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Literature
With Love from Andorra
how do I pull myself
out of these clouds
when I am that much
closer to the heavens?
there's no way to say
I am clinically mixed-up
but this is in true form
the antithesis of mythology
I feel this swish of delight
against the remission of gloom
and when tidal sadness uncurls
there is a sparkle of light
why can't there be enough
real estate in the mind
to house two feelings?
to linger at a bordertown
and be neither here nor there
if only I could estimate
form something palatable
a well-salted, bite-sized
answer to everything
extraordinary that ever was
I am happy-sad, mad-wise
with love for the expanse
twin spires, dowels running
through me, kept strong
tending a garden within
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Literature
Hark
The birds in the trees
see old men in the park
feeding their counterparts
by the benches
feathers fly as two
hungry souls dash
and duke it out
for a tiny morsel
containing a mountain
of hope
the onlookers’ dreams
of flight orphaned
so long ago
they watch and listen
from across the way
and wonder at the
exhilaration of living
for each coming thrill
around the corner
or nestled away
for finding
another rainy afternoon
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Literature
this is not a love poem
but if it makes your spine tingle
and your eyes widen
all the same, I welcome
you into this
this safe space
this “coast is clear” security
whatever you require
kerosene or matches
or encouragement
to press on to the next pitstop
on the banks of tomorrow
for the hearts and diamonds
faced with your spades and clubs
we’ve the makings
of the best pastime
while we wait for the wind
to shift in our favor
using our kerosene and matches
to keep the fire lit
i said this isn’t a love poem
but who’s to say it could never be?
the writing on the wall
is not empirical truth
buildings fall down
high-rises emerge
from the rubble
or maybe this is meant
to be built upon
to grow and expand
like the exquisite lungs
we carry in our chest cavities
all that open space
waiting to be filled
with something extraordinary
:iconHarperQ:HarperQ
:iconharperq:HarperQ 3 1
Literature
April 22
She asks me why
I put myself
in this situation
This isn’t textbook
conversation
She is the second
person I tell
I don’t know what
I want
but it isn’t this
I can’t explain
to her
that I still
remember
what I was
wearing
and how the
rain
never stopped
These are
the things she
doesn’t
(can’t?
won’t?)
hear
She’s drunk as
am I
but the fog
clears
as soon as she
opens
her mouth
She
says
sorry
but it’s not
something
to be
washed out
one’s mouth
with soap
or more
liquor
this stays
tattooed
to the tongue
I wear it on my
skin
in my
hair
and on my
heart
looped around my
wrist
laced into my
shoes
We go home
I go to sleep
We speak no
more
of this
matter
:iconHarperQ:HarperQ
:iconharperq:HarperQ 3 1
Literature
Count
count to ten, eyes closed
reach for it in the darkness
all you wish to know
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Literature
Dinner at Pilar's
I am struck by the array of colors
Audrey Hepburn, Frida Kahlo, and Egyptian goddesses adorn these walls
She shows me some of her paintings and pictures of her son
among the tristate frontiers of reality, imagination, and the abstract
I behold this woman capable of such creation
who has brought art to life
who has carried a being in her womb and on her back
who has held a paintbrush in one hand and a baby in the other
She says she archives her life into before and after the birth of her son
but I can only see a continuum
I have but a speck of time to linger in thought before she pulls me to the table
Come, she says, I’ve made quiche
:iconHarperQ:HarperQ
:iconharperq:HarperQ 4 1
Literature
waiting
waiting and waiting
until the sky melts
into a creamsicle
the teapot whistles
but the doorbell
never rings
:iconHarperQ:HarperQ
:iconharperq:HarperQ 4 1
Literature
we are
playing chutes and ladders
in our pajamas
climbing hilltops to touch
the wedge-shaped moon
lost in the trees
found in the forest
squeaky clean after the rain
coming up short of a marathon
filling in the smallest spaces
within our bones
rowing in our floating world
in between two worlds
at once
ubiquitous
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:iconharperq:HarperQ 1 1
Literature
Roots
Grandma believed there was something holy about
carrying the name of the Virgin Mother through this
life and, maybe, beyond
Mother chose a different moniker, borne of three
parts love and two parts spite
Father had no say in the matter
Grandma had the patience and the heart-space to
accept her devilish, bastard grandchildren and rear
them with love, best expressed in acts of baking and
following them over railroad tracks, never saying it
but signing at the bottom of cards
She has embraced the word of God but has a reticence
about her, favors an affectionate pat on the shoulder
and a glimmer of a tender smile
:iconHarperQ:HarperQ
:iconharperq:HarperQ 1 0
Literature
fish hook
there is much and more to say
but it catches in my throat
sits stumped, fish-hooked far down
there you go, around the corner
please wait, don’t leave, not yet
:iconHarperQ:HarperQ
:iconharperq:HarperQ 4 2
Literature
9:57 / break bread
let go of educated guesses
any loose change you've stuffed
in the pocket of unwashed jeans
let's be you and me and me and you
on sunday morning at the table
with everything bagels and chamomile
:iconHarperQ:HarperQ
:iconharperq:HarperQ 2 1
Literature
Table
you have been at the center
of so many celebratory moments
family scandals and shouting matches
a sidelined spectator of every
episode of Wheel of Fortune
even if it wasn't your choice
the choice was never in your hands
you have only had sturdy legs
to make your mark in this world
keeper of conversation
a place of rest and order
your family could not do without
you’ve withstood every splash,
every scratch, every knock
we’ve delivered you
your limbs creak now
like an octogenarian
and you favor your left side
the stronger half of you
the age shows now
in your complexion
signs of discoloration
few would believe
that you were more spritely
in your youth
fashioned from oak
and painted pretty
like child’s doll
you’ve held us together
all these long years
with such grace
:iconHarperQ:HarperQ
:iconharperq:HarperQ 3 2
Literature
Yakushima
the loggerhead turtles surface
heads bobbing on the waterline
scuttle up the beaches of Yakushima
seizing not a moment’s rest
onward, dutifully plowing over sand
into the deepest corner of night
to pave the foundation of tomorrow
wherein lies a spark for another day
when tiny heads poke out of shells
and feel the call of the vibrant sea
:iconHarperQ:HarperQ
:iconharperq:HarperQ 2 1
Literature
Little Creatures
One two one two in a mute beat
following their marching orders
filtering through the tear in the mesh
foraging a feast on the linoleum floor
deconstructed for transport to homebase
in the dunes of the tarred driveway
:iconHarperQ:HarperQ
:iconharperq:HarperQ 3 1
Literature
There Is a Garden in Your Eyes
You will find
tomorrow
has flourished into
a landscape of life
A proliferation
that must be real
but beautiful
in its irregularity
Your backyard
taken over by your
new visitors, calling
you outdoors
Rhododendrons
chrysanthemums
queenly names for
natural wonders
Stay with us this
while
, they coo
we can make
a garden
:iconHarperQ:HarperQ
:iconharperq:HarperQ 2 1
Literature
Baggage (Emotions)
My courage puts on fishnets
leaving the key under the mat
treks to the nearest gas station
and hitchhikes across state lines
My sadness sits by the windowsill
soaks up more rain than the earth
until forming a new planetary body
worms wriggle inside the layers
My joy swing dances in bursts
swept up in the buoyant melodies
and when it’s over, has no doubt
of walking home barefooted
:iconHarperQ:HarperQ
:iconharperq:HarperQ 4 1

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break / in two
7:02 a.m.
nothing hurts when i sleep, but in waking i glare at the mirror and want to shatter
everything breakable in the room, that is
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1:35 p.m.
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Literature
for my sunday
raison d'être. i like to think i was yours.
i like to think we knew each other in all of our past lives
and that we were always this way, always
ghosting                        
over each other, you leave gifts for me to find
as i come tripping                                    
down                            
this road after you
and i reassure you in dropped forehead kisses and
affection, absentminded like
fingers in hair 
i like to think we wouldn't have needed this olive branch
or the way we love that we call "poetry"    
to have found each other in this world of ours, you are
worlds away   
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Literature
if you breathe too much stardust you'll float away
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who can connect
the dots
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HarperQ's Profile Picture
HarperQ
I write mainly poetry and short stories. I like cats, mangos, and lemon cake.
This was my first year doing NaPoWriMo. As someone with a tendency to cop out on challenges and commitments, I surprised myself by managing to consistently write something everyday, without missing a single day. Aside from the sense of satisfaction in completing the task at hand, there were even a couple pieces I was fond of. Overall, it was a worthwhile experience. 


UnsaidI hear how you sigh. What troubles you so?
     How do you know it was not the wind?
The wind has a voice, yes, but does not speak in the same tongue.
     You catch me in the crosshairs.
It is not meant to ensnare, if that is what you think.
     Do you…do you remember when Henry was here?
Two summers past. The ship sailed in at sundown.
     He gave me flowers.
I remember. I saw.
    They were yellow, and they shone in the soft-boiled sunset.
Such were golden days. Do you reckon?
    For a time. But they soon wilted and crumpled at my touch.
Why do you frown?
    I would be smiling, if not for the strange tugging of memory.
Do you feel the breeze coming in? I wonder what tidings it carries.
    Peace is not far off now.
Let us stay here a while longer.      
    Please, I feel I must tell you-
It’s alright, dear. Has it not already been said?  
  SecretI spent a lot of time thinking
about the different words
I could spell with the letters
of your name
Thinking if I could just buy a vowel
and splurge on one more consonant
I could tell you what I really mean
You were a mystery to me
how you could set fire
to everything you touched
and I had never felt such warmth
You once told me you loved me
like a sister, and like a sibling
you didn’t talk to me for days
when I said I didn’t feel the same
I didn’t have the right letters
the words or the numbers
to tell you my real intent
Years later, you’re still here
engaged, happy, and I am so proud
of who you have become
I’ve spent this time going around
trying to become the rule
to abandon the mirage of exception
Because none of this is exceptional
you are you and I am me
and this is a story I’ll never tell
  EelsThis language keeps two words in its archives for eels:
one for the river-dwellers, the other for saltier stock
I forget which is which in sour realization
that I could never swim with equal elegance
I thrash about in the water, clutching at the reeds
reaching for prepositions, teased from my grasp
A child jumping in puddles, history raining overhead
and I haven’t the mastery (not even the mimicry)
to elicit a human response
I stammer and sputter, immersed in an oil spill
of verbs and nouns and wily adjectives
Expression, free-flowing, so replete with vivacity
turns to sand in my mouth, where the words have been
dragged up to dry land
I devote waking hours to trading water for air
keep patrol over this body and this restrained tongue
It’ll slip right in someday, past my watchful eye
I’ll get lost in the surf and see an eel swim by
  Half DollarI kept them all safe
my Kennedy dynasty
in an Altoids tin
  here in the folds of lifehere.
she endures.
as life orchestrates.
she scrubs wooden floors.
tempestuous twins flag her wits.
she makes her bed, sparing formality.
at every passing, the days grow thinner.
she hides her belongings in the haunted attic.
in remembrance, she thanks her mother for her fury.
a minor comedy, she thinks, how these girls blush juvenile.
she rebuffs the hand on her thigh, trying to persuade otherwise.
overnight, the red vanishes from her hair, the rouge from her face.
she takes this misspent trust and nests it deep in her famished spirit.


GreenI guess I should’ve known when my hospital room began to grow into a garden. All those times I didn’t see the vines curling out of inched-open drawers, lacing up the IV drip. But I couldn’t see green then.
The sling kept my arm in place, but you held all the other pieces. Laid them out on a chessboard. You stayed at my bedside and mopped up two weeks of tears.  Oh, if you weren’t capsized by the end.  
Strange, I used to think, how that pavement cracked my skull, but I wasn’t seeing stars.
I still cannot see how you loved such a broken head.
I’ve been blind, yes, but it is not lost on me how much of the adhesive you applied is still there, holed up in narrow crannies I cannot reach. A Beach Boys song can send me drifting. I think about Ireland and coffee and science fiction, and not always in that order.
I see green now, but so little of it these days.
What difference, I sometimes wonder, if I’d reached through the stratosphere and pl
  consider the riveri.
who here knows
how many steps
across the Mississippi?
ii.
the arteries
and the veins
bring color
to this body
iii.
an infant
learns to walk
to run
on the journey
iv.
two millions years
and she is just
beginning
v.
resting content
a belly full of fish
and a wealth
of friends
vi.
the old man naps
lulled by the music
waiting for a bite
vii.
carry onward
under the moon
to a sea of stars
viii.
this story is already
written
but it has no end
  In DisrepairShe had twenty pounds on my scrawny ass.
When we bought our first home, she refused to consider anything but a two-story. She was concerned about intruders breaking into a first-floor bedroom. Said she didn’t want to have to worry about protecting me and our kids.
My Norma.
I wasn’t there when she died. I was out getting cigarettes and cheese puffs. At the goddamn gas station.
The kids were coming up for the weekend. Her heart stopped ticking at 7:33 pm on Friday night.
That’s what the quacks told me. Then there was the shrink. I’m not convinced they didn’t kill her.
Norma never told me she was seeing a counselor. One of her girlfriends unwittingly mentioned it a few weeks after the funeral.
I’d say I’m broken now but it’s not like there was anything to shatter. See, we weren’t made out of glass. Nothing about us was brittle or cold. There were layers, lots of them, you know what I mean?
She was so much more than that.
I stay
  questionshe found an answer
between jobs and lovers
it’s molecular, she insists
no one else seems to see
sunday morning, revivified
in the well of her earl grey
slow-burn, charged particles
floating through the kitchen
for the sum of a moment
she is everywhere at once
  Lady of the LandGrey eyes behold the lady of this land
living goddess risen from unsung depths
In vigilance, a brush of her pale hand
over seed and loam faithful wind has swept
To love is to tremble, lore once declared
in awe of power and might, undying
By grace, she kindles the land, lush and fair
and when the eldest fall into ailing
solace is sought in the glow of her ring


He who is humanI might’ve inferred that you were the only thing
keeping me kite-strung to reason.
Way back in spring semester of sophomore year.
If that didn’t quite take flight in context,
please allow me to elaborate.
I wanted to tell you that you kept me strong.
You wear concern for others in the creases
of your sleeves and the lines on your forehead.
Mindfully invested, absorbed in the troubles,
aches, and ailments of others—
I don’t know when you last stopped before a mirror.
In the reflection, beside the callousness of quick-work
striking down trees and courage,
I see you there tending. Performing triage.
Fortifying. Building something to last.
In light of any thought, and out of habit,
you remain a shadowy figure in the corner.
The middle son of humanity.
That goes too often without applause.
Of whom photos are counted on one hand.
I wanted to tell you that, for me,
you have never been an afterthought.
And I wanted to tell you thanks.
  (Love) LoanI gave my love out on loan
and it has floated back down the foamy stream
into my reach
sandwiched in a stretch of ice floe
strained through murk, thick as clotted cream
to be delivered here whole
I listen to the playback
on the little pinging blackbox
stowed inside this beating heart
returned to its owner
surmise what has spawned this accident
the ending is far from explosive
the riddle is absent of absolutes
I overhear the sullen murmurs in the corridor
the lovers talk with tepid, splintering resolve
we are sinking, and I don’t think we can escape.
is it comfort or complacency that keeps you still?

a vivisection unveils the muscle, intact
I can refurbish this fruit-pit, send it off to the junkyard
I could leave it with the police in unclaimed articles
practicality might say to abandon the woebegone beast
somewhere in this oversized city
but that weakling thud, thud, thud
the whimpering of the motor
will never be out of earshot
  this bodytalk of ingrown hairs
scars crossing the forearm
cellulite dimpling both thighs
stretchmarks of dubious conception
they make for poor
conversation
crew necks and long sleeves
sweaters enduring 90 degrees
drawers full of black and black
passed off as a statement
and is only wrong by half
hide the inconsistencies
honesty quashed beneath
a pair of boots
this body
eats me up
I carry more weight on
this body
than days before
this body
has climbed
mountains
this body
has survived
falls
this body sometimes
forgets
forsakes its own soul
But never forgets
itself
diplomacy with this
body
prickled by emerging stubble
upper echelon of
twenty-something
expressed on this
body
say it into the mirror
say it, say it, say it
this body is
mine
this body is
mine
this body is-
  DiveSomewhere, the scent of pine
nocturnal, moonlit memory
leads me to your harbor
Where you sit in reverie
wrapped in a shawl of winter
the sand hugging your knees
Quiet plays a captain at full-sail
and all creatures its passengers
leaving language to the waves
As the world floats in gentle dark
a drop of eternity falls into our lap
shared between the two of us
Leagues of yesterday and before
stitched together to make this moment
I hold the composition in my hand
Days for swimming long shelved away
the ocean hums to the hymn of gulls
in eventide, we dive, deep, and begin
  FiendsA fine pair of fiends
Dishwater girl, soapscum boy
Love in the gutter


Sunday Morning, DMVA show of hands
Skinny, bangled arm
bayside
bearing no pores and
no care for catching sun
The gentleman
near the corridor
tanned, bent at the elbow
We are all here for deliverance
Strangers huddled in a space
to listen and perhaps even hear
each other's sniffles or prayers
in the morning, interrupted
I'm thinking about angel-hair pasta
and harp strings and which
brushes closer to the membrane
of heaven
And how squid ink stains teeth
with grotesque and beautiful
impermanence
We are all here for redemption
and for self-preservation
in our own unapologetic ways
  Laughing with DeathThere are worse things.
Than this?
I can think of three right now.
Such as?
You could be forced to eat parsnips
for the rest of eternity.
Perspective. But I haven’t a stomach
anymore. What else?

You could be forgotten by the world.
I wish my wife would forget me already.
Have you seen those ghastly flowers she
leaves upon my grave? And the last one?

I could steal your wife and comfort her
in the cold. And she’d be all the more glad
to forget the likes of you, you bastard.
Don’t you dare touch her, you ruddy fool!
I’ve got friends here who could turn
a treacherous arse as you to stone!

Calm, brother. You know I’d never commit
such treason. You were the unsavory one,
remember?
Ah. Indeed. And I still am.
  Drink                           Water, just water
           You swam an entire channel
She drinks from the glass
  Nobody TalksNobody talks about the after
the aunt, once-removed from dewy faces
splashed on the sleazy gossip-stirrers
in New York’s endangered newsstands
It wasn’t meant to be an unveiling,
or a shrouding, for the public
The opinion exchange didn’t suffer
but there was no garden of cash
The real horror is, everyone forgot
what she looked like before the event
and now nobody talks about either
She is still interred somewhere between
the pages of classifieds and obituaries
  SkinI don’t know the back of my hand
the identity of the marauder
living in tandem with me
I awoke on a Tuesday
to find a mark had connived
its way into existence
Sometimes I can’t help flexing
or flinching
a twinge of discomfort as
two commuters pushed
together
pretend to be canyons
and consciences apart
I reach for things
that are not there
when I try to hold on
I cannot find a grip
I draw snow angels
on the open range
of my legs and arms
and in the window rays
I think I see a glimmer
of something beneath
the surface


For April, In BlueI know others would praise how strikingly the green
brings out your dew-drop eyes, the brimming of your being
in the way grass cranes to majesty unmatched in a single day
But I have always thought you most resplendent in blue
where you hatch from the shell of morning, in full regalia
Velvet mantle sweeping over the trail carved as you wander
deluge of life fluttering from the hollows of flowered steps
Juno sends her finest gifts in gently wrapped parcels
the birds and their babies sing unto you and yours
But please don’t abide this silly thought, or only in part
please take it with the spoonful of cream in your tea
You wear every color like it always belonged to you
and you become what you always have been
  WatchNight announces your arrival
and your many faces
the turpentine can't touch
I'd forgotten you had a voice
until you opened your mouth
and let winged creatures fly
This could end, in one move
but you occupy the closet
watch sleep take me
and the walls slant inward
  GraceYou returned with quail eggs
I framed you as a madwoman
A pinch or a drop perhaps
But you hold the fainting dove
and will it back to good
  The DaysMonday
Temporary life
Fending off furlough
Legs grow back anew
Movement
Tuesday
Ticker tape
Boats come ashore
Applause fringes the race
Release
  HomeI don't think it's strange that I remember where you live(d)
no stranger than the groaning of the entryway floor
Street names and numbers snake through the sieve of memory
but I can make a mold of the precise corners and points of turn
Someone else has taken up residence on the second floor
a taller, younger, less stubbly someone who smiles with diffidence
But I understand the floors don't play in quite the right key
when lighter feet brush across them in the unadorned darkness
The days have survived you, and some, are survived by you
despite threads of dark hair hiding in patio doors, behind curtains
With palms open, I pray the land treats you like someone familiar
and the home you searched for sings to you with meaning


and all the hands i am to holdunder the fading bar lights
i want see life-tempered hands
deliver brewskies to the table
help me clasp the necklace in place
and give it one caress, for measure
i hope a panther paw reaches out
to poke me in the rib, in ambush
welcoming the thunder of laughter
let me feel the press of reassurance,
unfeel the lecherous stroke of misluck
on the window pane, to the symphony
of rain, scoring pictures and emblems
curled into the lexicon of merry vandals
remove shrapnel from my tortoiseshell
and comb my hair as night sleeps again
  The Social LifeEvery one of us on our best behavior
sit up straight with ballerina posture
like we were made to sip tea slowly
The world needs to know
you’re someone worth watching
Scoff and sneer all you please
When you don’t RSVP
you are still there
in spirit
Part of the fine-laced tumor
growing
in the wiring of our brains
and our mechanisms
The feelers of a centipede
creeping in, unconscious
An open gallery of wonders
and of filth
for the public forum to toy
with over a keyboard
We are not so far past
the gallows and the guillotine
when we set ourselves up
for every fall
and we feel like we were
made for this
  Coaxthe words crumble
like soda crackers
before she can inquire
her mouth goes dry
spearmint tic-tacs
forgotten in the
glove compartment
of her beat-up
two-wheel drive
she is somebody’s
daughter
and a good one
for keeping time
her wristwatch
seconds the motion
and she sits
with the others
in a straight line
mauve is tragic
she muses
looking down
at the chair
she wants to voice
this revelation
to the woman
seated beside her
a smile can show
too many teeth
this slab of truth
holds gristle
around the waist
the stranger stands
coaxed by her name
and she waits for
the sound of her own
  FlowYou have a twig in your hair. And it might be of service to say something, but it’s not spinach nesting between your teeth, and we aren’t in a restaurant in New York. So, I mark it ‘Off Limits’ and file it away with the taxes. It blends well with the rest of you, an inelegant but stunning wildness brought forth from the flow of primordial earth.
And as we come down from the mountain, it is almost as if we are leafing through the peaks and valleys of our own constituency. A stop-motion film at a drive-in, projected on to the skyline as we trek. Not to quarrel over the cumbersome, the spoiled tuna fish sandwiches forgotten on the kitchen counter. Or to filibuster a Friday disagreement. This is to remember. Because I would choose you now, as I did then. I choose this. Everyday. There are no end credits yet.
When we get home, you slink off to the shower. I am half-asleep when you emerge, the lyrical murmur of your laughter easing the shadows. You set the twig on the
  FadeThe broken-winged expression
on your exterior says a mouthful
escapes the sliver between lips
of a half-cracked smile
You’re trying to preserve tact
I can tell
And it layers a film around us
You bear the same scar
shaped like a snowshoe
where ancestors roamed
an avalanche unto your creation
The memory doesn’t percolate
have the rose-gold shimmer
in the way that it should
Cluster of unpopped kernels
at the bottom of a kettle
I guess I picked the dud
I fix my gaze on the daisies
storefront, newly bloomed
hoping the owner turns a profit
of their good intentions
You wear the same face
candlewaxed in my childhood
I cannot produce a tear, dignity
keeps my ribs from cracking
I shift my weight to the side
(tugged by an invisible cord)
Sorry, I must be mistaken
and let you walk by

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:iconcarmalain7:
Carmalain7 Featured By Owner May 13, 2017
Good afternoon,

just wanted to take a moment to say that with all the talented writers here on dA and all the brilliant works, truly appreciate you taking a moment, good miss, to read mine in A Ghostwritten Letter to My Lost Twin Brother.

means much and more, Harper, thank you. :thanks:
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:iconzippip:
zippip Featured By Owner May 11, 2017
Thank you for the fave!
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:iconoviedomedina:
oviedomedina Featured By Owner Apr 24, 2017
Thank you for the favorite!
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