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how it got to be thereyour name is growing inside of me--
organic and alive, weaving through
the bones of my ribcage, stretching
around my lungs. these roots twine
into the places I thought were hidden,
places that used to be mine; your thorns
puncture my tender underbelly, my
guarded insecurity, and I bleed doubt.
it scares me when I can't find my face
in front of the mirror. when new shadows
form a jagged edge, a rigid line in places
where I used to keep my confidence,
my charm; in some ways I am stronger
and so my weakness builds.
limp, dripping and bruised, it shows
on my waxen cheeks, I know,
but your teeth and your spine
always move in different directions;
so I wear this bloody honesty as I watch you,
genuine and excruciating.
I wish for hissing rain on my arm
to spit, sputter, sizzle; to scorch the skin
then for pulling it away, for the finding;
underneath, I am sure, is something
I did not put there.
I am not concerned with how long the scar may be
just how it got to be there.
Emma dreams she's drowning a lot because she went swimming and left her heart underwater. She wants it back, but she's afraid that without the now familiar pressure on her chest--the vacancy--she'll float away; she'll cease to exist.
Thomas keeps an elephant who plays the saxophone in his garage. Once in awhile he shows it to guests, but afterwords he always feels like crying so he goes behind his neighbor's shrubs and comes back into the house smelling like cigarette smoke.
Jane has a box full of puzzle pieces that she finds on the street, and none of them form the same picture. This doesn't stop her from trying to fit them together. She gets so close. But then it doesn't work, and it's all wrong, and she gives up until she finds another lost puzzle piece on the sidewalk.
Jordan has a nice pair of roller skates. Her Aunt Lucinda gave them to her. But Jordan never uses them. She says "th
is this realistic?Every day, Kei met his best friend, Gwen , in the shade of a big oak tree in front of her house for lunch. Kei lived above the blacksmith shop his father owned, so her house was the better option.
Kei usually arrived first, and Gwen would see him from the house and come out. He could always tell, just from the way she moved, what her mood would be. It wasn't drastic things like whether she walked or ran, skipped or dragged her feet. It was something much more subtle, like the way she responded to the wind tossing her hair, or whether she gripped the fabric of her skirt tightly when she lifted it, walking through tall grass, or her fingers held the material with a more delicate grasp. They had been friends since childhood, and he could read almost as well as his own family.
Today, her head was bent down and stiff; the wind pushed a stray hair across her face and instead of flicking her head, she reached up and moved it as
six little things1. nightgown
every time I resemble you,
there is silence, and possibility,
and the clouds were never so close.
and I want to leave you moments
that suspend, curved like half-moons,
sheathed in silken fog.
midnight will whisper sweet nothings,
bubbles will hang in the air around your lips
and the reflections will warm me all over.
2. at the park
there is dusk in your eyes.
I want to cup it in my hands
and drink it.
how can we be miles apart
with nothing but that moldy green carpet
between us, and champagne glasses?
I have worn away like this suitcase handle.
Lifted, I have lifted it too often;
and I have left it closed for too long.
a ghost in many ways, you
are a lost dandelion, adrift,
and his eyes are two dead beetles,
their legs tucked beneath empty shells
6. don't send a postcard
despite his best intentions,
we are here, pretending,
with your irregular shape
and my sweaty palms.
hanging outAuthor's Note: This one is a shortie! Just 740 words.
~ ~ ~
So I was at the park, around 11 that evening, with John and Angela. They were eating their tacos and sitting on a park bench and I sat on the ground across from them, indian style.
"I don't want to get a job," I said.
"So don't," Angela said.
"But I need the money."
I pressed my palm against the brick walkway. "It's warm, the ground is warm."
"The sun bakes it all day long," said John.
I lay down and stared up at the leaves interlacing above my head, and the sky above; not perfectly black, but aglow with the city.
"If this was a movie," I said, "something would happen right now. We'd be here, in the park, and something would happen."
They continued to eat in silence and I continued to stare up at the sky.
Then, Angela said, "Bikes coming."
I got up quickly, watching them go past, and said, "Well, something happened... though, in a movie, the
the soaringshe is becoming alive
with instrumental fingers,
delicate and spider-like,
her cello the web, she moves
with a lover's touch.
completely tangled in the strings,
woman and music have never been
separate; smooth wood and skin
blend like powdered snow and cinnamon.
I am afraid to breathe, afraid
to see, afraid to look away.
I have only glimpsed this,
once or twice, the soaring
in her eyes and in my chest.
the last note comes,
bringing all of us back--
but for a moment, we
don't know if we should
applaud or weep.
the astronautthe astronaut
I wish I didn't have to give you space, and wait
for you to come to me; I wish I didn't
constantly restrain myself, holding back
because you won't even meet me half way.
and I'm told that some good can come of it,
but sometimes, my eyes are negative, and
my heart is wrung, and all I can do is look
away, pretending I feel the same.
so heavy and so lightAuthor's Note: This is kinda long (around 3,500 words), but I think it's worth it (it's got romance and comedy!), so please bear with me... I'd be delighted if you'd read it and leave a comment. Thank you!
~ ~ ~
It was the middle of June and I was only a week into my summer Robotics Camp, but already I needed a break from nerds. The camp was held on a college campus, and there were other camps going on as well, so there was a fair amount of activity wherever you looked, and nowhere to really be alone. However, I had found a loophole. The electrical building.
Technically, no one was allowed in there--they even had a security guard--but Id been observing the building for a while and had a way in.
So I grabbed Treasure Island from my duffel bag and snuck away from camp. Id seen how the others spent their free time: playing chess or trading baseball cards or something equally tacky. It just wasn
my storybooklet me linger, right here, on
this page; this word, right here,
this one, where you are. I cant wait
long enough for the next chapter, and
I cant bear to turn the page.
A picture book. Thats you. I can
trace your face through the illustrations.
Freckles and speckled water-paint,
shapes and color and pockets to open,
glitter pours out like your laughter.
- - -
I want to be the blaring trumpets
the white banners and the sunlight,
the golden sunlight, allowed to thread
fingers through your hair, I want
just to look at you. To hold you
inside, in the place where I melt
bits of my heart and weld them
against memories of you, until I
confuse you for the mechanism,
always knocking at my chest.
Are you really there?
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