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  May 2018 N
Charles Bukowski
we like to shower afterwards
(I like the water hotter than she)
and her face is always soft and peaceful
and she'll watch me first
spread the soap over my *****
lift the *****
squeeze them,
then wash the ****:
"hey, this thing is still hard!"
then get all the hair down there,-
the belly, the back, the neck, the legs,
I grin grin grin,
and then I wash her. . .
first the ****, I
stand behind her, my **** in the cheeks of her ***
I gently soap up the **** hairs,
wash there with a soothing motion,
I linger perhaps longer than necessary,
then I get the backs of the legs, the ***,
the back, the neck, I turn her, kiss her,
soap up the *******, get them and the belly, the neck,
the fronts of the legs, the ankles, the feet,
and then the ****, once more, for luck. . .
another kiss, and she gets out first,
toweling, sometimes singing while I stay in
turn the water on hotter
feeling the good times of love's miracle
I then get out. . .
it is usually mid-afternoon and quiet,
and getting dressed we talk about what else
there might be to do,
but being together solves most of it
for as long as those things stay solved
in the history of women and
man, it's different for each-
for me, it's splendid enough to remember
past the memories of pain and defeat and unhappiness:
when you take it away
do it slowly and easily
make it as if I were dying in my sleep instead of in
my life, amen.
  May 2018 N
b e mccomb
your car doesn't have
a cd player
which is a little unsettling
but i don't really mind

your hands remind
me of my dad's

i want to wear dresses
play taylor swift
spray myself in
citrusy perfume
and paint my eyelids
a shimmery pink

when i'm with you
i feel safe

i'm not convinced
that soulmates exist
but i am convinced that
we pick up people on
our way through life
and some of them just fit

some people are habit
can't remember a
time without them
and some people are the future
what could be instead of
what's always been

you're art in the foam on a cortado
you're a peach drenched in
heavy cream and limoncello
old overshirts and amaretto

you're champagne
and i'm the idiot
who intentionally
calls it "sham-pag-nee"

you can see through the
espresso stains on my
hands and arms right
down to freckles over scars

even if i slap myself to wipe
the pleasant look off my face
at the end of the day
you'll still think i'm cute

and when you say things
like that i start to feel all
gooey and underbaked
like a fallen cake with
cinnamon buttercream
melting down the sides
perfectly and
unabashedly flawed

i am selfish and afraid
and you don't seem to mind

so here's a toast to
letting someone new
into my life for
the first time
to allowing myself
to be vulnerable
and happy even if it
might be a mistake

because goodness knows
you're sweeter and softer
than i ever dreamed
someone could be
copyright 5/13/18 b. e. mccomb
  Dec 2017 N
Alice Baker
I am empty
Yet so full
All at once.
9 words that summarize my experience with my mind
  Dec 2017 N
undefined
i am sometimes
a fool, a miser
stubborn, hot-headed
indecisive, sometimes selfish
maybe a little mean

but

*i am not a liar
i will not betray you
and your secrets
are forever in my heart
hidden under my tongue
your pain and hunger
are in my pocket
wrapped up tight

your childhood
lives under my skin
your failures
tucked under my pillow
you are not vulnerable
except in my arms
and i will not leave
your body
in the cold or in
between their fingers

your trust
is in my faith
and my faith
is in your trust
when i kiss you
goodnight
i will not kiss
another
goodmorning
it is a simple
pact to myself-
it is you.
you are my
quiet;
not a secret
but not public.

i promise you this
when the moon
splits in half
and the oceans
fill it's cracks
when we are no
longer one
under the sun
when we are
no longer each
other's under
the sheets behind
closed doors
i promise you
this
you are still
safe in my
memories
buried in the sand
in the beach where
we had our
first "real" date
we will forever
be frozen
in the popcorn of
movies and
bathtubs
of cheap motels
i promise you
this
i will never
betray you
nor leave you
out in the open
i never lied to you
never forged
the words
nor meant
any harm.
i promise you
this
day or night
night or day
protected with
me
in my memory
you will
forever stay.
- i'm sorry if you don't believe me, and i'd be mad if i knew half the story too, but no matter how much we hurt (ourselves or each other), i will protect you with my mind, body, and soul. forever yours, somewhere in time. -
  Nov 2017 N
Journey of Days
emotion unnamed
yet very familiar
dare not speak it’s name
increase risk of giving it permission
to hang around longer than
well however long this will take
energy builds
clouds start gathering
the armada assembled  
threatening electrical storms
in a rising wave
dragging me under
tumbling
tumbling
over
and
over
lungs burning
screaming for air


breathe now the storm has passed
fix your hair up honey
you look a tad bedraggled
drowning on dry land


@journeyofdays
  Nov 2017 N
Maine Dela Cruz
dolorimetry
n. The measurement of pain sensations

How do you measure pain?
a gasp
a step or two
away
from someone whose
world used to
revolve around you
a tear
a sigh
a stretch of arms
that used to wrap
a soul so tender and warm.

How do you measure pain?
a stomp
a slap
a finger pointed like
a gun or a dagger
on your chest—
accusing
complaining
tired, frustrated
infuriated.
How do you measure pain?
the distance
from A to Z
a tick of clock
a grain of sand
blown by the wind
a drop of blood
from a blade-stricken wrist.

How do you measure pain?
a smile
a laugh
a response telling
them you’re fine
but ****, you’re not.
  Nov 2017 N
Maine Dela Cruz
The truth is I have no idea how to begin this
because I don’t even remember
how or when exactly you began to invade my consciousness.
you were an uninvited guest, a gatecrasher, an intruder
filling my mind with paranoia and endless dilemma —
how I contemplate about going out or not
because I get overwhelmed with crowded places
like public transports, and malls, and fast food chains,
how I s-stutter whenever placing an order,
or how I could not finish one sentence without repeating
repeating a word or or two.

It might sound funny how I find a sea of people terrifying,
how I feel a dagger or a gun pointed at me every time I step
outside my comfort zone,
how I would replay failed scenarios inside my head like a broken tape,
how I would apologize for actions that demanded no apology.
I often get nightmares about being asleep and not being able to wake up
and sometimes I dream about waking up in a strange bed in a foreign room
filled with people with the strangest faces talking in tones barely audible
but when the voices would all stir together
I would run out of air and pass out,
but I still wake up though, screaming, trembling
signaling another episode of survival.

If I could drive, I would take you away with me and bring you to a sunset beach
tell you that everything’s gonna be alright
that it’s okay to knock me down sometimes
but not too hard to break me
just enough to remind me that I am, after all, human
Or maybe I would drown you or maybe not
because I get too overwhelmed with the waves
I struggle against the current,
and I am the one who gets drowned instead.

I hate you, no, I mean I love you. I should love you
because they said those we love are meant to leave
So I will love you, I will love you until you get tired of me,
until you no longer find me appealing
I will love you obsessively, until you get sick of me,
until you run out of places to run to, until you run out of air
I will love you until I run out of words and metaphors
and rhyme or reason,
I will love you with the hopes that one day I could finally say:
“My anxieties have died beautifully, with dignity,
in their sleep.”
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