Porch Swingi. It's December,
the warm part of winter
snow is a blanket
and the fireplace crackles.
We eye the elephant-package
covered in crumpled birthday paper.
The paper flies
beneath it we gasp,
and the boys and girls
smile and take our picture.
ii. We're safe
from the April showers
beneath the roof of our porch.
We swing back and forth
for the first time.
I place my head
in the crevice
between your shoulder
and your neck.
We talk for two hours
about the azaleas.
iii. Our daughter's
runs through the sprinkler
watering the dry August grass.
She sits in the middle
on our cheeks
iv. You were the one
who wanted the apple trees.
We eat Honeygolds,
though we ought to wait
You stand up
to get another one,
from the lowest branch.
I stay on the porch
and pick at the peeling paint
on the arm of the swing.
v. By February,
has gone and passed,
and I didn't get
The DoctorWhen I was seven, I was diagnosed with emotions.The Doctor4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"Poor girl." I heard them say. "She'll never survive this one."
I laid with my face towards the ceiling on the cold examination table, listening to them discuss my fate. I felt something breaking in my chest and something burning inside my throat. A small tear slipped down my cheek.
"Doctor! Look at this!" Shrieked my mother, "Something is coming out of her eye."
The doctor rushed over to me and wiped the tear from my cheek. He touched the top of my head as he whispered, "I am so sorry." And then he turned to my mother. "It's a tear. It means that she is sad."
"Sad?" My mother asked inquisitively.
"It's one of her emotions. This doesn't attack the same way that normal diseases do, there are all sorts of different symptoms. Right now, she is sad and the only way that I know how to explain it is that she is feeling down."
"What do you mean by down?"
"Her emotions can best be described as ones that are upwhen she is feeling good, and
PersephoneI fed herPersephone3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and she cried
at every frozen sunrise
for 180 days.
With cracks in my heart
caught in my hair
I counted 180 more.
Passionate IndifferenceTo say that I have lovedPassionate Indifference5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Would imply that I feel
Something more than
The Man in the Coffee ShopThe man who works at the coffee shop looks like you. I noticed this some time ago and have since frequented the place. He recognizes me now. He smiles at me when I come in. His smile even looks like yours. He doesn't say hey though- you always said hey.The Man in the Coffee Shop5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
I still work at the library even though you're not there.
Sometimes I look over to your desk and expect to see you typing at your computer, but someone else is there now. It's not you.
Sometimes someone will come in who looks like you. Maybe he will have the same hair, same stature, same profile, same laugh, same voice. It's never been you.
Sometimes I drive myself crazy. I pull at my hair and scream 'till my lungs burst. I scream for and at you. I ask how you could have left me here.
Sometimes I allow myself to believe that I will see you again. By chance we will run into each other in a Wal-Mart far away.
I go to the coffee shop on Tuesday afternoons. I order a small chai tea with milk.
Sometimes the man is working at th
I'm Just Waiting for the RainHe keeps his umbrella close, but never opened. Storm clouds roll in and out of his life, but they never stop to even wet the ground.I'm Just Waiting for the Rain4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
He wakes up every morning at 6:15, stays in bed for another five minutes, and takes a shower that lasts eight and a half minutes. He eats two slices of buttered toast and a small tumbler of orange juice. He dresses himself in a blue button-down with a striped tie and shines his shoes so that he can see his face. If it's cold out, he wears his black trench coat and if it isn't, he just wears his sport coat. He carries his briefcase every day, along with his umbrella. He can't forget his umbrella. The train leaves at 7:00 and he is at the station by 6:55. He hasn't missed a day of work in eight years.
His career isn't exactly what he hoped it would have been. If he were to think back on it, he would realize that it isn't even close. Thankfully, he never does.
At 7:45 he goes for his morning coffee runblack with two sugars. Provided the line isn't too
ImpressionableYou left impressions in her skin and they sank straight down to her heart. You always told her that she was impressionable, but she never took it quite so literally.Impressionable4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
She was holding memories so tightly that her hands started to burn. Each day a layer of skin would char and crumble. She swept the ash off and carried on.
Sometimes when she felt lonely, she would take old blankets and wrap herself in them. They smelled like the people who used them before her. They have absorbed their dreams, their feelings, their hearts. She liked to hear other peoples' dreams because she never had one herself.
She never felt quite at home. She worried about getting caught in a gust of wind and tossed down in a field somewhere, but secretly, she hoped for it.
She missed you. She wouldn't admit it, but I could see it in her face and hear it in her words.
She lost her right shoe one night. She walked a half mile in the rain without it and arrived at the front door with a big smile on her face. Sometimes I
Oh Dear.He is an Oscar Wilde inspired man-poetOh Dear.4 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
Whose subjects are as real as glass.
He is a silly chorus boy
Spending far too much time in the music room.
He is a reader,
Who hums to himself while his eyes float across the page.
He is real-
But I don't even know his name.
And I am already infatuated.
LiminalI woke after thirteen hours of sleepLiminal3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
and when I looked in the mirror,
there were still bruise-purple
crescent moons beneath my eyes.
tired no longer comes from a
lack of sleep—it has reached a state
of permanence, engraving itself
into my bones. When you ask
how I am, I will now answer:
cold and tired.
It was later that night when I
tasted the liquor cabinet
to see what all the fuss was about.
Whiskey burns as it goes down
and settles in the cavity of the heart,
encompassing it with a hug
that a lover will never reach.
I now want to know if I will
ever be able to melt.
I used to close my eyes beneath
the night sky, as everything in the
universe was staring me down,
and beg that one of the
billions of beings out there
would make me smaller.
If that tiny girl
in a big open field,
beneath the big open sky,
who hadn't ever seen the big open sea,
got her wish,
would she even be able to see
herself in the mirror?
Teacup FriendsWe brew cups of tea and remember them thirty minutes later. The water is still warm when we pull out the teabag, but the liquid is thick and smells bitter. We drink it anyway;the syrupy liquid coats our throats and stains our stomachs. We drink it anyway, since we took the time to make it.Teacup Friends3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
We figure they are like that; bitter, forgotten cups of tea that we invested so much time in making. (We even give them names: Earl Grey, Peppermint, Breakfast Blend, and Chamomile.)
Chamomile was the first to go, clipping the hair above his ears, buttoning himself up inside a black pea coat, tying it all up with a noose-like scarf around his neck.
Inside we mourned, but outside we laughed about how silly this all was. As if the way he wore his hair determined his newfound spite. As if the pea coat was a rite of passage, a ticket to better things.
But then Breakfast Blend, Peppermint, and Earl Grey followed, sweeping locks of hair beneath the rug and buttoning four years inside their pea coats. (It
I'm coming out: I'm straightMom? Mum? Can I talk to you?I'm coming out: I'm straight7 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
My voice quivered. Both of them looked up at me. Moms head was in Mums lap. Mum was slowly stroking her forehead, leaning down to kiss her forehead while still staring at me intently. A satanic bible was placed in Mums lap, the thin, withered pages torn in a few places from continued reading. You know you can talk to us about anything, Mom said, smiling, sitting up a bit straighter. She leaned over to kiss Mum, who kissed her back. I took a seat on the couch and pulled my knees up to my chin, staring down at my cuticles. Even for a guy, they were pretty nasty.
I took a deep breath. Guys? I dont really know how to say this but, I think Im heterosexual.
The room went silent. Mum looked up from our satanic bible and pursed her lips. For a second, I thought she was going to reach out and slap me. In a tight voice, she said, You know how we feel about heterosexuals. We raised you to be
My Mother and the BoyWhen that boy left, he left Mama a wreck. She sat in that creaky old kitchen rocker, her thin hair disheveled above clammy, transluscent skin, her black, birdlike eyes glittering like beetles, sunken and strange in her pale face. She moaned whenever anyone passed, but without looking at them, her hands in frantic and mechanical motion knitting row after row of snarled thread. "I let that boy into my house!" she muttered. Occasionally she would get up and pace back and forth across the kitchen, restlessly wiping at various surfaces with a greying little dish towel clutched in her bony fingers.My Mother and the Boy5 years ago in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Then Joey and I went off to school, and she was alone in the big house, filling the silence only with her own mutterings and the anxious clicking of her knitting needles. The neighbors would grab our sleeve on our way out sometimes, and ask if she was still alive in there, because she never showed her face.
One day, when I drove down to visit Mama, I found her stan
UnattainableThose who are lucky enough to have friends are lucky indeed. For not everyone is so lucky.Unattainable4 years ago in Emotional More Like This
It must be nice to have someone's shoulder to cry on. Someone you can bitch to; someone who'll hold you when you're hurt. Not everyone has someone like that.
Some of us just have friends, only a few, whom we call best friends, but they don't say such things in return do they? No, because we aren't their best friend, we're just a friend. Or worse that weird person they hang out with.
You see they have someone else that they uncover their heart and soul too. Someone they've known since they were children; or someone they met several years ago and became inseparable. I envy them. I envy all of them.
Some of us don't get those people; some of us don't get relied upon. We aren't all so lucky. Some of us are shunned, through no fault of our own, or perhaps through only our own fault. It's a mystery that will always escape me.
How do they do it? How do they make these excellent friends? How do they beco
Mr. LizardI remember when I was finally able to convince my parents to buy me a pet lizard. I was so excited! It lived inside a wooden cage with a wire mesh in front. I named it Mr. Lizard. I wasn't very good at coming up with names.Mr. Lizard5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Everyday, when I came back home from school, I'd go to my room and would feed Mr. Lizard a cricket. I thought that was the neatest part about having a lizard. It was fun to watch as the cricket hopped around inside the cage as Mr. Lizard eyed it. I kept thinking, "Oh man, I wonder when he'll eat the cricket!" Then "Munch!" It was done. I was somewhat disgusted by it, but at the same time fascinated.
One night, I was watching a nature show on TV and the people in it were trying to rescue some animals that were captured illegally and being sold as pets. They managed to save a few and then released them back into the wild. Everyone was hap
Judgement"You need to stop doing this."Judgement4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"Stop doing what?"
"Writing me into your stories."
"Because it scares me. I'm not this guy that you write about. I'm not some kind of Prince Charming and I'm certainly not a sea God or whatever you like to say about my eyes every now and then."
"Yeah. You really need to work on your judgement of people, because this is all wrong. It's like you don't know me at all!"
"So why don't you correct me and I'll fix my idea of you accordingly."
"Well firstly, I'm a really nervous person."
"Yeah. Your hands are either fiddling with your hair or your sleeve, or you're biting your nails."
"And I don't like going out. I'm a hermit."
"Except to your best friends' houses, or to the animal shelter, or to me."
"And I'm dead inside."
"Says the boy who hides his tears at the sight of an injured puppy."
"I do not."
"Yes, you do."
"Anyway, I'm not always nice to you. In fact, I really don't do enough."
"You're right. Except yo
bipolar IIa week is spentbipolar II3 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
in throes of excitability,
irritation, unstoppable words,
and ideas with wings of their own-
they soar in their preternatural flight
without a second's notice
and meander along separate currents.
sleep is an elusive,
fought for so ruthlessly,
only to have it slip away,
mere hours later.
i am icarus, resin-winged in thought
and flying til my fingers can
brush the sun.
i am icarus, resin-winged in thought
and watching my feathers drop
until my body
is subject once more
to the relentless rules of gravity.
hitting the dirt
hurts more every time-
physics has no mercy for bruised bones.
refusal to meet my mother's gaze,
to speak when spoken to,
and to move from the cave of my bedroom
i know how the sun feels
when it sinks below the earth,
and the struggle of the moon
as it thrashes to rise.
the endless circle
from night and day
grows so tiresome that sometime,
it will just
Grandfather's BirdGrandfather had a pet bird. Just a small, yellow and white parakeet; he named it Georgie, after Grandmother. Every morning, he would wake up at 6 o'clock, make a pot of coffee, grab the newspaper, and feed the small bird a small pile of birdseed. And he would gently carry the birdcage, and place it on the table and talk to her as he drank his coffee and read the newspaper.Grandfather's Bird5 years ago in Scraps More Like This
"Gas prices are up again Georgie, geez, remember when we could pay 20¢ to fill up our car?"
And sometimes the bird almost chirped in response. Years and years went by, and Grandfather grew older, and he could no longer carry the bird off the shelf, but he would still feed and talk to her at 6 o'clock.
One morning, Grandfather found himself barely able to make it out of bed. He still made his way into the kitchen to feed his dear bird. His hand shook and some birdseed fell to the floor as he carefully moved into the tray into the cage. He slowly made his way to the table so that he could sit down.
Goodbyei. He looked at me over the tops of his glassesGoodbye5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
It was the first time I had truly seen his eyes
And the last
ii. I looked at the coffee stain on his shirt
I didn't want him to see the tears in my eyes
But I know he saw them fall to my feet
iii. I stuffed my hands back in my pockets
I was afraid to look back as I walked out the door
He the one going,
But I felt that I was leaving him
Piano PlayingI am a pianistPiano Playing5 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
And you are my piano, dear.
I play minuets along your ribcage,
Write love songs on your arms,
And press your vertebrae like keys
To let soft chords fill the empty space.
Your hairs are the resounding strings,
Your lips are polished brass pedals
That make everything loud and soft at the same time.
Kissing you makes the whole world shift up an octave.
I am a pianist
And you are my piano, dear
So let's write a duet in the dark.
The Architect's DaughterGrowing up, the drafting table was a strange contraption lording over the basement and over the crown of her then small head. As she slowly came to understand the table's function, it came to teach her that A) work and home are inseparable, and B) the world is flat. Skyscrapers collapse into thin piles of layered printer paper and torn, pen-marked transparency sheets. Mountains and forests reduce to stacked shapes. Fathers compile into cramped calendars.The Architect's Daughter5 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
Now the early lessons are thoroughly embedded. Art and architecture are inseparable in her mind. The easel is her own table, similar to a draughtsman's and yet completely different in the ways that matter. She is not a draughtswoman or a designer. Instead, exactly like children imitate their parents naïvely, she plays at being an architect, mimicking the actions but doing them backwards. Architects use flat means to create real objec
One LoveI'm not enough.One Love5 years ago in Emotional More Like This
I'm not super-human, not a hero either. I'm just me. Me. And what I am might not be what you need.
But I'll try.
I can promise you as much. I can try to be what you need and I can do it for the rest of my life. If I could just nearly be what you need, what he was, it'll be enough. It has to be enough because I'm not the perfect piece, I'm misshaped and confused and so madly in love with you.
Yet I'm not him.
I'll never be.
You loved him. And part of you, the one he took, always will. I can only hope the small part left can learn not to long after the one missing. I can only hope it'll learn to move on and someday - perhaps who knows? will notice me.
Sometimes I just I I just want to be everything to you.
People don't call me a fool for no reason, you know? Though I prefer to think of myself as an idealist and show them wrong. I know... I know they're wrong. I can be everything to somebody else; I can fulfil my lover's every need
Death"Do you fear death?"Death5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
The question loomed in the air before my body, as if a sword looming over someone almost conquered by their enemy. But I looked down at my hands and then back up, only to say, "Have you ever felt the pain of watching two lovers embrace at the end of a movie? It's supposed to be a happy ending. But your heart tells your lungs to stop breathing for just a minute because it will never ever be yours."
"Do you fear death?"
A question repeated deserves an answer. But instead, my trembling hands sat clenched on my lap, the blue ink like veins showing through the frail covering that might rip apart any second. "Do you know what it's like to wake up in the middle of the night to hear a song, just to remind yourself, you're going to be all right? Over and over again until it doesn't work anymore."
"Do you fear death?"
The invisible chain linked through my fingers, and I closed my tired eyes, this time, hearing the impatience in th
ReminiscenceThe library always had a particular smell to it; she couldn't place her finger on it, perhaps mothballs or window cleaner. It wasn't a particularly good smell, but it was comforting. She wanted to look at her books, the ones that she wrote, the ones who made her who she is.Reminiscence5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
She was the only adult in the children's room. She had grown up in here; gotten her library card, checked out her first picture books, then her first chapter books.
She crouched down to reach the shelves, looking for her books.
There they were, right before Anne of Green Gables. She smiled when she saw the worn, broken spines and the ripped, plastic library covers.
She flipped through the pages that she knew so well, that she had spent months writing and rewriting again, late nights at her computer with cups of coffee, editing those sentences that just couldn't be phrased right.
She remembered how many times she had tried to get her book published, and remembered how much she cried when she got the first reje
Every Dog Has Its DayThere once was a dog who wandered the streets. He was a kindly dog who did not have a home.Every Dog Has Its Day4 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
Sometimes, he would see families at the park playing with their dogs. How he wished he were one of those dogs. After a time, he decided that he would try to befriend one of the children that played in the park. He was overcome with excitement and haphazardly ran toward a child while yelling "Hello!" over and over again. He had almost reached the child when, suddenly, he felt a sharp pain in his side. A man had kicked him causing him to yelp in pain. He never went back to the park again.
Despite that incident, it did not deter him from trying to find someone who wanted him. The dog promised himself that if he should ever find someone to love him, he would return that love a hundredfold.
One rainy morning, as he was searching for food, he happened to come across a pet store. Inside, he saw dozens of
Introductions"Hi, I'm-"Introductions5 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
"I know who you are."
"You're the guy who thinks he's invisible."
"I have a name-"
"It isn't important. Because you really don't think it's important."
"All right. Since we've started out this way, let me just tell you, I know you too."
"You're the girl who is broken."
"I am not broken."
"You're the girl whose eyes close every night and open the next morning, only to find you have never slept at all."
"I sleep well. Besides-"
"You're the girl who dreams of a happy ending even though she has seen seventeen...no, eighteen unhappy ones in her eighteen years."
"Happy endings are over rated. And you're-"
"You're the girl who wants something bigger, something stronger, just so the weakness in her body becomes something so much more."
"You don't understand weakness the way-"
"You're the girl whose heart broke when she was so young, and she fixed it back together with superglue, but cannot ignore the cracks."
"Superglue makes for a good companion, especially when-"