WishbonesIt was 5am, and the sun was only beginning to hit the windows as she said to me, I think I wrote a poem about you.
And I said, how does it go?
It goes like this, she said, and it was beautiful.
It was shooting stars, pulled wishbones and a thousand things unfulfilled, all blown birthday candles and dandelion clocks; the superstitions we embrace so that sometimes, for a few seconds, we're allowed to have any dream we want despite it all.
At the beginning it was the regret for things, said and unsaid, breaking into sharp pieces in our palms so we could never hold them; then it was a confession, and then a heartbreaking demand, only to know whether it could ever begin or be stopped; and the final line led me up into her eyes.
They were like the sea looks in all the magazines, the colour you buy expensive tickets to swim in for two weeks: clearwater oceans, the kind of world we know less about the bottom of than we do about the surface of our moon. She was too true and clear a sea, unrippl
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 Kid1 year 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
summergirlNow read aloud over here. Do give it a listen, won't you?summergirl1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
you are crowthroated and tumbling
through the aspen grove
hair on fire with sunrise, lungs
full of sky.
eyelashes like wildflowers
and every morning brings
a new spray of freckles
and a sharper curve to your collarbones.
the cornfields hold no shadows
for your lighthouse eyes
and there are no endings in that
ii. you have grown
autumn finds you with broken ankles
leaning on an oak branch
and watching the skies.
crow to sparrow--you are quiet.
summergirl, there is peace in silence,
fallen antlers in your hands.
you will come to mourn your deer.
keep them close.
iii. by winter you have paled,
and like the streams
your eyes have frosted over.
you feel the chill--
there is no need for sight.
his name was joseph.he was the most beautiful boy you have ever seen, with hazel eyes the size of dinner plates and a smile that could light up the world. he was-his name was joseph.1 year ago in Short Stories More Like This
no. no, that's not right. try again.
he had goodness running through his veins instead of blood. he shined bright like the stars, so bright it almost hurt to look at him. he didn't often have cause to smile, but oh, when he did-
no, still not right. try again.
he was the only thing you could ever call home. he had a laugh like a promise that not everything was terrible, that there were still good things out there, that you would always have him. he was the only real thing you had ever touched. he could see straight through all of your lies, and he never hesitated to call you on it. he always called in the evening, to make sure you had enough time to talk. he didn't-
no, no, no. not like that. try again.
he is the only boy you have ever loved, will ever love, could ever love. he is hidden smiles, muffled laughter and whispered
breachmy heart is fevered; nothing butbreach2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
strong, nothing but
impatient. heart, listen -
how dare you beat faster
without my consent!
we have nothing to sing about,
you & i.
it is probably chronic, she said.
that means it will be here forever.
it means i must learn to live with it,
this hanging weight in my chest,
and i must accept how sometimes
it swings from side to side and
bruises my ribs. i must
breathe out occasionally.
and i must be alone,
because who will wait with me
when there are challenges to be had,
and adventure to be sung, full-throated?
i know i would not stay.
let it ache. let it
burst from my chest.
let it fly. let it break.
chameleonthe hollows beneath your eyeschameleon2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
are sea-shadowed, blue with
morning-dew. i slip
furtive glances into your
pockets, watch your lips move
and hope you don't notice.
i am a chameleon.
i track the passage of
your tongue across your teeth,
flicker my enunciation as you do,
linger on the long words and
spit out the short. i am
your soul is swallowing my own.
the levee broke a promisei had afternoon tea with the skeletons in your closetthe levee broke a promise1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
they take three sugars, no milk
don't pretend like you can hide anything from me
i have picnicked with your demons
they don't like cucumber sandwiches
and they want to apologise for all those nightmares
don't pretend like there's anything i don't know about you
don't pretend like you can hide anything from me
don't pretend like you're fine
i had afternoon tea with the skeletons in your closet
they want you to know they forgive you
they don't like it when you cry
stop pretending that you can hide anything from me
stop pretending that you want to
lyei always ended uplye2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
swallowing what i knew
you couldn't stomach,
but the acid stripped
the paint from the walls and stripped
the skin from my body and stripped
the sinew from my bones, and
it wasn't because you
would never hear what i had to say,
but just that i
Erstwhilei),Erstwhile1 year ago in Flash Fiction & Vignettes More Like This
Once upon a time our stories were simple.
Once upon a time our mothers turned the pages for us, held our hands, and promised to read out the words we still stumbled over, sometimes, if we were tired or alone.
Once upon a time we were taught to walk only so we could begin that ancient human race: the desperate sprint for success, power and fame. The one where your mother lets go of your hand and tells all her friends that you can do it without falling sometimes, if they pretend they aren't watching or they shake a rattle at you; the one where coach says the people sitting at the side-lines are only kids who can't run fast enough, who didn't try hard enough, who aren't enough; the one where you are named by your number.
Sometimes we are drowning in the texts.
Sometimes definitions escape us, and questions will plague us, and it feels as if our teachers taught us words only so we could understand what we should not say.
Sometimes we are reading so hard that we forget to stop and
a humming.i. tuesday grasps at door handles.a humming.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
it was near-enough the morning,
or thereabouts at least, and
the wishes were drifting in
neon scribbles across the sky.
night rippled. a finger pressed
against the memory foam, left
a trace of whisky-breath on the wind.
perhaps you didn't know that
the moon is an alcoholic.
every day she trembles her way to
her AA meetings and reports her failure.
they pat her on the back and tell her
to keep trying; it'll get easier
every time. but when she walks home
the sun is always waiting.
ii. the doctor stumbles in the park.
the grass is yellowing, soaked
in dog piss beneath that one tree
where the owners congregate to discuss
grooming and food. one poodle, dyed
salmon pink, yaps incessantly
until her master hisses at her. he tells
his aged companion it's an ancient language,
a trick he learnt on a trip to the
shenandoah national park. no-one quite
believes him but the dog is still quiet.
a child hides behind the nearby swings,
dreading the canine teeth. his fe
predatorRead aloud here.predator11 months ago in Free Verse More Like This
fox eyes, i will be
running prey coveting
miss fox, i wouldn't mind--
there must be worse ways than being
by that slick little smile.
syracuseListen to the audio version for the full effect, pretty please.syracuse1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
cloudshot sky like an oil painting and i am watching the
darling, i will swim for you
and swallow every whitecap.
i will pluck myself a coat of pelican wings,
sew them up with salt and spray--
become icarus for you.
you are calling me across the waves, love--
but you pull against the ache
in my bones, the hollow--
the clawing out for unseen sunsets and unturned tides.
i hear you, love
give me time.
i will always listen.
lightsdon't be fooled--lights1 year ago in Free Verse More Like This
the sky is not static.
there is an infinity between any
infinite hex codes
between the bounds of the spectrum--
this is the great secret of the universe, this
cosmic light show
we can't detect--
the changes too small for our
perhaps there is someone out there--someone else
even if he cannot see.
is not my blue--perhaps it all comes down
to the chemicals
the spin of individual molecules that all add up to become
our own blue.
maybe it's all on us.
the cosmos isn't trying because, really--
if i were the cosmos
i would have better things to do.
maybe there is something
in our ability to overanalyze
and oversimplify--our ability
to realize we know nothing
and try again, anyway.
coefficient of fictionin the morningcoefficient of fiction2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
I am monumental.
my body is a half-
dream, a Goliath
before the sun rises
to dwarf it.
in this bleary light,
I can be anything.
Arsenic.i.Arsenic.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
It's just like talking
to anyone else
I cried when you wrote
that, just like when
I took your letters
down, and when you
told me you didn't
love me, anymore
and, I cannot
find a method
to pretend that
you were just
there are people
who make me laugh
like you never did,
I do not feel safe
with any of them;
and I thought
about falling into
your arms next
year, when you
to feel at home
in all senses
of the word,
you will not
oh, you over think things
and maybe I do,
but the things
wanderlustshe 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 on her eyes were always her favorite feature].
she always had nightmares, never good dreams, but maybe that's because she could never stop d r e a m i n g with her eyes open. all she ever wanted was dirt roads and stars and mud under her fingernails.
[maybe one day, when she's older, she'll take a crinkly old map and
lost kingswe were all lost kings of the electriclost kings2 years ago in Traditional Fixed Forms More Like This
highwire act, tripping like ghosts through boarded
windows and vacant lots that never held
any secret we wouldn’t tear apart
cables stretched over the place we used to live
drooping tightropes for worn-weary dancers
that pirouetted from house to house while
we just paced the streets of glass and concrete
our mothers worried on their rosaries
and poured their fears into party-line chats
father just poured another scotch and said
boys will be boys so let them have their fun
and us out in the night between the tracks
and the towers willing our years into
smoke and bottles and dolled up girls that just
laughed like juice joint sirens calling us home
woolly sweaters in may and the meaning of life.what seems like a million years ago i promised myself that i would discover the meaning of life for you. that way you'd have to stay alive. no more dismissing your existence as pointless, i would find that goddamn reason for you to live.woolly sweaters in may and the meaning of life.1 year ago in Short Stories More Like This
i went to the library and looked up lots of things. where to start? i wondered. the obvious choice lay in the natural world. i started to read the origin of species. a few chapters in, i switched my focus to the human mind. i started reading psychology books, class tutorials, study guides, the basics. introductions to mental illness. people, nature. no luck. i searched through pages of print outs filled with words i didn't know until the letters swam before my eyes and broke off into separate objects. scrabble tiles. science never was my strong point.
in the back of my notebook i began to record my thoughts. i coloured in lines and shaded odd shapes that seemed to make sense at the time, labelled them "life," "death," "matter," "consc
Metastasis98.00Metastasis2 years ago in Stories & Vignettes More Like This
Autumn is the season when everything dies.
The leaves shrivel up and your lungs go with them, tiny dejected organs drying out inside your sternum, crinkling under our footsteps. The doctors pronounce their diagnosis as the leaves fall, listing medical terms and percentages and something about medication options.
The disease is metastatic: it has bored its way out of your lungs and into your bones. Dissatisfied, it's going for your organs, your liver, your heart. The prognosis says Christmas is a pipe dream, likely as the sun ceasing to set.
You promise it anyway.
November comes and I am a fish, breathing through makeshift gills carved into my hips, lopsided and crude.
I make fresh ones twice a day, slice myself open once in the morning and once at night in hopes the air will come a little easier each time. I make three and count them off:
and hope my heart stops.
The leaves have been carted away, pummeled into dust, and blown away in the wind.
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.Solstice2 years ago in Scraps More Like This
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
full pelt.after twenty eight days offull pelt.2 years ago in Free Verse More Like This
broken architecture halfsmiles of
veins winding in your
limbs like wooded paths you
begin to notice
the wind slipping through the holes
between branches and fingertips like breath and even if
you are not numbed by the snow, even if
you carry with you letters and pebbles that
cannot feel the cold, we
erase each other and the fog
swallows us up inside of it on the
dried up riverbank of the afternoon
only animals in the
dark, made up of
slippery elegant insides; the
tendons and sinews like celery strings
(each tight like a pulled stitch), the
warm snarls of arteries, your
delicate edible heart.
our love was
dumb and thumbless, it
beat in your chest like a kickdrum,
spilling out like a fresh bruise.
there was always something
simple or organic about
handiwork of bitten nails about
me dancing in the cages of your pupils, the
the fluttering of your camera hands
but there are
too many tangles, too many
furs and bodily fluids
involved in our taxidermy.
We don't know how to dream.i. There is glass in my bones, I say and she nods. She is listening but not really. She is mixing up words and thoughts and trying to decide what to say next to keep me from falling deeper. She is afraid, I can tell. There are different kinds of fear, you know, different flavors. Mine is a slow fear, a soft and creeping fear that strokes the back of your mind and makes you cry in libraries, on car rides, in the gloaming time after sex. It's a fear that makes you say things you don't mean to the people you love because you need someone to know that there's a stranger in your head and you don't know what to do. I don't know what to do. Her eyes are shifting, backforthbackforth, still composing. Her fear is a sudden fear, a sharp fear, a tidal wave of not knowing what to do, what to say. Her fear is a secret she keeps in her fists when I'm feeling most alone and she thinks she needs to be strong. I'm exploding, I say and she nods. I'm not looking for an answer.We don't know how to dream.3 years ago in Emotional More Like This
Living AnticipationWhat she craved was hunger. It took a semester for me to learn that.Living Anticipation2 years ago in Short Stories More Like This
She was an exchange student from Italy, a college sophomore, and I was a grad student assisting her ESL class. The class was mandatory her first semester in the States, but she didn't need it. She didn't need a tutor, either.
So, we were lovers.
Every Wednesday, in my far away apartment in Brooklyn, we met and made. Every Wednesday, she would arrive on the N train from Manhattan and let herself in. I left the door unlocked all day, because she would never give me a time. Answering her phone was her lowest priority. All the world could wait for her, it seemed to me.
When she arrived, it was always with a kiss. There were hardly any words at first, just her on her toes and me leaning down to meet her. She was 5 foot tall and all of nothing in weight, and never would I call her beautiful. She was pretty: olive skin and brown hair on youthful frame. Her ac