a painting hung all wrong.in a dream.
we find him strung up in our garage
washing line taut. neck bulging.
i covered someone's eyes.
stopped them from remembering,
almost familar features
and blue blue blue blue wide open eyes.
where's someone to cover mine?
i mirror you with swollen throat
my voice thick with blood and screaming.
a painting hung all wrong.
after you diedi.after you died6 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
they asked me if there was something
of yours that I wanted to keep
to keep your eyelashes, your breath,
I said this, and they looked
sad, said they meant did I want your
clothes and possessions, your things
I didn't know what I wanted
cradling my head with my arms and
quietly saying no over and over
dry with the taste of morning sickness
and old seawater
a month later, I wanted all your clothes
I was scrub-faced and tired
of the walls hurt my eyes, buried in wet
towels, sleeping naked on the floor every
I fucked somebody else
after the funeral
"somebody else" sounds wrong now
as if you are still alive, kissing
my shoulder in the morning
I'd taken cocaine
and it made a sound in my ears like a hummingbird
like someone banging on a door or just that tiny high pitched scream
that someone starts to make when they have grown tired of crying
your mother was fixing my hair in the kitchen
a bobby pin tucked
let's pretend this never happenedbecause honestly,let's pretend this never happened3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i don't know you and this was
just a big mistake, she says
the morning sun peeks in
through the curtain as she pulls
on yesterday's shirt and i catch
my last glimpse of her thin
shoulder blades, protruding like
wings about to burst out of their
seams. she won't look at me.
the floor creaks with her weight
as she gathers her things. i've
already forgotten her eyes, wide
with wonder, and her lips, her
slender jawbone. i wish she
would turn around. i try to speak,
but words don't come.
her bare feet pad across the
room and she pauses in the doorway,
head turned to the side, as if listening,
perhaps to my heavy heart beating.
the set of her shoulders, hunched like
an eagle about to take flight, makes
me think she's going to break into a
thousand pieces, and i long to catch
them all and fix her. i long to know this girl,
this girl without a name who carries
herself like a hummingbird. i want to ask
her about the tattoo that runs along her
I was never a writer. I: HalfsleeperI was never a writer.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I fell in love, once.
A snowstorm melting from my hair - dripping cataract:
diluted coffee. A dark room filled with language
so beautiful, I almost understood what was said.
Children are getting younger, and this land has no end,
where do you rest your head?
All things are in a constant state of vibration,
a harmony in the space between
our fingers. our hands.
I’ve only ever stopped to listen
Springfield, MO1991Springfield, MO3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
In my father's house there are many rooms
(Only one gun cabinet)
A cross hung over my grandmother's
bedroom door for thirty two years
Her phone rang late on a Saturday night
She was the last person he called
The sun rose early the next morning
The cross was taken down
Lightning Bug CosmosI lace my skin up like a corset, peel back the blinds on my eyelids, and take a step forward, waking from the poppies to theLightning Bug Cosmos3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
lightning bug glow of truth tapping on my eardrums.
In front of the mirror I stand, but what I notice is not the awkward crook of my nose or butterfly lashes. I look into the lighted mirror as if searching for answers hidden under
Ribbon-like sets of
veins, arteries and nerves.
Sometimes it all flows correctly; sometimes everything becomes
knotted up in all the wrong places. Skin toughened by beatings brought about by the
and I still keep running into parked carsMama,and I still keep running into parked cars2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
your baby girl's swimming
in dead of the night
hair, scarred knees,
overgrown weeds, and
orange and yellow wheels
that hug my toes
I'm running into
trying to get
my kite to fly
and hiding under
listening to you
I'm rummaging through
boxes of secrets
that Daddy tried
solving puzzles with pieces
I'll never uncover
in these thoughts
this is about forgettingThis is the thing about forgetting:this is about forgetting3 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
For weeks you bury your face in the clothes you wore when he was near and the smell is a comfort and a torture. You decide that the torture is not worth the comfort so you leave them draped across the back of a chair and place things on top of them to stop yourself until one day you shove your hands through the pile until your fingers wrap around the fabric and you yank it free only to realize it was pointless. Even his ghost is gone.
The next thing that leaves is the way his voice looked in the dark. Those few sentences become blurred and rough around the edges. What you remember drops in your stomach in a different way.
You run your fingers over your
ThinWhen I was growing up my mother never kept a scale in the house. I never noticed this as a child. I was accustomed to checking my weight visiting my grandmother's house; a monthly checkup just for fun. Yet every child reaches an age where the numbers staring back at them start to mean something. When I reached this point, I asked my mother why we didn't own a scale.Thin4 years ago in Emotional More Like This
She looked at me with serious eyes and said, "Because I know how easy it is to get obsessed over such things. I don't want you to have to go through that."
I love you for preventing it as long as you could, Mom.
Rarely in my life have I met a person and even so much as noticed how much they weigh. These things never occur to me. I'm more preoccupied with who the person is: their personality, their character, their humor. Keeping a constant record of the weight of people I meet has never even seemed an option.
That said, I have always had a disconcerting little obsession with my own weight.
It started out so simple and innoc
bad timing.you sat next to me on a crowded bus. you told me you were in love with a girl three thousand miles away but she didn't love you back. you told me she could of but you had bad timing and told her you loved her too late. you were a stranger then and you are still a stranger now. i told you one time i was in love and now because of it i cant listen to certain songs and i cry myself to sleep some nights. you told me that i should find a new person to love because it eases the pain.bad timing.4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
you asked for a phone number to call me at. then you asked me to be your friend. i told you i wasn't good at that. you told me you would call me despite the fact.
you called me three days later at six oh three in the morning. my alarm clock had just gone off and i answered the phone to a voice i hardly recognized from our ten minute conversation. you said 'hi, my name is andrew and we met on a bus.' i told you that my name was stella and asked you why you were calling so early. 'i thought of something funny, a j
ServitudeHeart painted lips poke outwards as though mucous squeezed from an tender, shuddering eyeball. A frog pout and sucked in pink-tone cheeks battle for prominence on her round face. Poisoned yellow eyes swim, darting and floundering, in glaring ovals of cerulean paint. Eyebrows smothered, color gagged in virgin white over the chocolatey grey of her asthmatic skin. Unshined silver hair perches like the dried, immobile sand of a beach day castle on the tip top of her head. Dust hangs in the drapes of lace and chiffon oozing off her wasting body; it latches on like leeches, sticking to her bustle, her moth-eaten petticoats, the succored yellow stripes of her sweat-moistened overcoat. On her feet, shrunken forms that buckle her feet like rotten bananas; in her hands, a tray of tea.Servitude3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I stand, I stand, my darling dearest
Your patient of eternity
Your doting wife
I dote, I dote, come now, your tea grows cold
Your bed sheets grow cold, I can still give
little white liestissue paper skin and barbed wire spineslittle white lies3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
"i haven't been sleeping well."
butterfly wing smiles and porcelain bones
"the medicine will help."
sparrow hearts and rose petal hair
undersea eyes and sailboat stomachs
"these things pass in time."
on watching the night close its eyes on you1. I will not tell youon watching the night close its eyes on you3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
you are pretty.
How can the halls and angles of such honest humanity
be so pinched between sounds as elementary as these?
2. You need not be two stringent boughs of syllables
nor weave your viney bones abreast these five petty letters,
whirling in the fire of the river
Do not attempt to peel yourself layer for layer,
leaving all the disgust behind.
Do not tally your body six lines
too short, hemming the holes into
puckers red as those volcanoes of strength
bursting at the base of your hips.
3. Blood is not satisfaction.
Blood is not patience, waiting for the rooms to empty
ZemiThings having to be returned to their transparency:Zemi3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
/ green mist-earth / knit
atmosphere / fathomless
blue-lavender / lights
spun out from light
are recalcitrance / and you
& - a fingernail of summer
- a melting of rain
- a crown of flowers
- a priest of sunsets
(beautiful? I love you, because. Zemi.
Zemi. are you beautiful because I love
you? Zemi? )
I imagine this is what it's like to breathe sea foam
over the Cliffs of Moher: hydration. absolution.
To Rilke, it's a melody that floods over us
when we have forgotten how to listen for it.
I never could forget this: for how could I know
my hand as both well and chasm? and how could I know
time, a windstruck dimension, standing in her white street?
We go on morning walks and Zemi
laughs at everything I say.
Who am I?1.Who am I?3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I have my father's crooked fingers
And my mother's vicious teeth.
There comes a time
When these things become necessary
To the defining of me.
I am not defined by you
Though the entry you write
May suggest otherwise,
I am not defined by you
My sense of self is hyped
On stimulants and praise
Before it dashes itself
Robbing itself of substance
I am rebuilt cyclically,
Did you know?
I don't think you did.
But I am not defined by you
I am a natural monument
A force of nature
That waves its banner
In the thronging masses.
Among many, I am one.
A droplet in a storm.
My father's fingers
Are restless on my hands.
My mother's teeth
Gnash angrily in my mouth.
I fight to claim them.
To control them.
To direct them.
I am not defined by you,
The rain falls and echos
In empty caverns full of self
and not self.
Fingers, like spiders,
Crawl through the recesses
Searching but never finding.
We Were Angels"Mermaids, sirens, they don't exist," the grizzled old sailor said.We Were Angels3 years 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 land, I'll wager." The old man leaned forward and dropped his voice. "When we're born, salt water comes with us. Women have the ocean inside 'em. It's because we all used to live in the water."
The youth frowned. He brushed a lock of sun-bleached hair out of his face as he wondered about the ancient tar's sanity.
"We were water angels, you see. But Go
i cannot lose youyou are already falling throughi cannot lose you2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
the crevices of my hands
and i am slipping, bare foot and
running like a child with
i do not know how to keep
you beside me, i do not know
how to write myself into your
skin like braille
and i am aching for your touch
"i miss you," i say
and you reply, "i know"
and that is how i know -
every kingdom must falter and
die and it's only been eleven
months but these walls are already
crumbling; i am chaining myself
to trees and towers and screaming
from the top of my lungs
tornadoes and earthquakes are unfurling
at your heels
and you turn to me and
you speak so quietly:
"we are collapsing."
the truth is thisin my last life,the truth is this3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I was a beggar girl;
weak, cold, and starving.
I thought I was missing something.
I thought I'd found a knight to save me;
that you'd be everything I needed to make me whole.
the truth is,
you were never the one doing the saving.
in my new life,
I am a queen;
strong, brave, and shining.
and no mere knight will do for me now.
now, I wait for my prince, my king, my equal.
the truth is,
I don't need to find my other half;
I'm not broken.
I heard 'apart', were you talking about legs?I don't understandI heard 'apart', were you talking about legs?3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Can you say that again?
Except this time
Without any clothes on
bits of bonelet it be known:bits of bone4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
i loved you most when you were messy,
unkempt--your fingers like a spotted
cow's hide with ink and peppered with
paper cuts; a faded old t-shirt and your
hair on end, holey jeans loose on your
hips. your flaws were your beauty, when
i pressed my cheek to your chest, i took
in the sweet, spicy scent of you and knew
if you smelled like clean and simple soap,
it wouldn't be the same.
you were wild with wanderlust, it hung in
the air around you like a mist of rain and
it soaked you through, ate you up, it
seeped beneath your skin to take root in
i was as captivated by you as you were
by the ocean, by the wide open fields
with their ribbons of road. you reminded
me of a hawk who had chosen to roost
on my porch; i held you and the river of
your pulse was in my ear, a flood that
pooled in your cheeks when our eyes met
across the breakfast table--but i knew it
was only a passing desire, i knew i was
not what you needed. when i was a child,
i dug in my backyard with
Inevitability ClauseYour sister tells meInevitability Clause3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
we do it for the medication
as if I don't look at
the knives in the kitchen
every day like solace
no, not today.
As if I enjoy every time
I've been too tinny tiny
or monstrously stretched
inside this house of cards
brushing against one
at just the wrong angle
& my sanity falling down
in red & black stains.
As if I don't wish
to have an equilibrium
that can withstand
the images in the trees
& how when I look in the mirror
there is a little girl
staring back at me
waiting for her turn
to be special
in the hot air balloon
of my left iris
as I wait for my turn
to bury these corpses of fate
in the yard.
Your sister doesn't know
how it feels to be trapped
under a beam of inevitability
as the room burns down
with your mind playing arsonist
that no matter how hard
you try for that wondrous normalcy
it always skips out of reach
like a stone set on sinking.
I try to hide my indignant face
the overwhelming pleasure
that would come fr
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 NeverNeverLand3 years 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
The Rainfall KidThere are raindrops on his fingersa glistening cluster of perfectly silver droplets that read like some shining, ethereal roadway mapthe night that he comes for her with the thunder of a summer storm rolling forward on his footsteps. The low rumble of it jolts her from a book induced slumber, the cover rough beneath hands and the jumble of last-read letters blurring on the underside of blinking eyelids as rain begins to fall. Although it's almost been longer than memory will allow, she knows that there is no mistaking the sudden upheaval of the outside world for anything other than his arrivalafter all, it hasn't stormed in years.The Rainfall Kid3 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Soon enough, her shoulders and the soles of her bare feet are collecting water along with the hardback that had slipped, forgotten, through outstretched fingersnow laying broken-spined with white pages exposed and its words all bleeding together in thin rivers of smudged ink. The leafless trees seem to shudder, emerging from
Twenty: I'm afraid I'm growing oldi.Twenty: I'm afraid I'm growing old3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Coupons and sales magazines
have become more than just junk mail
and the holes in my pants
seem more patchable
and I wonder just how much
my sparse jewelry would fetch
if I said I saw the face of Jesus
in the glimmer of my pearls.
I am beginning to miss the sea I grew up on
so much that I will read bad poetry
just for the mention of a salty ocean breeze.
I feel landlocked and sometimes I'm afraid
that I will never see the world
until I have retired from it.
Faith says her life is full of asking.
I wish mine were full of answers,
but I too have many questions
and only Time will answer them for me.
My mother just turned sixty
and her eyes when she looks at herself
in pictures from the '70s
makes me realize
that my time, however long,