months ago in Short Stories More Like This
Here is John, beside me again. Sometimes when we meet he gives me a small, courtly bow. Other times he’s tired and he can only muster up a smile as the words “Bonjour, ma belle,” fall out of his mouth. Sometimes his eyes burn feverishly, sometimes they’re dull, sometimes he’s drunk. It depends on where he’s been that day. There are only two things constant about my John: he always manages to smile, and I can always see the fear deep in every line on his face.
Paris is grim; the front is moving closer to the city, and we’re losing more battles than we’re winning. John spends his ti
The Power of RejectionA chasm opens between the dream of success and the fear of rejection. It can be impassible, the Grand Canyon of risk deterrents. And so many choose to never cross it, deciding it is much better to stay on the dream side than to hazard having hopes dashed against the cavern floor below.The Power of Rejection8 months ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
The fear paralyzes. It rockets hearts into throats, becomes a mountain, elicits a high-pitched shriek of terror at the very thought of trying to take on the possibility of rejection. It keeps drawings secreted away in sketchbooks or songs buried five folders deep on a desktop creations labored over and loved but never given the chance to be loved by oth
We Were Angels"Mermaids, sirens, they don't exist," the grizzled old sailor said.We Were Angels11 months ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
"But you saw what happened," the cabin boy insisted. His dark green eyes were wide and a bit teary; he was only twelve, and it was his first ocean voyage. Seeing a man climb over the rail and lose himself in the waves had shaken the boy up, though what was most disturbing about it was the look of bliss on the man's face as he leapt.
"Charlie was always loopy. He made himself see what he wanted to see and he jumped in after it." The old man shrugged. "We come from the sea, and it calls to us."
"The priest says we come from dust."
"Your priest has never been out of sight of
ElegantElegant2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
His fingers were elegant.
They worked in perfect rhythm to produce everything he could not say. Where I could only ever hear notes and simple emotion, he heard stories, saw worlds.
I used to envy him, to hide my hurt gaze behind his shoulder blades, to rest my jealousy on his thin, tired shoulders.
His fingers were beautiful.
They danced over the keys; they made the masters look like child's play; they shamed my clumsy attempts at carrying a tune without malice.
I used to long to be him I would have given anything to have his talent, his skill. Anything was worth the fingers that never failed.
His soul was transcendent.
12.30.it still hurts -12.30.4 years ago in General Non-Fiction More Like This
that place deep inside where my children have grown to shadows of dervishes and died, bled and brutalized and sucked away; wrapped up and discarded in worn old cotton sheets and the sterile blank wastelands of hospital hazard containers.
i never wanted to have children. when most girls are young, i suppose they relish the chance at a pee-wee sally, a goo-goo gretta, cabbage patch pre-emptives to the dreams of womanhood always lurking behind their wide, beautiful eyes. for most girls, i suppose there's nothing more wonderful than sitting down to tea and potty with plasticine versions of what they themselves once were in the
I am not ObsessedWatching your metamorphosis from a naïve teen into a beautiful young woman has been the greatest experience of my life. You have enlightened me, you have changed my views on life and the world, and you have brought me from the brink more times than I care to count. My dear, you are the sole reason for my very existence. Yet you will never realize just how much I love you.I am not Obsessed3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
For you are not the wife I married or the children I raised,
Nor are you the best friend on my street
Or my most beloved sibling.
That night you called the police about the man standing in your backyard marked the closest I ever came to actually stepping through yo
Dear Little LightsDear Little Lights,Dear Little Lights6 months ago in Letters More Like This
You never knew me. You didn't know that I existed on the same planet as you, you were too small to understand the scope of the Earth. You lived in your secluded and sheltered circle of friends and family, as children do, merry and healthy, bright and focused. Not one of you had even an inkling that there was such a great, wide world, ready to be explored, and now, you never will. Tragically, unlawfully, disturbingly, you have each one of you been removed from the painting, inked out and painted over before you achieved any of your hopes and dreams. You will not be able to close your eyes and wait patiently for the day you
love is coming home--i don't write about God.love is coming home--2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
i don't write about God because it's writing about love, it's writing about faith, it's writing about trust and hope and belief and pain, the kind of gut-wrenching betrayal you feel when you've given up and you're waiting for someone to save you, only nobody ever does.
and who else are you going to blame?
it's easy to write about a God you don't believe in. it's easy to pour out all your hate and anger and hurt and deepest, darkest broken fears and fling them from your fingertips and scream, this is not God! it's easy to believe in nothing.
it's not easy to believe.
believing is opening yourself to the pain. it's
Away from NeverNeverLandMoney is dirty. Leaves invisible yuck on a person; stains fingers, smears over skin and catches under nails. Festers. And then hands turn into pincers to take and eyes small greedy and black. Skin hardens to bounce back ugly words and back curves under weight of things. Lobsters, fat and red.Away from NeverNeverLand1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Marriage is scrubbed. Clean and pretend. Perfect white dresses and kisses put and planted. Brides march and grooms promise so hard. Military of gowns with bow tie generals. An army of high heels and flowers landed in laps. Marriage spreads. Infects. Zombiefying disease. Shuffle, I do, brains.
Driving is fickle. Slide into each other, through each other. Blood and bits go with them. People cry over tombs and insurance papers. Or nothing. Home again, uneventful day. Locked behind wheel, over tarmac, lights suspended like vultures above. Danger, danger. Promise of convenience. Thrill. Like riding a shark.
Work is uniformed. Slotted, easy, organized files. Tags meaning le
SunriseYou say my name like a poem you will never write. You look at me like a sunrise you'll never witness because if you stayed to watch, I would be real, instead of being just the promise of something beautiful beneath the horizon. You touch me like a question I can never answer, like words I scratched into your back that you can't quite read, like the only phrase in your vocabulary is "what if." I don't know how to fix this. I don't know how to use tools or how to follow directions. All I have are my two hands and the sheer determination to do something right for once in my life.Sunrise1 year ago in Emotional More Like This
I'll duct tape phone lines and life lines and fault lines back to
my body is a funeral servicethis morning i emptied your ashes into the sky, hoping to watch them sift through my fingers like an eagle taking flight. but the wind carried them backwards and my face became an ashtray for memories. you came back to me, like you always do, like a kiss or a reoccurring dream that i can never forget. i became cloaked in black grain, the remnants of your body. your cremated smile was caught somewhere between the stinging in my eyes and the ash on my jacket.my body is a funeral service9 months ago in Emotional More Like This
in that moment my body became a funeral service. my lips preached your names to the trees. i forgot what it was like to feel anything but hymns pressing down on my back like the heat of t
TeatimeIn January, Elsa got new neighbors. She greeted them with apple cinnamon tea.Teatime1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
It gets so cold, here, they told her, shivering in overstuffed parkas. Snow had turned to mud in their front hallan unavoidable side-effect of moving in winter. Elsa nodded along to their complaints and observations, silently brewing the tea in their kitchen. They were young; they had big plans. Allison and Steve, newlyweds, just starting out. They sat on the cold floor together, sipping with chapped lips. The house filled with cinnamon.
In April, Allison knocked on Elsa's door.
wanderlust she was a s e v e n t e e n year old girl from nowhere [or was it everywhere?] with dark hair and long eyelashes and skin that was always pale white. when she was young she played in the poppy fields of greece and when she got older her tongue started yearning to speak italian and russian so that she could travel to other far off places.wanderlust2 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
she was born on a friday between two ice storms, and the first word she ever heard was b e a u t y. her mama told her that when she first opened her dark blue eyes, her pupil was surrounded by a ring of pure white. the blue stayed but the white turned to green [and from then
StayHe doesn't know her very well. He really doesn't.Stay1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
But he wants her. He wants her like
-like, for example, he stayed online until one in the morning, until he saw the little green bubble next to her name, telling him she's there, and he lets out a breath he didn't know he was holding.
She makes him laugh.
He makes her blush, and loves when she does it, how she hides her face in her hair, and dimples crease her cheeks.
She says things he doesn't even have to ask her to say, because she just knows. She knows he's as insecure as everyone else is, but the thing is, she doesn't mind.
He knows her heart is glass, and he doesn't want to
Time Traveller's EngagementExactly ten years from tomorrow, we'll be married here. My wife doesn't know that, of course. In a certain sense, neither do I.Time Traveller's Engagement2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
It's a beautiful spot, now. Now meaning today, when the sunlight is still pure, and the sky is still blue. The ivy still climbs in green snakes up the side of her father's chateau, the pennants of the House of Renard are snapping gaily over the towers.
I hear a lilting laugh that even now sends my heart into my throat. Euryale Renard. She is only a girl today, no older than my little sister is in the days I left behind. Even at twelve, my Ury's curls catch the sun like molten amber, with a flower basket flung wide
SacredI want your breath in mineSacred5 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
Your heartbeats like the most beautiful bass I've ever danced to
Your laugh like my favorite song
And my name spilling from your tongue in a gasping prayer
Y(our) arms, legs, fingers twining like overgrown ivy, clinging to my crumbling walls
I want this to be the best disaster to ever happen
in the twin bed that is too small for us,
but much too empty for me.
I want to do the most unholy things
(although isn't this as sacred as you can get?)
I want to pin you down
Take you in
With your eyes and your hands and your grin
And, damn, your skin skin skin.
What time is it?She was standing at the departure platform and looked to the ground. Cold wind blew around her, but she barely felt it. A voice announced that the train would arrive six minutes later.What time is it?1 year ago in Emotional More Like This
It didn't matter, nothing mattered anymore. She looked upwards, at the big clock hanging from the ceiling, saw the clock-hand jerk forward, with every second passing. It had started to rain.
She looked around; there were a lot of other people at the platform. They were listening to music, talking to each other, reading a book, some were even laughing. Others just stood there waiting impatiently. A young couple were holding hands, kissing each other. Again she
ConversationAnd I've been telling you, you know, how heavy the sun feels and how it makes my muscles jump like a bird's wings as it flutters gently down on a windowsill. I still have those glass bottles on my mantle where the morning light hits themstill there, full of colored water and seashells. And maybe I'll tell you how they light up the ceiling in blue and green and pale yellow just like they always have, like nothing ever changed.Conversation1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I smell you on the sea air, sometimes, when it rushes in past the thin white curtains you helped me hang. They still bounce with every gust like exuberant dogs. And I've been telling you how the salt has most assu