i begin and end with you.How do you go about explaining love to someone who has never felt it? How do you put into words the sweetness of the first kiss or the bitterness of the first goodbye or the hundred pinpricks of emotion you feel each and every time lip parts lip? If I were to try, I wouldn't start with the first embrace or the first touch or the first time your tongue swept the top of your mouth and you breathed my name. I wouldn't start with the first time nail bit into hip or teeth into shoulder or the first time you cried my name and I cried yours. I wouldn't talk about the first time that we held hands under the branches of the willow, limbs interlaced as we fell asleep with Whitman on my breast. I wouldn't even talk about the time you slipped platinum around my finger and I cried on a sunny October afternoon.
Instead, I would talk about the first time you taught me something. I would talk about how we were standing in wintery midnight air and how you put your hand on the small of my back--as i
time withers (but i will not break)they say time withers, but that we would never bend. now, i'm not so sure. friendship once forged in fire is growing weak at the base and arthritic at the joints. love cast in steel is now rusted and stained, dissolving at the mere sight of the sun. i trusted you. i did. i wore my heart on my sleeve and bled my tongue from my mouth just to show you the truth of the matter. i swallowed the guilt until it threatened to chew away at the strings holding me up; until i woke up screaming, my lungs giving out in protest as i writhed between cotton sheets, teeth biting the pillow to suppress the next anguished cry threatening to rip from my throat. i did this, for us, for the friendship, for the future we all saw sitting on magnolia porches.time withers (but i will not break)3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
i was willing to take the thorn into my sides, take the blame upon my shoulders, hold the world between hands just to let this dream come true. but no longer. i am not this savage beast that you see when you look at me; i am not this weathered and dying tr
then i changed.Home used to be a place.then i changed.3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
It used to mean quiet mornings with loud sibling voices, sunlight streaming through the dust speckled windows to paint the room with summer. I remember being seven and waking up to my parent's laughter, stumbling into the kitchen of oak to watch them leaning into one another over the coffee table. The tile on the floor was cold, but I remember thinking that the house was warm.
Home was a place of safety during the storms, where rain could batter but could never get in. It was the cream colored carpet and the fire blazing during the winter months. It was where I chased the small lop-eared puppy up the stairs and where exhaustion trailed after me on the way down every morning. It was comforting and familiar. It was where the smells were always sweet no matter whether it was half-baked cookies or lemon wood cleaner. It was mine.
Then things changed. I changed.
The walls dissolved and the people dispersed. Home became a word I didn't have a definition for. I
wait and write to me then.don't tell me about the best way to capture the ocean in your mouth. don't whisper to me late at night about the salt crescent moons behind the bend of your elbows or the way that the breeze is tangling my hair around your ears until you're deaf from the wind. don't, for you see it's easy to whisper poetry when the starlit sky is a cliche over the slumbering world; it's easy to be a poet when the ground is rising up to cradle your shoulder blades and the earth is whispering love notes to you in your sleep. this is when it's easy.wait and write to me then.4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
so don't write to me then.
instead, wait until the world is rejecting you from her breast and leaving you breathless and boneless on the carpeted floor. wait until your ribs are falling one by one like sand through your fingers and you're struggling to catch them and struggling to keep your feet and struggling to remember why you started this fight at all. wait until the ocean has woken up angry and is throwing a tantrum across your jaw, knocking your teeth ou
what we call war_cI have devil's water running through my coal-veins. Every morning, I get up and touch the mirror just so that I can fall into the reflection. Every change branded into the underside of my skin so that I can see their bitter stones sinking slowly through the uncharted rivers of my body. I am a façade. I am a lie. I have swallowed hearts and slung love at walls of destruction just to watch the plumes of smoke rise up the city atmosphere. I have watched my crumbling capillaries tie together into hangman's knots, my lips dyed red with lover and enemy alike. I worry with every bloodied swallow, with every collapsing groan - oh lover, I worry you are next.what we call war_c3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
If I were anything but ash and molten hopes I would worry too. But I have lost myself in the cracks between desperation and shame, and now I find myself drowning, pouring out your devil's cup into my wanting throat. Scalding my teeth, numbing my tongue, twisting my spine until the heat of it breaks me down, and knocks me out. I
i am not a writer.i do not know how to write.i am not a writer.5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
i do now understand the concepts and the themes; words are just shapes pressed together in an attempt to say what my tongue cannot and the phrases are already so clogged in my throat that i am a champagne bottle with all the fizz and none of the pleasure. ink stains and pencil smears and typewriters break so that i am left with nothing but ripped shards of paper falling around my elbows and piling around my feet in an attempt to sculpt meaning out of the absence of what i was meant to fill.
you see, writers know the way to phrase and they know the brush they have in their hand. it is careful and planned and the art is in the crafting and the hours of sweat that is put into every syllable. it is a labor of love and loving labor and when the final punctuation is added, there is not a comma or curvature of letter that has not been pampered and ushered into final resting place.
i, however, do not know how to write.
no, instead i know how to spit up memories and
i dream as a lion.i used to dream about sinking into the ocean. i used to dream about going up in flames and finding redemption in the way that the ash fell from my hands. now, when i dream, i think about the way that passion used to light my veins. i think about the pain that pinched my limbs and the cramps that woke me screaming in the middle of the night. i dream about the agony - the way i would stare at the sun and call it living. the way that i called each bleeding wound life and each burned palm passion.i dream as a lion.4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
i was the girl that swallowed the world and spit up the ocean. i remember the way that the mountains scraped my throat and the slaughter of the world settling into the pit of my belly. i remember the bitterness hitting the back of my throat and the way that even when i doubled over, even when i screamed out, even when i hit my knees that i was crying hallelujah. the way that the world was brighter for the pain and the way that i believed the only way i could see was when i was saltwate
burn this mirror.this is the point i write a hook loud enough for you to hear it. i craft the words out of cells and marrow and spill them on the page in the right numerical order; hit just the right notes in time to bleed me dry. i write the truth in the harsh light under the kitchen sink right before i throw it down the garbage disposal where it belongs. i can't turn from the mirror on this white sheet of paper, and i can't shatter the reflection spewing from the ink of my pen. i can close my eyes and scream and cower in the corner and over the shrillness of my voice and under the shadow of my blindness, i will still be confronted with the truth of myself. i cannot run from my demons when they are what i am.burn this mirror.5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
the truth is i will bring you the highest of your highs and the lowest of your lows. i will catapult you through the atmosphere and then be the anchor that drops your heart through the wood-plank-floor. i am a bottle marked antidote filled to the brim with the latest poison. i have the cure on my
try to know me.if you want to know me, you have to read my words.try to know me.5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
you have to let yourself slip into the sometimes boiling water of my ideas and let them blister and scar your skin. you have to touch the angry wounds and understand the serrated edges that placed them there. you see, i am more than syllables and more than vowels, but to understand the cracking of my spine, you have to decipher the noise that it makes on the way down. you have to close your eyes and listen to my soft-throated whine and listen to my blood-vessel-popping scream and understand the howls of joy that spiral up my chest from the shrapnel of my very stomach.
you must take the time to understand each of these separate noises and understand the source of the words comes not from inspiration and not from ideas but from emotions that bleed red down my arms to the calloused fingers that hold this pen. you have to trust that i am not writing from false and vivid imagination, and you must understand that each flawed sentence and eac
heart of my heart.when the sky is high and the ocean is deep; when the wind is singing and the stars are sighing; when the trees are whispering secrets of life into open ears and when the soil is warming under the waking sun: these are the moments in which i know. these are the moments in which i can tell. it is the moment between the silence and the breath between the words. it is the moment when time suspends and the pencil stills and the sentences don't flow, but rather clog and jam and fold unto themselves so that they are impossible to pick apart and understand.heart of my heart.5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
these are the moments in which i know.
it is the moment when you first wake and your first motion isn't to stretch or yawn or awaken your slumbering muscles, but rather to pull me closer into the radiating heat of your chest. it is the moment when the afternoon has stilled and the noise has muted and in the middle of the mundane normalcy you look my way and somehow turn the most ordinary of minutes into something more. it is the moment that
the story told without words.this is the story of a girl who fell in love.the story told without words.5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
this is the story told in words that do not come gently, but rather as torrents of water bending the windowpanes. this is the story carved from the things that i am made of and pushed into the middle of sunlit rooms so that the world can stare in wonder. this is the beauty spewing from an unbeautiful mouth, the love gushing forward from the split ribs of a body that simply cannot contain anymore. this is not composed of large, sweeping generalizations and observations of the world, but rather is built upon the small whispers of dawn. if you split open the spine of this novel, you will find the vertebrae of the story in the details: you reaching over to tuck stray hair behind my ear; the fold of your skin at the corner of your crooked smile; the fluttering wings in the peach pit of my stomach.
if you break down my individual parts, you will see them as the inconsequential entities that they are. you will see the way the wind comes to lift me
Inexhaustible.Sometimes, I long for the breath of sorrow that once guided me.Inexhaustible.4 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
No longer is the twisting wind and the gnashing teeth of mourning cries guiding my fingers to my pen and my heart to the beat. No longer does my spine twist at dusk tying upon itself as my hands press against the small of my back, pushing my pelvis forward as I arch back, back, back into the great beyond of darkness and light. No longer is my sleep punctuated with awakeness and my days punctuated with sleep. I no longer am curled into the shadow of myself and plucking words from heartstrings that have long since bled dry.
Still, on nights where the moon is hollowed against the backdrop of the sky (nights where the sky is poised like a dagger upon the earth) I hunger for the sorrow that one drove me forward. I hunger for the aching and twisting pain that had pricked my heels until they bled into the cracks and calluses the never-ending fear of myself and the never-ending thirst for tomorrow. I thirst for the n
the time it takes.a second.the time it takes.5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
a single breath - the time it takes for your tongue to catch between your teeth, the phone to crack the floorboard, the bullet to pierce the flesh. a second. it doesn't take much longer than that. for life to become death, for centuries of grooves to washout in the flash flood, for a name, a face, a memory to become nothing but two sentences in black ink on the back page of the thrown away paper. for today's tragedy to become yesterday's news.
the first emitted noise of the scream - the time it takes for your lips to peel apart, the noise to uncork in your belly, the grief to be unleashed from where it had been laying in wait. as if we knew; as if we knew. a second. it's the time for your knees to crash against the grass, for your spine to disassemble and fall like cracking autumn leaves. for the weight of the world to press against your shoulder blades with no relief.
it is the time it takes for you to reach for atlas' burden, to swallow the grief of the world and
find me in the hidden life.i have this feeling in my bones that some call weakness and other call fire.find me in the hidden life.5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
it's a driving need and a crippling desire, and it wakes me in the middle of the night with cramping calves and feet running among cotton though they reach nothing but the great beyond of the side of the bed. it's a burning that pushes me into the middle of rainstorms to dance among the cracking weather kissing the earth, and it's a spark lit under the gasoline pooled under my heart. some call me crazy and others call me sane, but if you look for me in the heart of winter, you will often find me curled under the dead oak touching the bark because i like the way life looks when it's hidden.
you'll often find me like this, looking for hidden life and concealed light. sometimes, i will search for under the frozen wrinkles and concrete-frowns of the lonely, and other times i will seek it in the ocean before the storm. i will hunt under the foliage like a hungry wolf, and i will howl at the canopy as i track it dow
seaside gifts.this is what i would give to you:seaside gifts.5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
i would give you sea castles during high tide. i would give you an empty beach and a storm rolling in, the sea flagging the danger and the sky rolling in anxiety. the ocean was deepen to sleet gray and i would be waiting in it, the cotton of my dress soaked to my ankles. we could find release in the storm, slipping the silent killers from our bones to wash out with the dregs of the hurricane. the rain would come in with a crack across the sky and we could hold each other through it. our clothes could be sopping wet and flapping in the wind, but we would be rocks. screaming, kissing, unlocking our chests and letting the elements take us.
this is what i would give to you:
i would give you ocean-salted rooms with open french doors and billowing curtains. i would give you an abandoned home and phones off the hook. i would give you peace and i would hold you while you slept. you would be peaceful in your slumber and i would not say a word. i would press my
writing about you.Today, I am not going to write about you.writing about you.3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Instead, I am going to write about the saltwater licking up on the beaches outside my grandfather's house. I am going to write about the way that the waves look at dawn: mercurial and vivid in the early morning rays. I am going to write about the time I ran into them fully clothed in the dead of winter, how the cold stole my breath, froze my skin, numbed my limbs. I will write about the only memory I have being tossed from wave to wave, like a child flipping hot bread from one palm to the other. My legs bent, my spine curled, my hair knotted in front of my eyes excruciating, frightening, but invigorating. I will write about how the pain brought life into greater clarity, the cliff edge shoving me into consciousness like the moment I thought I might lose you, curled on the carpet in that old room with my nails buried in my thighs
No, today, I cannot write about you.
Instead, I will close my eyes and write about hospital-grie
old and time-weathered soul.Emily liked to imagine that she was from a different time.old and time-weathered soul.3 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
She’d sit on her bed and smooth out the covers, fold the sheets with crisp lines and perfect, symmetrical shapes. She’d place the chipped tea cup on the bookshelf and push back the linen curtains. But she would never open her eyes. No, you see, because if she did, she would have to see the traffic that buzzed like summer bees below her and the water stain dripping down the side of her window. She’d have to admit that outside, reality was not what she wished, and, frankly, she wasn’t ready to stop pretending.
So, instead, she closed her eyes and pressed her forehead against the cool glass. She imagined that beyond the four walls she called home, there were open moors and grass that swept against ankle and calf and then inner knee. She imagined that trees draped over the sides of a porch and that her Labrador was free to run amongst the unfenced wild yonder. She imagined gentle whickering coming from the n
my final request.this'll be the last time i put my heart on your porch and the last time i'll slip faded pieces of poetry under your door when you're asleep. when my song has been sung, i'll stop painting my wishes on your ceiling and humming lullabies at moonrise. i won't come knocking at your door any longer or whispering into the back of your neck when you're walking away. you won't feel my fingers pulling on the edge of your shirt or slipping in your back pocket or clinging to the corner of your heart, because it's obvious that none of it belongs to me any longer.my final request.6 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
i promise, this'll be it.
so, don't run or ignore this or throw it away, because i swear, this will be the last you hear from me. i'll erase myself from your life and throw the pieces into the wind to be carried to wherever it is you aren't. i'll fold in the corner until i'm nothing more than an ink smudge on your personal history. i'll erode and fade and diminish until the morning comes when you wake up and wonder if i was anything more
singing of beauty.some sing that there is beauty in the breakdown, but i have learned in the heat of your palms that the true beauty is in the rebuilding after the fall. you found me a city burned to the ground and you exhaustively rebuilt all of my fallen skyscrapers. you did not mind the singing and the stinging eyes. you never faltered at the quakes that ran up the base of my spine to the tip of the city limits. you just moved with meticulous, tenacious, loving grace. you found me a forest cleared on a whim, an ocean polluted with the lies of the selfish, a sky darkened with the ache of a thousand breaks.singing of beauty.5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
you found me ugly, and still, you found me.
so, i do not sing of beauty in the falling, though i have seen the poetry in cracking ribs and bleeding knees. i do not sing of the beauty of salt-encrusted cheeks and nail-bitten lips. i stand in the heat of your embrace and sing of the sun that rises on each war-demolished countryside. i sing of the light that washes over every blood-soaked ba
life lessons in death.i didn't know what pain was.life lessons in death.5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
pain isn't sitting in your room with the music blasting and the world going in slow motion, because your heart's been metaphorically ripped to shreds and society doesn't understand you and your clothes don't fit [in] and your tongue has unraveled and you're too tired to try and pick it up again.
pain isn't watching your friend walk away and your dog lie under the sheets of autumn leaves and throwing your moth-eaten book into the cardboard box next to him, because if you're going to lose one friend then you might as well lose them all and your arms are sore and your chest hurts, but night is coming and somehow you're sure you'll remember how to breathe by then.
pain isn't sitting in the kitchen with your sister sobbing in the corner and the lights being too bright and remembering the way there was a full bottle of vodka on the shelf yesterday morning, and wondering what it's doing broken and empty on the bottom of the kitchen sink when she's screaming so lou
my wild and reckless heart.You know what I love? I love my heart—oh, how I love my wild and reckless heart.my wild and reckless heart.1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Because my heart is not a beautiful one nor a pure one nor one to inspire sonnets. But it is strong. It is scarred. My heart is ever-thirsting; it yearns for beauty and sunrises and shooting star wishes and things that it cannot comprehend. My heart has tremors that rock it like earthquakes; it twists and shakes and tightens in ways that cannot ever be understood. It is not satisfied with the now nor yesterday and, in truth, it does not even grow fat and happy on the promise of tomorrow. It is forever in a state of want.
And I refuse to believe that is not okay. I love the urgent press of my pulse that nips at my heels and forces me to dance faster and wilder; I love the thump-thump-thump of that desire and the hold-me-tighter whisper that rips from between clenched teeth. I love the way my heart has flung me over cliffs and expected me to swim—and I love it still when I washed up on the beach
guiding me home.you found me bleeding on the side of the road.guiding me home.5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
you found me spitting up death and choking on life and letting reality throw bruising fingers around my throat to squeeze the remnants of belief. you found me quaking on the tile and shaking the entire building, my spine cracking like a weathered book. you found me as a victim of my own sense of fantasy, my own desires manipulating my nerves like a finely tuned violin playing nothing but funeral sobs. i was half-awake and half-aware and half-of-something-i-couldn't-even-label; you were in over your head.
three days later and i was stitched up with chapped-lips but swallowing whole foods and keeping it down for the first time in months. i was tasting the milk of your healing hope and the honey of your patience. i was soothed by your cool lips against my feverish forehead, but, i was still scared. i was waking up in cold sweats and breaking out to race down the corridors. i was lashing out when you tried to calm me and exploding at the bares
sheep-wool covered lies.i ate your heart and reveled in the way it smashed between my molars like ripe grapes, the way i could feel the pulse beating between my clenched jaw, the life squirming in and out to stain my lips. i swallowed it whole and felt it beating like a drummer boy in the pit of my belly, your sorrow the beat i danced my day to. your misery was a lullaby i sang to myself at night, the sheep i counted when my eyes were closed. i could feel it in the way it seeped into my veins and tangled around my bones like weeds growing too fast to contain. i gloried in the power it gave me, the way i could pull your strings and make you dance, the way i could bloody your soles and your soul and at the end of the day when i slept in my bed, it was made of the gnashed bones and entrails you left behind.sheep-wool covered lies.5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
is that what you want me to say?
if you want, i'll tell you about how i thrilled at the tears in your eyes. i'll tell you i manipulated the map to pull reality apart and create a fantasy for us to get lost in
strangle me silently.i am sleeping and nameless faces are looming and my bones are breaking to the beat of war drums in the fogging distance. my pulse is racing and bursting at the seams and i am arching up and out and all over the ceiling and splattering on the window. "it's art!" they cry, because art is pain and i am paint running down the walls, the shattered column of my torso twisting on roping cotton sheets. "how beautiful," they sigh with wistful voices for i am destruction, and they envy the magnificence to sacrifice one's self for art, for beauty, for love, but i am a stain they can't wash out and a puzzle they can't complete, and the walls are decaying and time is bending backwards and --strangle me silently.5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
i am prey. i am a deer; i am a deer and the woods are as quiet as words. the fog is rolling in like tumultuous sea upon unsuspecting shores. i am a deer and i smell like fear, my legs snap as i move, as the wind whistles with deadly intentions. i leap, but time slices my throat. split-seconds are suddenly the o
hurricane eloise.Eloise's parents named her after a hurricane that destroyed their house in 1975.hurricane eloise.5 years ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
She, however, had never destroyed anything (a friendship, a home, a heart) beyond the crystal vase she had dropped when her cousin jumped from behind the table and spooked her when she was twelve. This made her feel uncomfortable - as if she was a peasant wearing Cinderella's shoe or a woman squeezing into a girl's sweater. She once tried to tell her parents this, how her name was like a false second skin stretched too tight, but couldn't find the words and ended up sighing instead.
When she told them never mind, they smiled briefly before returning to the war-torn papers.
[She later decided that they must like the way the ink stained their fingers and never their heart.]
Eloise was a quiet girl with a smile that looked awfully like a frown. She made friends with goldfish in teardrop shaped bowls and made more wishes on the trail of passing jets rather than the shooting stars of midnight. She sai