Submit your work, meet writers and drop the ads. Become a member
“You’ve been treating it like a summer home; vacant, drafty, neglected; and yet you expect it to be in top working order whenever you decide to honor it with your presence”, she scolds.

“But I must inhabit the bustling city, my first home, if I am to survive the marathons of days of disembodied vigilance.” I protest. “Why don’t you just leave me alone?”

“You don’t get it,” she expectorates, eyes narrowing and finger wagging.
“I’m just the messenger, telling you something you already know.”

I try pleading.
“Why must you scream so loud? Can’t you give me more time?
Surely we can make a deal.”

“There are no shortcuts,”
she responds, firm yet kind.
“I should know. I’ve traveled all the way from the end of the line, up your nerves and into your synapses. You have no choice but to climb down from your high tower, through your neck, beyond your shoulders, past your liver, kidneys and hips, to fingers, legs, and toes. Be with them, or they will keep sending me after you, as your benevolent warden.”

I blink, pedaling fruitlessly through the couscous
holding back unwanted questions
yet anticipating a Scroogian epiphany

What am I willing to give up
to be rid of her?

Should I offer my ambition as hush money?

Or do the back taxes pour in faster than my legs can kick?
I refuse to be imprisoned by them;
Formed in a spring of meaning
And specificity;
Then gradually
Sculpted, sanded and smoothed
In the oppressive surf of banality.

Woman. Wife. Mother.
Genius. Fat. Beautiful.
Liberal. Conservative.

I won’t let them
Bend me at the waist
Bow my head
Contort my arms

Define me.

Instead I return to the spring

plunge in



a mist.

Clutch sinks to the floor
like a drunk mini skirt under a clever pickup line

1st gear gives way
like an occasional lover

Gas feathers in
a subsonic prelude to a ******



down our suburban street
where sidewalks bend at the waist
bowing to cracked driveways

My single-minded objective
upended by his scavenger’s mission

Abrupt left
“we must get that free tub”
he says

On the curb
next to the faded plastic batmobile
a rectangular residue of frayed cobwebs and forlorn leaves
dangles from his lips



tires crackle over loose asphalt
steering wheel taught

turning down the wrong street
bewilderment derails my one track mind

“lawnmower shop”
he says

I’ve known him long enough
not to ask questions

We have an understanding
without understanding

Sun splatters across my forehead
an uncomfortable hot mess
the cracked window is of little comfort
as I await his return

He holds the door for a dusty landscape artist
pushing an unwieldy grass-cutting machine
purring across the street
late for the day’s rounds

Wordlessly, he returns
landing softly on his leather throne
key sliding, kissing the lock cylinder
willing forth internal combustion


Finally the bike shop
I wear my magic like a cloak,
green as Vulcan blood.

It transforms me
into a woman who can command a room.

The muscles in my cheeks,
my brow, my jaw
are enchanted.
They dissolve my resting ***** face
into inviting smiles and encouraging looks.

The canals of my body
become highways.
Words zoom into my ears.
More words whizz from my throat.

When I step out of my magic
it clatters to the floor,
heavy as bronze armor.

I climb in bed,
tomorrow’s mystery on my breath.

Will I have the strength
to wield it again?
“You’re too quiet,” you told me.
“Speak up.”
I don’t think you mean it.

All you hear is the buzzing swarm
of words
busy in their work.

You have no patience
for the silky yellow honey
that is my voice.
An evening of
slippery solitude flows into a
quick-silvery night.  I feel the
orange regret,

letting it crash with
daring tenacity over a
jagged cliff.  Warm colors blend into
a silent note of confusion, clouding the

red sky, while stale
thoughts still pour in
a lingering
circa 1997
In your eyes
the night disrobes, and
darkness falls away in
a sheet of burning
circa 1997
Next page