Laughter like lightning fills the air as I crack another bad joke,
her smile lifting the weight on my shoulders as she breathes in the smoke from her mid-day cigarette.
She nudges me and makes some remark about something I once said, or did, and we giggle at memories made and times gone by.
I wish her well and tell her goodbye, walking out of the door with hands in pockets and scarf wrapped tightly around my neck, protecting me from the cold.
I reach for my phone and see that already, her mask has dropped and her inner thoughts are being spilled onto private social media like a lost diary. She tells her thoughts to a screen rather than to me.
"I want to die"
"Someone help me, please"
"I deserve it all"
"I don't want to be alone"
"Cut cut bleed bleed starve starve"
In my minds eye I see her:
her laugh like lightning and smiles that lift weight from my shoulders
and I just wish that those beautiful emotions she presents to me
We have sex everyday. But that's for me.
There's a reason I close my eyes when I kiss you.
You're the filler-friend. I do not love you.
I don't need your advice, I don't need your lectures.
I need you to do what you're here for, then leave.
Simple as that.
She couldn’t believe she could breathe underwater for 43,829 minutes. Especially with all the constipated looks of sympathy.
Poor girl stuck in a box, they thought as they tapped the glass.
Some days she would float, barely moving, unresistant to the small currents that swayed her whichever way. Others she nestled away, trying to find something the temperature of blood to bury her face into.
But most days she acted normal. When they watched, she swam.
It wasn’t until she was alone that she removed the ceramic vase from where it sat and wedged it into her armpit, her arm wrapped around its base.
Ah, yes. The vase that once held flowers with promises of decay. She rocked it and rubbed her face against its glossy exterior. She ate fettuccini alfredo with it. She watched “Gone with the Wind” and “It’s a “Wonderful Life” with it. She sang Beatles classics to it.
But on the 43,829th minute, the vase slipped from her cold and slimy palms, shattering on the hardwood floor like an exhausted piece of coral.
She retrieved the broom, swept and took a seat next to the broken pile.
When she looked at her naked feet, she realized she hadn’t groomed them in a month. And with that, she hand-peeled her long and yellowed toe nails, flicked them into a dust pan full of ashes, looked up at the water stain on the ceiling and said, “here’s looking at you, kid.”
Hidden once their calling
Vast forests old growth trees
Ancestors cloaks there wearing
Spirit voices echoing once free
But as time marching silently
Crossroad signposts passing by
Empty bookcases attract the dust
Corridoors traveled doors unlocked
Gazing skyward stars reviled
Clouds they veil horizons far
Full moon gently caresses the land
Mighty rivers flow to the sea
Gathered silent sandbanks wide
Flowers garland meadows long
Seasons changing as they should
Nature smiling in her chosen way
(GE2014) (C) Reserved
This candlelight has been witness to both hatred and love
To shouts of anger born from throats reddened raw
Smashed mugs and smashed china and half-mended smashed hearts
But to passion, forgiveness, old flames both rekindled and small.
Candlelight lit from matches or flint
Such lovely low light supplied to romantic nothings
(“Does it really matter which?” you’d asked me then, eyes to the sky.
And I’d nodded, because it did.)
And I remember the first time I saw you by candlelight.
Shattered bulbs had left us with nothing but flames under stars
And I’m glad I first found you by such unforgettable light
Not lackluster memory that passed me by
Because now, alone beneath imaginary hatches
You light up the room by candle wax and boxed matches.
Your fingers strum notes along the curve of my back,
creating music that dances up my spine,
into my throat,
out my mouth-
and you compose symphonies on the tip of your lips;
they press into the dip between my neck and collarbone,
sending goosebumps and half notes
waltzing across my skin.
Your body surrounds me.
I match the pitch of your whispers;
your breath on my neck quivers in the strings of a cello,
keeping time with the drum in my ears,
head, chest, fingertips-
our music consumes us.