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Achick Jun 2020
When you're brown you have to be the best brown, because non-browns always assume the browns are not good enough, or smart enough.
Being brown means that non-browns will always doubt your ability.
Being brown also means you cannot point out the stigma of being brown because non-browns will look at you as if you’re jaded. That your brown anger is out of place in this non-brown world.

Where non-browns give you backhanded compliments like “this brown is so well spoken” or “this brown is amazing because they’re graduating, I bet this brown is the first in their family to graduate”.

As the non-browns eat their tacos from Taco Bell and hold claims to be fluent in my Latin brown culture.
This brown doesn’t want your non-brown backhanded compliments.
This brown has something to say, I am brown cubed. I am the second generation from my Mexican brown roots.
I am educated. I come from a long line of educated, strong, proud Latina women brown.
And on the behalf of my proud, educated, strong lineage brown.
Non-brown.  
Such a well spoken non-brown.
Dedicated to my inspiration Jose Gonzalez
Joilee Apr 2019
People say I'm smart, and they're not wrong, 
I have good grades, I know the difference between right and wrong, and I have common sense, 
but I couldn't see that you were a wolf in sheep's clothing. 
That you can have your way with anyone, 
and yes I understand that I partook in what we had called real.
Oh, brown-eyed boy, you're just like the rest; full of yourself, thinking you're not like the rest, but it's all ******* lies.
Brown-eyed boy, can't you see you hurt me?
Don't you see the lie is building up into the tallest wall, one I can't break down or climb,
so I wait, patiently, but I cannot take your ******* anymore,
Brown-eyed boy, you don't see me as someone who has feelings, you see me as a past.
I see that you don't want to crush me under your foot, but now you have me in a choke hold.
It's a hold only you can take me out of if you would grow up.
I'm tired of gasping for air, tired of others giving me borrowed air that doesn't belong in my lungs, so brown-eyed boy why can't you turn your filter off?
You keep it on to 'protect' others when it only breaks down. 
You use it to bend the truth into a phrase that you think we want to hear, but that's what is making this a ******* war zone.
You are what's making everyone's eyes turn red and fill with smoke. 
You caused the hatred that people feel towards one another in our ring of insanity.
I don't understand why people think your new rose is the main problem.
Oh, how no one wants to blame the brown-eyed boy for the anger, the sadness, they can't see through your ******* mask.
But brown-eyed boy, you ****** up.
Brown-eyed boy, you let everyone who can see, see your mask fall off.
You buried the dead iris that lost your interest.
You stomped all over something that deserves more than the ******* lies coming out of your mouth.
Brown-eyed boy, you understand what it means to not be an *******, you know, you see, but you somehow can't.
You somehow can't own up to your actions, or your lies, or your mistakes.
Maybe, brown-eyed boy, it's because I was a mistake, and if that's the reason, then why did you let it go on?
Why did you try so hard to make it work if you never wanted to go on with me?
Brown-eyed boy, I don't want to lose you, but I can't take the fake screen you put up for me.
I don't care if you like the rose more, I don't care if you hated iris' in the first place; I don't ******* care if your brown eyes can only see red in this world.
I care that you left me wandering in the dark with your lies tieing me down.
Brown-eyed boy, you left a mess.
Brown-eyed boy, I don't know what the truth is with you anymore, or if I should believe you.
I don't understand why you haven't stopped the rumors.
I do not get why you take me as an amateur who will leave it alone because I won't, until looking at you, being with a rose, doesn't spark my curiosity, until I know for certain that you're not scissors, cutting down flowers when you have lost the joy with them.
bear Sep 2014
brown bear, brown bear,
What do you see?
A sky of shining lights
slowly fills your dark cavity.

brown bear, brown bear,
What do you hear?
A rebellious, rumbustious crowd
yelling with hate and cheer.

brown bear, brown bear,
What do you smell?
A rising fire of hatred
that always seems to dwell.

brown bear, brown bear,
What do you taste?
The sweet satisfaction of victory,
but a bitter mouthful of disgrace.

brown bear, brown bear,
What do you feel?
nothing.
None of it seems real.
Anjana Rao Mar 2016
To be brown is to
know racism in every shade -
internal,
or
external,
microaggression
or
aggression.

To be brown is
an inquisition,
every time you step foot outside –
“What are you?”
“What does your name mean?”
“Have you tried that restaurant?”
“Have you been back?
“What religion are you?”
“Say something in your language!”


To be brown is
the shame
of either
too much
or not enough,
that you try to
press down, ignore,
forget about -
don’t be so sensitive.

To be brown is
an investment,
the way you are always supposed to
rise and rise and rise,
have the opportunities of the west
and the values of the east,
marry a nice brown heterosexual,
go to graduate school,
have a good career,
earn more money than your parents did,
be safe and settled,
provide for your parents,
your parents,
who only pressure you
and push you
because they want you to be

happy.

To be brown is
diaspora,
the way your tongue
trips over the words of native languages
you never grew up speaking
because English was always taught
first
to generations before you,
the way you weren’t born with
any real community,
and even now
most of your friends
are white,
the way
you have to move in the world
hearing your name
mispronounced in every way imaginable,
the way you
scan the room
for any brown face
because you know
a brown person will
understand,
the way you realize
how often you are the only
brown body
in any space,
queer or straight,
the way you really are a
minority.

To be brown is
reclamation,
the way you learn to
find beauty in the brown and the hair
and the body type,
the way you learn to
let yourself feel Anger
at appropriation,
the way you learn to fight
for identity –
correct the mispronunciations
learn the language,
listen to the music,
cook the food,
wear the clothes,
go back to the country
learn the history,
do what you need to do
in your
imperfect
perfect
way,
****
what anyone says.

To be brown
is to be
enough.
in a dark of frenzy it boils up inside
until summarily and inexplicably
see the colour between brown and blue
more than see it, immerse myself in it
swimming slowly in its clouds
see the colour between brown and blue
everywhere votive candles light
the colour between brown and blue
with slender tapers that touch a life
any life, your life
casting strange shadows, loose shadows
between the colour of brown and blue
children swarm, children with bright white
starvation hair, children with hands
like small worn mittens
who raise red swarms in hot worn out
death laden dust
dust that cauterizes the nostrils
with the stench of penurious insanity
the colour between brown and blue
that inveigles a purchase of flies
bottle blue, black blue, green blue,
swarming blue, swirling whirling blue
a black and blue confetti of flies
then the sudden zero of the
colour between brown and blue
hair raising, command faith
willed, willing, mumbling, murmuring
the excitement of writing between
the colour of brown and blue
trees shake and tremble
words regurgitate themselves like hot
food, the bark, write
now fully electrically charged
seized by the colour between brown and blue
forget everything else, write, write more, more, write
trembling with sudden shudders of merciless
vowels, madness penurious pencil
moves across, demanding paper
pushing worn words, worthy words whittled by use
words not yet written, words of wonder
oh what words
beautiful, baffling,baleful, words
with beastly beatitudes, words that conjure the mind
words between brown and blue
that leave you skinny like a stray dog
words so demanding leave you shut up in an
airless abattoir of high energy and low residue
the colour between brown and blue
where everywhere is everywhere else
touched by the flames of the colour between brown and blue
Prashasti Saxena Jan 2019
You’re afraid of heights and I of depth
The fear of not having anything to fall back onto
Or the fear of not having something to stand on no matter how wreck-less you allow your mistakes to be
Depth goes in all dimensions, doesn’t it?

It doesn’t stop at deep dark waters
It continues its way through my veins
Through baseless strength and unstable reasons
The look of darkness that finishes into nothingness

It stops at undoubting resilience which I cannot reach

I still like looking into it though, it thrills me
A second, a push and it’ll take me to that resilience or into nothingness
But it scares you, only because it comes from a height
It makes your stomach turn and hands weak
Not of what’s inside of that but of what it takes to get there

It was sometime between 11:30 pm and midnight

You’re afraid of heights and I of depth
You know, the one that stops at undoubting resilience
One which I cannot reach
It makes me sick and my chest feels hollow
My fingers look for grip
And my legs usually shake

But last night I wasn’t afraid
When you pulled my hand back
as I leaned against the edge of the wall above Thames
There was this radiance in your eyes
Brown, which people don’t talk about enough when they exemplify the beauty of eyes

Brown, the depth of which I hadn’t faced before
But I refused to be afraid of
Uncertain if the depth grew with my fingers shaking or your stomach turning

Your brown
Of how its succumbed with restlessness when you’re drunk
Of concern and constant pressure of not losing control of your shield
But still so pure
The hue which deepens when you talk about the person you love
Repeatedly, because you find words insufficient
And of how sometimes you leave traces to the problems you never speak about
The colour that grows deeper the more you look into it
The colour that nurtures the light of the laughter of the people you care about

The brown that falls asleep in complete innocence
Letting down all your guard during so
Slowly, part by part
The one which looks at me with sub-consciousness when your arms pull me in
The gradient that tries to make sure I have company till I pass out
The depth of which I don’t know if I’m scared of

2 hours later it was almost 2 am, and

You’re afraid of heights and I of depth
You know, the one that stops at undoubting resilience
But last night I think I wasn’t afraid
There was this radiance in your eyes
Radiance bright enough to show me the lighter side of depth

It grew brighter with every acceptance of your feelings
And darker with the realization of so
A shade darker every time I tried to draw meaning out of it
Dark to the hue of your afternoon tiredness
As you gently traced delicate lines with your fingers on my back
And softly locked our bodies together, your breath warming my neck
To no fall, nor any height
No stomach turns or shaky legs

It’s way past dawn almost 9am now,
My sleep breaks to realizations

You’re still afraid of heights and I of depth
But last night your brown carried me away
I was still afraid of depths as much as you were of heights
It’s just that your brown was almost a glorified one
One that gently looked at me with assurance

Your brown
Brown, which people don’t talk about enough when they exemplify the beauty of eyes
The brown that I looked into as the sunlight illuminated its light
Your morning brown
Your lightest brown
Which hardly lasted a minute
The best hue, gradient and gold that it could turn to be
Looking around with a blur
Only until it grows back to its darkest shade,
Deeper than the waters last night
Putting your guard back on

It’s way past dawn almost 9am now
My sleep breaks to realizations
You’re still afraid of heights, and I of depth
I’d say you know the drill by now
But this morning, the branches of your umber grew back onto me
Philip Connett Apr 2021
Brown Brown brown
A majestic salute
Of this **** on bone
Into my mouth
Irreverent despise
This effigious moment
Of makes my surmise
Of this meat from this plate
Surety tu sate
It's Satan's will
In deep do I swill
Of all the kingdom's fawn
Fauna's adorn
Adorn ornate
From the midth of my plate
Into my bellies belie
Belittle my sweet tooth
From tooth suit sooth
The feel of my carnivorous desire
And it's encroach
To ****** from the animal kingdom
A bane or benign male
Or of femality
A skinned creature or scaled
Once skinned then scaled
To the nth of my teeth
From it's evolutionary course
To my 'mmms' whence eat
"I farm therefore I am"
My requite
My requiem
It's internment within my duodenum
If we as homosapien
We're a little lower
Of the evolutionary ladder
A little closer
To the whipchuk and adder
Perhaps this incongruity
Would seem of insurmount
That we would not take from the platter
Of that skitter skatter
Of paws and of hoof
Of feather and of scale
For it not our right
To interrupt the plight
Of species cultural agare
And of universal development
Of ******* disposition
And it's extant
Perhaps we'd be more likely
To drop a tear
Than a longe long of langue
A salivating spittle
Like the whistle and the sizzle
Of that press upon the plate
Of heated black iron
The steam and the vapour
Testament to the savour
To the saviour of the meal
As any connoisseur can tell you
Unless they alien to meat
The saviour of the meal
That muscular tender form
That reared from the twinkle
To the wink
The seed met it's drink
The phoetus
To the expressed
******* delight
This formling's fledgling plight
As it's eyes burn to new light
Of its heart and marrow and sinew
All fodder to our ensue
Of it's marriage to this world
Now married to our plate
Its existence to sate
Our sensory intuition
And if questioned
The lesser the tuition
Of salt and fat to the sate
Of blood and metal to the taste
Of bone and cartilage the waste
Unless hungry enough to chew
And **** it's marrow clean
And this meal
As if adieou
Of all memory
Of that beast's sense
Of this reality
And this brown brown brown
The king and capital of plate
And our position upon the evolutionary ladder
A little less seemingly madder
Of this culture of interrupting culture
For the satisfaction of our tongue
And of this insanity
Most seemingly insane
Shall affirm of our humane
As our cultural attest
To the other species detest
That the brown brown brown
Be a salute
From fork to mute
Of our common humanity
For whose going to stop us
The birds or the bees
And this brown brown brown
Be the flag of the humanity we wear
From infamy of mind
To the pork and the pear
Laid bare
Upon our shirt or lapel
Surely if we are to grapple
With ideas of genocide's justification
It's after picking the brown fibre
Of a pig's won't to pork
Upon your new shirt
With a clean silver fork
Or after dessert
An introduction to veganism...
Philip Connett Apr 2021
Brown Brown brown
A majestic salute
Of this **** on bone
Into my mouth
Irreverent despise
This effigious moment
Of makes my surmise
Of this meat from this plate
Surety tu sate
It's Satan's will
In deep do I swill
Of all the kingdom's fawn
Fauna's adorn
Adorn ornate
From the midth of my plate
Into my bellies belie
Belittle my sweet tooth
From tooth suit sooth
The feel of my carnivorous desire
And it's encroach
To ****** from the animal kingdom
A bane or benign male
Or of femality
A skinned creature or scaled
Once skinned then scaled
To the nth of my teeth
From it's evolutionary course
To my 'mmms' whence eat
"I farm therefore I am"
My requite
My requiem
It's internment within my duodenum
If we as homosapien
We're a little lower
Of the evolutionary ladder
A little closer
To the whipchuk and adder
Perhaps this incongruity
Would seem of insurmount
That we would not take from the platter
Of that skitter skatter
Of paws and of hoof
Of feather and of scale
For it not our right
To interrupt the plight
Of species cultural agare
And of universal development
Of ******* disposition
And it's extant
Perhaps we'd be more likely
To drop a tear
Than a mensonge long of langue
A salivating spittle
Like the whistle and the sizzle
Of that press upon the plate
Of heated black iron
The steam and the vapour
Testament to the savour
To the saviour of the meal
As any connoisseur can tell you
Unless they alien to meat
The saviour of the meal
That muscular tender form
That reared from the twinkle
To the wink
The seed met it's drink
The phoetus
To the expressed
******* delight
This formling's fledgling plight
As it's eyes burn to new light
Of its heart and marrow and sinew
All fodder to our ensue
Of it's marriage to this world
Now married to our plate
Its existence to sate
Our sensory intuition
And if questioned
The lesser the tuition
Of salt and fat to the sate
Of blood and metal to the taste
Of bone and cartilage the waste
Unless hungry enough to chew
And **** it's marrow clean
And this meal
As if adieou
Of all memory
Of that beast's sense
Of this reality
And this brown brown brown
The king and capital of plate
And our position upon the evolutionary ladder
A little less seemingly madder
Of this culture of interrupting culture
For the satisfaction of our tongue
And of this insanity
Most seemingly insane
Shall affirm of our humane
As our cultural attest
To the other species detest
That the brown brown brown
Be a salute
From fork to mute
Of our common humanity
For whose going to stop us
The birds or the bees
And this brown brown brown
Be the flag of the humanity we wear
From infamy of mind
To the pork and the pear
Laid bare
Upon our shirt or lapel
Surely if we are to grapple
With ideas of genocide's justification
It's after picking the brown fibre
Of a pig's won't to pork
Upon your new shirt
With a clean silver fork
Or after dessert
This is a subtle variation of the original poem named 'Veganism'
I

The Trumpet-Vine Arbour

The throats of the little red trumpet-flowers are wide open,
And the clangour of brass beats against the hot sunlight.
They bray and blare at the burning sky.
Red! Red! Coarse notes of red,
Trumpeted at the blue sky.
In long streaks of sound, molten metal,
The vine declares itself.
Clang! -- from its red and yellow trumpets.
Clang! -- from its long, nasal trumpets,
Splitting the sunlight into ribbons, tattered and shot with noise.

I sit in the cool arbour, in a green-and-gold twilight.
It is very still, for I cannot hear the trumpets,
I only know that they are red and open,
And that the sun above the arbour shakes with heat.
My quill is newly mended,
And makes fine-drawn lines with its point.
Down the long, white paper it makes little lines,
Just lines -- up -- down -- criss-cross.
My heart is strained out at the pin-point of my quill;
It is thin and writhing like the marks of the pen.
My hand marches to a squeaky tune,
It marches down the paper to a squealing of fifes.
My pen and the trumpet-flowers,
And Washington's armies away over the smoke-tree to the Southwest.
'Yankee Doodle,' my Darling! It is you against the British,
Marching in your ragged shoes to batter down King George.
What have you got in your hat? Not a feather, I wager.
Just a hay-straw, for it is the harvest you are fighting for.
Hay in your hat, and the whites of their eyes for a target!
Like Bunker Hill, two years ago, when I watched all day from the house-top
Through Father's spy-glass.
The red city, and the blue, bright water,
And puffs of smoke which you made.
Twenty miles away,
Round by Cambridge, or over the Neck,
But the smoke was white -- white!
To-day the trumpet-flowers are red -- red --
And I cannot see you fighting,
But old Mr. Dimond has fled to Canada,
And Myra sings 'Yankee Doodle' at her milking.
The red throats of the trumpets bray and clang in the sunshine,
And the smoke-tree puffs dun blossoms into the blue air.


II


The City of Falling Leaves

Leaves fall,
Brown leaves,
Yellow leaves streaked with brown.
They fall,
Flutter,
Fall again.
The brown leaves,
And the streaked yellow leaves,
Loosen on their branches
And drift slowly downwards.
One,
One, two, three,
One, two, five.
All Venice is a falling of Autumn leaves --
Brown,
And yellow streaked with brown.

'That sonnet, Abate,
Beautiful,
I am quite exhausted by it.
Your phrases turn about my heart
And stifle me to swooning.
Open the window, I beg.
Lord! What a strumming of fiddles and mandolins!
'Tis really a shame to stop indoors.
Call my maid, or I will make you lace me yourself.
Fie, how hot it is, not a breath of air!
See how straight the leaves are falling.
Marianna, I will have the yellow satin caught up with silver fringe,
It peeps out delightfully from under a mantle.
Am I well painted to-day, 'caro Abate mio'?
You will be proud of me at the 'Ridotto', hey?
Proud of being 'Cavalier Servente' to such a lady?'
'Can you doubt it, 'Bellissima Contessa'?
A pinch more rouge on the right cheek,
And Venus herself shines less . . .'
'You bore me, Abate,
I vow I must change you!
A letter, Achmet?
Run and look out of the window, Abate.
I will read my letter in peace.'
The little black slave with the yellow satin turban
Gazes at his mistress with strained eyes.
His yellow turban and black skin
Are gorgeous -- barbaric.
The yellow satin dress with its silver flashings
Lies on a chair
Beside a black mantle and a black mask.
Yellow and black,
Gorgeous -- barbaric.
The lady reads her letter,
And the leaves drift slowly
Past the long windows.
'How silly you look, my dear Abate,
With that great brown leaf in your wig.
Pluck it off, I beg you,
Or I shall die of laughing.'

A yellow wall
Aflare in the sunlight,
Chequered with shadows,
Shadows of vine leaves,
Shadows of masks.
Masks coming, printing themselves for an instant,
Then passing on,
More masks always replacing them.
Masks with tricorns and rapiers sticking out behind
Pursuing masks with plumes and high heels,
The sunlight shining under their insteps.
One,
One, two,
One, two, three,
There is a thronging of shadows on the hot wall,
Filigreed at the top with moving leaves.
Yellow sunlight and black shadows,
Yellow and black,
Gorgeous -- barbaric.
Two masks stand together,
And the shadow of a leaf falls through them,
Marking the wall where they are not.
From hat-tip to shoulder-tip,
From elbow to sword-hilt,
The leaf falls.
The shadows mingle,
Blur together,
Slide along the wall and disappear.
Gold of mosaics and candles,
And night blackness lurking in the ceiling beams.
Saint Mark's glitters with flames and reflections.
A cloak brushes aside,
And the yellow of satin
Licks out over the coloured inlays of the pavement.
Under the gold crucifixes
There is a meeting of hands
Reaching from black mantles.
Sighing embraces, bold investigations,
Hide in confessionals,
Sheltered by the shuffling of feet.
Gorgeous -- barbaric
In its mail of jewels and gold,
Saint Mark's looks down at the swarm of black masks;
And outside in the palace gardens brown leaves fall,
Flutter,
Fall.
Brown,
And yellow streaked with brown.

Blue-black, the sky over Venice,
With a pricking of yellow stars.
There is no moon,
And the waves push darkly against the prow
Of the gondola,
Coming from Malamocco
And streaming toward Venice.
It is black under the gondola hood,
But the yellow of a satin dress
Glares out like the eye of a watching tiger.
Yellow compassed about with darkness,
Yellow and black,
Gorgeous -- barbaric.
The boatman sings,
It is Tasso that he sings;
The lovers seek each other beneath their mantles,
And the gondola drifts over the lagoon, aslant to the coming dawn.
But at Malamocco in front,
In Venice behind,
Fall the leaves,
Brown,
And yellow streaked with brown.
They fall,
Flutter,
Fall.
guy scutellaro Oct 2019
The rain ****** through a darkening sky.

The man's eyes grow bright and he smiles. Softly, he whispers, " Man, you're the biggest, whitest, what hell are you anyway?"

The pup sits up and Jack Delleto caresses her neck, but much to the mutt's chagrin the man stands up and walks away.

Jack has his hand on the door about to go into the bar. The pup issues an interrogatory, "Woof?"

The rain turns to snow.

The man's eyes grow bright and he smiles, "My grandma used to say that when it snows the angels are sweeping heaven. I'll be back for you, Snowflake."

Jack shivers. His smile fading, the night jumps back into his eyes.

Snowflake chuffs once, twice.

The man is gone.



The room would have been a cold, dark place except the bodies who sit on the barstools or stand on the ***** linoleum floor produce heat. The cigarette smoke burns his eyes. Jack Delleto looks down the length of the bar to the boarded shut fire place and although the faces are shadows, he knows them all.

The old man who always sits at the second barstool from the dart board is sitting at the second bar stool. His fist clenched tightly around the beer mug, he stares at his own reflection in the mirror.

The aging barmaid, who often weeps from her apartment window on a hot summer night or a cold winter evening, is coming on to a man half her age. She is going to slip her arm around his bicep at any moment.

"Yeah," Jack smiles, "there she goes."

Jack Delleto knows where the regulars sit night after night clutching the bar with desperation, the wood rail is worn smooth.

In the mirror that runs the length of the bar Jack Delleto sees himself with clarity. Brown hair and brown eyes. Just an ordinary 29 year old man.

"Old Fred is right," he thinks to himself, "If you stare at shadows long enough, they stare back." Jack smiles and the red head returns his smile crossing her long legs that protrude beneath a too short skirt.

The bartender recognizes the man smiling at the redhead.

"Well,  Jack Delleto, Dell, I heard you were dead. " The six foot, two hundred pound bartender tells him as Dell is walking over to the bar.

"Who told you that?"

"Crazy George, while he was swinging from the wagon wheel lamp." Bob O'Malley says as he points to the wagon wheel lamp hanging from the ceiling.

"George, I heard, HE was dead."

The bartender reaches over the bar resting the palms of his big hands on the edge of the bar and flashes a smile of white, uneven teeth. Bob extends his hand. "Where the hell have you been?"

They shake hands.

Dell looks up at the Irishman. "I ve been at Harry's Bar in Venice drinking ****** Marys with Elvis and Ernest."

Bob O'Malley grins, puts two shot glasses on the bar, and reaches under the bar to grab a bottle of bourbon. After filling the glasses with Wild Turkey, he hands one glass to Dell. They touch glasses and throw down the shots.

"Gobble, gobble," O Malley smiles.


The front door of the bar swings open and a cold wind drifts through the bar. Paul Keater takes off his Giants baseball cap and with the back of his hand wipes the snow off of his face.

"Keater," Bob O'Malley calls to the Blackman standing in the doorway.

Keater freezes, his eyes moving side to side in short, quick movements. He points a long slim finger at O'Malley, "I don't owe you any money," Paul Keater shouts.

The people sitting the barstools do not turn to look.

"You're always pulling that **** on me." Keater rushes to the bar, "I PPPAID YOU."

As Delleto watches Keater arguing with O'Malley, the anger grows into the loathing Dell feels for Keater. The suave, sophisticated Paul Keater living in a room above the bar. The man is disgusting. His belly hangs pregnant over his belt. His jeans have fallen exposing the crack of his ***, and Keater just doesn't give a ****. And that ragged, faded, baseball cap, ****, he never takes it off.

When Keater glances down, he realizes he is standing next to Jack Delleto. Usually, Paul Keater would have at least considered punching Delleto in his face. "The **** wasn't any good," Paul feining anger tells O'Malley. "Everybody said it was, ****."

The bartender finishes rinsing a glass in the soapy sink water and then places it on a towel. "*******."

Keater slides the Giant baseball cap back and forth across his flat forehead. "**** it," he turns and storms out of the bar.

"Can I get a beer?" Dell asks but O"Malley is already reaching into the beer box. Twisting the cap off, he puts it on the bar. "It's not that Keater owes me a few bucks, "he tells Dell, "if I didn't cut him off he'd do the stuff until he died." Bob grabs a towel and dries his hands.

"But the smartest rats always get out of the maze first," Jack tells Bob.


Cigarette butts, candy wrappers, and losing lottery tickets litter the linoleum floor. Jack Delleto grabs the bottle of beer off the bar and crosses the specter of unfulfilled wishes.

In the adjacent room he sits at a table next to the pinball machine to watch a disfigured man with an anorexic women shoot pool. Sometimes he listens to them talk, whisper, laugh. Sometimes he just stares at the wall.

"We have a winner, "the pinball machine announces, "come ride the Ferris wheel."



"I'm part Indian. "

Jack looks up from his beer. The Indian has straight black hair that hangs a few inches above her shoulders, a thin face, a cigarette dangling from her too red lips.

"My Mom was one third Souix, " the drunken women tells Jack Delleto.

The Indian exhales smoke from her petite nose waiting for a come on from the man with the sad face. And he just stares, stares at the wall.

Her bushy eyebrows come together forming a delicate frown.

Jack turns to watch a brunette shoot pool. The woman leans over the pool table about to shoot the nine ball into the side pocket. It is an easy shot.

The brunette looks across the pool table at Jack Delleto, "What the **** are you starin at?" She jams the pool stick and miscues. The cue ball runs along the rail and taps the eight ball into the corner pocket. "AH ****," she says.

And Jack smiles.

The Indian thinks Jack is smiling at her, so she sits down.

"In the shadows I couldn't see your eyes," he tells her, "but when you leaned forward to light that cigarette, you have the prettiest green eyes."

She smiles.

" I'm Kathleen," her eyes sparkling like broken glass in an alley.

Delleto tries to speak.

"I don't want to know your name," she tells Jack Delleto, the smile disappearing from her face. "I just want to talk for a few minutes like we're friends," she takes a drag off the cigarette, exhales the smoke across the room.

Jack recognizes the look on her face. Bad dreams.

"I'll be your friend," he tells her.

"We're not going to have ***." The Indian slowly grinds out the cigarette into the ashtray, looks up at the man with the sad face.

"Do you have family?"

"Family?" Delleto gives her a sad smile.

She didn't want an answer and then she gets right into it.

"I met my older sister in Baltimore yesterday." She tells the man with sad eyes.' Hadn't seen her since I was nine, since Mom died. I wanted to know why Dad put me in foster homes. Why?

"She called me Little Sister. I felt nothin. I had so many questions and you know what? I didn't ask one."

Jack is finishing his beer.

"If you knew the reasons, now, what would it matter, anyway."

The man with the black eye just doesn't get it. She lived with them long enough. Long enough to love them.

She stands up, stares at Jack Delleto.

And walks away.


It's the fat blondes turn to shoot pool. She leans her great body ever so gently across the green felt of the pool table, shoots and misses. When she tries to raise herself up off the pool table, the tip of the pool cue hits the Miller Lite sign above the pool table sending the lamb rocking violently back and forth. In flashes of light like the frames from and old Chaplin movie the sad and grotesque appear and disappear.

"What the **** are you starin at?" The skinny brunette asks.

Jack pretends to think for a moment. "An unhappy childhood."

Suddenly, she stands up, looking like death wearing a Harley Davidson T-shirt.

"Dove sta amore?" Jack Delleto wonders.

Death is angry, steps closer.

"Must be that time of the month, huh," Jack grins.

With her two tiny fists clenched tightly at her side, the brunette stares down into Delleto's eyes. Suddenly, she punches Jack in the eye.

Jack stands up bringing his forearm up to protect his face. At the same time Death steps closer. His forearm catches her under the chin. The bony ***** goes down.

Women rush from the shadows. They pull Jack to the ***** floor, punch and kick him.

In the blinking of the Miller Light Jack Delleto exclaims," I'm being smother by fat lesbians in soft satin pants."  But then someone is pulling the women off of him.

The Miller Lite gently rocks and then it stops.

Jack stands up, shakes his head and smiles.

"Nice punch, Dell," Bob O' Malley says, "I saw from the bar."

Jack hits the dust off of his pants, grabs the beer bottle off of the table, takes a swallow. Smiling, he says, "I box a little."

"I can tell by your black eye." O'Malley puts his hand on his friends shoulder. "Come on I'll buy you a shot. What caused this spontaneous expression of love?"

"They thought I was a ******."


2 a.m.

Jack Delleto walks out the door of the bar into the wind swept gloom. The gray desolation of boarded shut downtown is gone.

The rain has finally turn to snow.

His eyes follow the blue rope from the parking meter pole to its frayed end buried in the plowed hill of snow at the corner of Cookman Avenue.

The dog, Snowflake, dead, Jack thinks.


The snow covers everything. It covers the abandon cars and the abandon buildings, the sidewalk and its cracks. The city, Delleto imagines, is an adjectiveless word, a book of white pages. He steps off the curb into the gutter and the street is empty for as far as he can see. He starts walking.

Jack disappears into empty pages.


Chapter 2


Paul Keater has a room above Wagon Wheel Bar where the loud rock music shakes the rats in the walls til 2a.m. The vibrations travel through the concrete floor, up the bed posts, and into the matress.

Slowly Paul's eyes open. Who the hell is he fooling. Even without the loud music, he would not be able to sleep, anyway.

Soft red neon from the Wagon Wheel Bar sign blinks into his room.

Paul Keater sits up, sighs, resigns himself to another sleepless night, swings his legs off the bed. His x-wife. He thinks about her frequently. He went to a phycologist because he loved her.

Dump the *****, the doctor said.

"I paid him eighty bucks and all he had to say was dump the *****." He laughs, shakes his head.

Paul thinks about *******, looks around the tiny room, and spots a clear plastic case containing the baseball cards he had collected when he was a boy.

He walks to the dresser and puts on his Giant's baseball cap. Paul sits down on the wooden chair by the sink. Turns on the lamp. The card on top is ***** Mays. Holding it in his hand, it is perfect. The edges are not worn like the other cards.

It was his tenth birthday and his dad had taken him to his first baseball game and his father had bought the card from a dealer.

Oblivious to the loud rock music filtering into his room, he stares at the card.

Fondly, he remembers.

Dad.


                                     *     

It arrives unobtrusively. His heart begins to race faster.
Jack Delleto rolls away from the cracked wall. He sits up and drops his legs off the bed.

Jack Delleto thinks about mountains.

When he cannot sleep he thinks about climbing up through the fog that makes the day obscure, passing where the stunted spruce and fir tees are twisted by the wind, into cold brilliant light. Once as he climbed through the fog he saw his shadow stretching a half a mile across a cloud and the world was small. Far down to the east laid cliffs and gullies, glaciated mountains and to the west were the plains and cities of everyday life.

The army coat is draped over the back of the chair. In the pocket is his notebook. Jack stands and takes the notebook from the pocket. When he sits in the wooden chair he opens the book and slides the pen from the binder.

When he finishes his story he makes the end into the beginning.



                                           Chapter 3


"I want a captain in a truck." The 10 year old boy with the brown hair tells his mom. "I want it NOW."

His blonde haired mom wearing the gold diamond bracelet nods her head at Jack Delleto. Jack looks up at the clock on the wall. It is only 9a.m. After four years of college Jack has a part time job at K.B. Toy store. "We're all out of them," he tells her for the second time.

"Honey," Blondie tells her boy, "they're all out of them."

"YOU PROMISED."

"How about a sargeant in a jeep?

"OK, but I want a missile firing truck , too."

Delleto turns to the display case behind the counter. Briefly, he studies his black eye in the display case mirror and then begins searching the four shelves and twenty rows of 3 inch plastic toys. He finds the truck. His head is aching. He finds the truck and puts it on the counter in front of the boy.

"Sorry, we're all out of the sargeant," Jack tells the pretty lady. The aching in his head just won't go away.

"Mommy, mommy, I want an ATTACK HELIOCOPTER, MOMMMEEE, I WANTAH TTTAAANNNK..."

Jack Delleto leans over the counter resting his elbows on the glass top. The boy is staring at the man with the black eye, at his bruised, unshaven face.

"Well, we haven't got any, GODDAMED TANKS. How about a , KICKINTHE ***."

Finally the boy and his mother are quiet.

"My husband will have you fired."

She grabs the boy by the hand. Turns to rush out of the store.

Jack mutters something.

"MMOOOMEEE,  what does..."

"Oh, shut the hell up," the pretty lady tells her son


                              
     

The assistant manager takes a deep drag on her cigarette, exhales, and crosses her arms to hold the cigarette in front of her. Susan looks down at Jack sitting on the stool behind the counter. He stands up. "Did you tell some lady to blow you?" She crushes the cigarette out in the ashtray on the shelf below the counter. "Maybe you don't need this job but I do."

"Sue, there's no smoking in the mall."

"Jack, you look tired," the cubby teenager tells him, "and your eye. Another black eye."

"I was attacked by five women."

'Oh, I see, in your dreams maybe. I see, it's one of those male fantasies I'm always reading about in Cosmo. You're not boxing again, are you Dell?" Sue likes to call him Dell.

"I go down to the gym to work out. Felix says I've got something."

"Yeah, a black eye." Susan laughs, opens the big vanilla envelope, and hands Jack his check.

She turns and takes a pair of sunglasses from the display stand. "You 're scaring the children, Dell ." Susan steps closer looks into Dell's brown eyes and the slips the sunglasses on his face. "Why don't you go to lunch."

                                        
     

It's noon and the mall is crowded at the food court area. Jack gets a 20oz cup of coffee, finds a table and sits down.

"Go over and talk to him. " Susan says. Jack turns his head , looks back, sees the Indian walking towards his table.

"Hello, Kathrine," says Jack Delleto.

"My names not Kathrine, it's Kathleen."

Jack pulls the chair away from the table, "Have a seat Kate."

Her eyebrows form that delicate frown. "My names Kathleen." As soon as she sits down she takes a cigarette from the pack sticking out of her pocketbook. "I had to leave. I told the baby sitter I'd only be gone an hour. Anyway you weren't much help."

"So why did you come over to talk to me?"

"You were alone, the bar full of people and you're alone. Why?"

"I like it that way. You've seen me there before?"

"Yeah, sitting by the pin ball machine staring at the wall, and sometimes, you'd take out your blue note pad and write in it.
What do you write about?  Are you goin to write about me..."

"Maybe. How many kids do you have?"

"Just one. A boy, and believe me one is enough. He'll be four in June," Kathleen smiles but then she remembers and abruptly the smile disappears from her face. "Sometimes I see Anthony's father in the mall and I ask him if he'd like to meet his son, but he doesn't.

Kathleen draws the cigarette smoke deep into her lungs, tilts her head back, and blows the smoke towards the skylight. Suddenly caught in the sunlight the smoke becomes a gray cloud. " I didn't want to marry him anyway, I don't know why he thought that."

She hears the scars as Delleto talks, something sad about the man, something like old newspapers blowing across a deserted street. She hears the scars and knows never, never ask where the scars came from.


                              
     

As Jack walks towards the bank to cash his check, he glances out the front entrance to the mall. It is a bright, cold day and the snowplows are finishing up the parking lot plowing the snow into big white hills. That is the fate of the big white pup plowed to the corner of Cookman and Main buried deep in ***** snow. At that street corner when the school is over the children will play on the hill never realizing what lay beneath there feet.

The snow must melt; spring is inevitable.

His pup will be back.



                                           Chapter 4


The 19 year old light heavyweight leans his muscular body forward to rest his gloved hands on the tope rope of the ring. He bows his head waiting to regain his breath as his lungs fight to force air deep into his chest. Bill Wain has finished boxing 4 rounds with Red.

Harry the trainer, gently pulls the untied boxing gloves from Red's hands. "Good fight, he says, patting Red on the back as the fighter climbs through the ropes and heads to the showers. Harry hands the sweat soaked gloves to Felix who puts one glove under his arm while he loosens the laces on the other 12ounce glove. He makes the sleeve wider.

"Do you want the head gear?" Felix asks.

Jack Delleto shakes his head and pushes his taped hand deep into the glove.

The old man takes the other glove from under his arm, pulls the laces out, and holds it open. Without turning his head to look at him, Felix tells Harry, "Make sure Bill doesn't cool down. Tell him to shadow box. Harry walks over to Bill and Bill starts shadow boxing.

Jack pushes his hand into the glove. "Make a fist." Jack does. Felix pulls the laces and ties it into a bow.

Felix looks intently into Delleto's eyes. "How does that feel?"

"About right."

"You look tired."

"I am a little."

"Are you sick or is it a woman."

"I'm not sick."

A big smile forms across the face of the former welterweight champion of Nevada. The face of the 68 year old Blackman is lined and cracked like the old boxing gloves that Jack is wearing but his tall body is youthful and athletic in appearance. Above Felix's eyebrows Jack sees the effect of 20 years as a professional fighter. He sees the thick scar tissue and the thin white lines where the old man's skin has been stitched and re-stitched many times. As he gives instructions to Jack, Felix's brown eyes seem to be staring at something distant and Jack wonders if Felix has chased around the ring one time too often his dream.

"And get off first. Don't stop punching until he goes down. You've got it kid and not every fighter does."

Jack and Felix start walking over to the ring.

"What is it I've got?" Jack Deletto wonders.

Felix puts his foot on the fourth strand of the rings rope and with his hand pulls up the top strand and as Jack steps into the ring, "You've got, HEART."

In the opposite corner Bill Wain waits.

"Will he be alright?" Harry asks.

"Bill's tired, " Felix replies, then he tries to explain. "It's not about money. I'm almost 70 and I want to go out a winner." Felix pauses and the offers, he can hit hard with either hand."

"Yeah, but at best he's a small middleweight and he only moves in one direction, straight ahead."

"Harry, I love the guy," Felix puts his hand on Harry's shoulder, he's like Tyson at the end of his career. He'd fight you to the death but he's not fighting to win anymore."

Harry puts his hands in his pocket and stares at the floor. "Do you want me to tell him to go easy." Harry looks up at Felix waiting for an answer.

"I'm tired of sweeping dirt from behind the boxes of wax beans and tuna fish. I'm sick of collecting shopping carts in the rain. A half way decent white heavyweight can make a lot of money. It's stupid for a fighter to practice holding back. Bill's a winner. Jack'll be alright."

Felix hands the pocket watch to Harry so he can time the rounds.

Bill Wain comes out of his corner circling left.

Jack rushes straight ahead.

Felix winks at Jack Delleto and whispers, "The Jack of hearts."



                                           Chapter 5


The front door of the Wagon Wheel bar explodes open to Ziggy Pop's, "YOU'VE GOT A LUST FOR LIFE." Jack Delleto steps over the curb and vanishes into the dark doorway.

"HEY, JACK, JACK DELLETO," The lanky bartender shouts over the din.

Delleto makes his way through the crowd over to bar. How the hell have you been Snake?" Jack asks.

"Just great," says Snake. "You're lookin pretty ****** good for a dead man."

"Who told you that? Crazy George?"

The bartender points across the room to where a man in a pin stripe suit is swinging to and fro from a wagon wheel lamp attached to the ceiling.

"Yeah, I thought so. Haven't seen Crazy George in a year and he's been telling everyone I'm dead. I'm gonna have to have a long talk with that man."

Snake hands Jack a shot of tequila. The men touch glasses and throw down the shots.

How's the other George? Dell asks.

"AA."

"How's Tommy? You see him anymore?"

"Rehab."

"What about Robbie?"

Snake refills the glasses. "He's livin in a nudist colony in Florida, he has two wives and 6 children."


Jack looks across the room and sees Bob O'Malley trying to adjust the rose in the lapel of his tuxedo. Satisfied it won't fall out O'Malley looks up at the man swinging from the lamp. "Quick, name man's three greatest inventions."

"Alcohol, tobacco, and the wheel," Crazy George shoots back.

O'Malley smiles and then jumps up on the top of the bar and although he is over six feet and weighs two hundred pounds, he has the dexterity and grace of a ballerina as he pirouttes around and jumps over the shot glasses and beer bottles that litter the bar.

Wedding guests lean back in their chairs as strangers fearful of his gyrations ****** their drinks off the bar. Bob fakes a slip as he prances along but he is always in control and never falters. Forty three year old Bob O'Malley is Jim Brown who dodges danger to score the winning touch down.

When Bob reaches the end of the bar he jumps to the floor, pulls two aluminum lids from the beer box, and with one in each hand he smacks them together like cymbals.

Some guests clap. The bemused just stare.

In the back of the room sitting at the wedding table the father of the bride leans over, whispers into the ear of his crying wife, "If I had a gun I'd shoot Bob."

The bride raises a glass of champagne into the smoke filled air and Bob takes a bow but then heads towards the kitchen at the other end of the room.

" Hey, Bob," Jack Delleto shouts to the groom.

O'Malley stops under the wagon wheel lamp and turns as Delleto steps into the  circle of light cast onto the floor.

"Congratulations, I know Theresa and you are goin to be happy. I mean that." Delleto offers his hand and they shake hands.

"Thanks, Mr. Cool."

Jack takes off the sunglasses.

"TWO black eyes. Your nose is bleeding. What happened?"

Dell takes the handkerchief from his back pocket, wipes the blood dripping down his face. "It's broken."

"What happened?" O'Malley asks again.

"Bill Wain."

"He turned pro."

"Yeah, but he's nothing special. Hell, he couldn't even knock me down."

O'Malley shakes his head. "Dell, why do you do it? You always lose."

"If you don't fight you've already lost."

"Put the sunglasses back on, you look like a friggin raccoon."

Dell smiles. The blood running down his lips."Thersa's beautiful, Bob, you're a lucky guy."

"Thanks Dell." O'Malley puts his hand on Dell's shoulder and squeezes affectionately. Bob looks across the room at Theresa. "Yeah, she is beautiful." Theresa's mother has stopped crying. Her father drinks whiskey and stares at the wall.

O'Malley looks away from his bride and passed the archway that divides the poolroom from the bar and into the corner. With the lamp light above his head gleaming in his eyes Bob seems to see a ghost fleeting in the far distant, dark corner. Slowly, a peculiar half smile forms uneven, white, tombstone teeth.  A pensive smile.

Curious, Dell turns his head to look into the darkness of the poolroom, too.

At night in July the moths were everywhere. When Dell was a boy he would sit on his porch and try to count them. The moths appeared as faint splashes of whiteness scattered throughout the nighttime sky, odd circles of white that moved haphazardly, forward and then sideways, sometimes up and then down.

Sometimes the patches of moths flew higher and higher and Dell imagined the lights those creatures were seeking were the stars themselves; Orion, the Big Dipper, and even the milky hue of the Milkyway.

One night as the moths pursued starlight he saw shadows dropping one by one from the branches at the tops of the trees. The swallows were soundless and when he caught a glimpse of sudden darkness, blacker than the night, he knew the shadows had erased the dreamer and its dream.

His imagination gave definition to form. There was a sound to the shadows of the swallows in his thoughts, the melody and the song played over and over. Wings of shadow furled and unfurled. Perhaps he saw his reflection in the night. Perhaps there are shadows where nothing exists to cast them.

"Do you hear them, Bob?"

"Hear what?" Bob asks.

"All of them."

"All of what?"

"Shadows," Delleto candidly tells his friend, then, "Ah, Nothin."

O'Malley doesn't understand but it does not matter. The two men have shared the same corner of darkness.

Bob calls to Paul Keater. Keater smiles broadly, slides the brim of his Giant baseball cap to the side of his forehead. The two men disappear through the swinging kitchen door.


                                          Chapter 6


"Hello Kate." Jack Delleto says and sits down. She has a blue bow in her hair and make up on.

"My names Kathleen."

She fondles the whiskey glass in her slim fingers. "Hello, Dell, Sue thinks Dell is such a **** name. Kathleen takes a last drag on her cigarette, rubs it out in the ashtray, looks up at him, "What should I call you?"

"How about, Darlin?"

"Hello, Jack, DARLIN," her soft, deep voice whispers. Kathleen crosses her legs and the black dress rides up to the middle of her thigh.

Jack glances at the milky white flesh between the blue ***** hose and the hem of her dress. Kate is drunk and Dell does not care. He leans closer, "Do you wanna dance?"

"But no one else is dancing."

"Well, we can go down to the beach, take a walk along the sand."

"It's twenty degrees out there."

"I'll keep you warm."

"All right, lets dance."

Jack stands up takes her by the hand. As Kathleen rises Jack draws her close to him. Her ******* flatten against his chest. He feels her heart thumping.

The Elvis impersonator that almost played Las Vegas; the hairdresser that wanted to be a race car driver; the insurance salesman with a Porche and a wife.  Her men talked about what they owned or what they could do well.

And Kathleen was impressed.

But Dell wasn't like them. Dell never talked about himself. Did he have a dream? Was there something he wanted more than anything?

Kathleen had never meant anyone quite like Dell.

She rests her head on his shoulder. "What do you what more than anything? What do you dream about at night?"

"Nothing."

"Come on," she says," what do you want more than anything? Tell me your dreams."

Jack smiles, "Just to make it through another day."  He smiles that sad smile that she saw the first time they met. "Tell me what you want."

Kate lifts her head off of his shoulder and looks into his eyes. "I don't want to be on welfare the rest of my life and I want to be able to send my son to college." She rests her cheek against his, "I've lived in foster homes all my life and every time I knew that one day I'd have to leave, what I want most is a home. Do you know the difference between a house and a home?"

"No. not at all"

Her voice is a roaring whisper in his ear, "LOVE."

The song comes to an end and they leave the circle of light and sit down. Kate takes a cigarette from the pack.

Dell strikes a match. The flame flickering in her eyes. "Maybe someday you'll have your home."

"Do you want me to?"

"Yeah."

Kate blows out the match.


                                  
     


"Can you take me home?" Kate asks slurring her words.

Kathleen and Jack walk over to where the bride and groom are standing near the big glass refrigerator door with Paul Keater. When Paul realizes he is standing next to Jack Delleto he rocks back and forth on the heals of his worn shoes, slides his Giants baseball cap back and forth across his forehead and walks away.

O'Malley bends down and kisses Kathleen on the cheek and turns to shake hands with Dell. "Good luck," says Dell. Kathleen embraces the bride.

Outside the bar the sun is setting behind the boarded shut Delleto store.

"That was my Dad's store, " Jack tells Kate and then Jack whispers to to himself as he reads the graffiti spray painted on the front wall.
"TELL YOUR DREAMS TO ME, TELL ME YOU LOVE ME, IF YOU LOVE ME, TELL ALL YOUR DREAMS TO ME."


                                         Chapter 7


An old man comes shuffling down the street, "Hello Mr. Martin, " Jack says, "How are you?"

"I'm an old man Jack, how could I be," and then he smiles, "ah, I can't complain. How are you?"

"Still alive and well."

"Who is this pretty young lady?"

"This is Kate."

Joesph Martin takes Kathleen by the arm and gently squeezes, "Hello Kate, such a pretty women, ah, if I was only sixty," and the old man smiles.

Kathleen forces a smile.

The thick eyeglasses that Mr. Martin wears magnifies his eyes as he looks from Kathleen to Jack, "Have fun now, because when you're dead, you're going to be dead a long, long time." And Martin smiles.

"How long?  Delleto inquires.

The old man smirks and waves as he continues up the street to the door leading to the rooms above the bar. He turns to face the door. The small window is broken and the shards of glass catch the twilight.

Joesph Martin turns back looking at the man and young woman who are about to get into the car. He is not certain what he wants to say to them. Perhaps he wants to tell them that it ***** being an old man and the upstairs hallway always smells of ****.

Joesph Martin wants to tell someone that although Anna died seven years ago his love endures and he misses her everyday. Joesph recalls that Plato in Tamaeus believed that the soul is a stranger to the Earth and has fallen into matter because of sin.

A faint smile appears on the wrinkled face of the old man as he heeds the resignation he hears in his own thoughts.

Jack waves to Mr. Martin.  Joesph waves back. The mustang drives off.

Earth, O island Earth.


                                               Chapter 8


Joseph pushes open the door and goes into the hallway. The fragments of glass scattered across the foyer crunch and clink under his shoes. The cold wind blowing through the broken window touches his warm neck. He shivers and walks up the stairs. There is only enough light to see the wall and his own warm breathing. There is just enough light like when he has awaken from a  bad dream, enough to remember who he is and to separate the horror of what is real from the horror of what is dreamt.

The old man continues climbing the stairs following the familiar shadow of the wall cast onto the stairs. If he crosses the vague line of shadow and light he will disappear like a brown trout in the deepest hole in a creek.

By the time he reaches the second floor he is out of breath. Joseph pauses and with the handkerchief he has taken from his back pocket he wipes the fog from the lenses of his eyeglasses and the sweat from his forehead.

A couple of doors are standing open and the old man looks cautiously into each room as he hurries passed. One forty watt bulb hangs from a frayed wire in the center of the hallway. The wiring is old and the bulb in the white porcelain socket flickers like the blinking of an eye or the fearful beating of the heart of an old man.

When he opens the door to his room it sags on ruined hinges.

Joesph searches with his hand for the light switch.  Several seconds linger. Can't find it.

Finds it and quickly pushes the door shut. He sits down on the bed, doesn't take his coat off, reaches for the radio. It is gone.

Joseph looks around the room. A small dresser, the sink with a mirror above it. He takes off his coat and above the mirror hangs the coat on the nail he has put there.

Hard soled boots echo hollowly off the hallway walls. The echoes are overlapping and he cannot determine if the footsteps are leaving or approaching.

The crowbar is under his pillow.

He grabs it. Holds it until there is silence.

He lays back on the bed. Another night without sleep. Joseph rolls onto his side and faces the wall.

Earth, O island Earth.



                                           Chapter 9


Tangled in the tree tops a rising moon hangs above the roofs of identical Cape Cod houses.

Jack pulls the red mustang behind a station wagon. Kathleen is looking at Dell. His face is a faint shadow on the other side of the car. "Do you want to come up?" she asks.

Kathleen steps out of the car, breathes the cold air deep into her lungs. It is fresh and sweet. Jack comes around the side of the car just as she knew he would. He takes her into his arms. She can feel his lips on hers and his warm breath as the kiss ends.

They walk beneath the old oak tree and the roots have raised and crack the sidewalk and in the spring tiny blue flowers will bloom. The flowers remind Jack of the columbines that bloom in high mountain meadows above tree line heralding a brief season of sun and warmth.

"Did you win?" Kathleen asks as she fits the key into the upstairs apartment door. The door swings open into the brightly lit kitchen.

Dell, leaning in the doorway, two black eyes, looking like the Jack of Hearts. "It doesn't matter."

"You lost?"

"Yeah."

Crossing the room she takes off her coat and places it on the back of the kitchen chair. When Kate leans across the kitchen table to turn on the radio the mini dress rides up her thigh, tugs tightly around her buttocks.

The radio plays softly.

Jack stands and as Kathleen turns he slips his arms around her waist and she is staring into his eyes like a cat into a fire. His body gently presses against the table and when he lifts her onto the table her legs wrap around his waist.

Kathleen sighs.

Jack kisses her. Her lips are cold like the rain. His hand reaches. There is a faint click. The room slips into darkness. It is Eddie Money on the radio, now, with Ronnie Specter singing the back up vocals. Eddie belts out, "TAKE ME HOME TONIGHT, I WON"T LET YOU LEAVE TIL..."

When Jack withdraws from the kiss her eyes are shining like diamonds in moonlight.

The buttons of her dress are unfastened.  Her arms circle his neck and pull him to her *******. "Don't Jack. You mustn't. I just want a friend."

His hands slide up her thighs. "I'll be your friend, " says Jack.

Her voice is a roaring whisper in his ear. "*** always ruins everything," He pulls her to the edge of the table as Ronnie sings, "O DARLIN, O MY DARLIN, WON'T YOU BE MY LITTLE BAABBBY NOOWWW."


They are sitting on a couch in the room that at one time had been a sun porch.

Now that they have gotten *** out of the way, maybe they can talk. Sliding her hands around his face she pulls him closer.

"Jack, what do you dream about? You know what I mean, tell your dreams to me."

"How did you get those round scars on your arm?" Dell wonders.

"Don't ask. I don't talk about it. Do you have family?"

"Yeah. A brother. Tell me about those scars."

My ****** foster dad. He burned me with his cigarette. That's how I got these ****** scars.

And when I knew he was coming home, I'd get sick to my stomach, and when I heard his key in the door, I'd *** myself. And I got a beating.

But that wasn't the worst of it.

When they didn't beat me or burn me, they ignored me, like I didn't exist, like I wasn't even there. And you know what, I didn't hate him. I hated my father who put in all those foster homes."



                                             Chapter 10



Spring. All the windows in the apartment are open. The cool breeze flows through her brown hair. "You're getting too serious, Jack, and I don't want to need you."

"That's because I care for you."

The rain pounds the roof.

Jack Delleto sits down on the bed, caresses her shoulder. "I hate the rain. Come on, give me a smile. "Kathleen pulls away and faces the wall.

"Well, I don't need anyone."

"People need people."

"Yeah, but I don't need you." There is silence, then, "I only care about my son and Father Anthony."

"What is it with you and the priest?" You named your son Anthony is that because he's the father."

"You're an *******. Get out of here. I don't love you." And then, "I've been hurt by people and you'll get over it."

Then silence. Jack gets up from the bed, stares at her dark form facing the wall. "Isn't this how it always ends for you?"

The room is quiet and grows hot. When the silence numbs his racing heart, he goes into the kitchen, opens the front door and walks down the steps into the cold rain.


"Anthony," Kathleen calls to her son to come to her from the other bedroom and he climbs into the bed, and she holds him close. The ghost of relationships past haunt her and although they are all sad, she clings to them.


On the sidewalk below the apartment window Jack stops. He thinks he hears his name being called but whatever he has heard is carried off by the wind. He continues up the dark street to his Harley.

High in reach less branches of the old oak tree a mockingbird is singing. The leaves twist in the wind and the singing goes on and on.



                                            
     



The ringing phone. The clock on the dresser says 5 a.m.

"Who the hell is this?"

"Jack, I'm scared."

"Kate? Is that you?"

"Someone broke into my apartment."

"Is he still there?"

"No, he ran out the door when I screamed. It was hot and I had the window open. He slit the screen."

"I'll be right over."



                                         Chapter11


"How hot is it?" Kathleen asks.

The bar is empty except for O'Malley, Keater, a man and a woman.

"98.6," says Jack. The sweat rolls down his cheeks.

"Let's go to the boardwalk."

"When it's hot like this, it's hot all over."

"We could go on the rides."

"I've got the next pool game, then we'll go."

"It's my birthday."

"I bought you flowers."

"Yeah, carnations."

Laughing, Paul Keater slides the brim of his baseball cap back and forth across his forehead.

Jack eyes narrow. He starts for Keater, Katheen steps in front of Jack, puts her hands on his shoulders. She looks into his eyes.

"Who are you Jack Delletto? What is it with you two? But as always you'll say nothing, nothing." As Jack tries to speak she walks over to the bar and sits on the barstool.

"It's my birthday," she tells O'Malley.

When Bob turns from the horse races on the T.V., he notices her long legs and the short skirt. "Hey, happy birthday, Kate, Jack Daniels?"

"Fine."

Filling the glasses O'Malley hands one to Kathleen, "You look great," he tells her.

"Jack doesn't think so. Thanks, at least someone thinks so."

"Hope Jack won't mind," and he leans over the bar and kisses her.

Kathleen looks over her shoulder at Delleto. Jack is playing pool with a woman wearing a black tight halter top. The woman comes over to Jack, stands too close, smiles, and Jack smiles back.

The boyfriend stares angrily at Jack.

When Kathleen turns back O'Malley is filling her shot glass.

Jack wins that game, too.



                                                 Chapter 12



"Daddy," the little girl with her hands folded in her lap is looking up at her father. "When will the ride stop? I want to go on."

"Soon, Darling, "her father assures her.

"I don't think it will ever stop."

"The ride always stops, Sweetie." Daddy takes her by the hand, gently squeezes.


When the carousel begins to slow down but has not quite stopped Kathleen steps onto the platform, grabs the brass support pole. The momentum of the machine grabs her with a **** onto the ride, into a white horse with big blue eyes. Dropping her cigarette she takes hold of the pole that goes through the center of the horse. She struggles to put her foot in the stirrup, finds it, and throws her leg over the horse. The carousel music begins to play. With a tremble and a jolt, the ride starts.

Sitting on the pony has made her skirt ride well up her legs. The ticket man is staring at her but she is too drunk to care. She hands him the ticket, gives him the finger.

The ticket man goes over to the little girl and her father who are sitting in a golden chariot pulled by to black horses.

"Ooooh, Daddy, I love this."

"So do I," The father smiles and strokes his daughter's hair.

The heat makes the dizziness grow and as the ride picks up speed she sees two of everything. There are two rows of pin ball machines, eight flashing signs, six prize machines. All the red, blue and green lights from the ride blend together like when a car drives at night down a rain-soaked street.

Kathleen feels the impulse to *****.

"Can we go on again?" The little girl asks.

"But the ride isn't over, yet."


Kathleen concentrates on the rain-soaked street and the dizziness and nausea lessens. She perceives the images as a montage like the elements that make up a painting or a life. She has become accustom to the machine and its movement. The circling ride creates a cooling breeze that becomes a tranquil, flowing waterfall.

The ponies in front are always becoming the ponies in the back and the ponies in back are becoming the ponies in the front. Around and around. All the ponies galloping. Settling back into the saddle she rides the pony into the ever-present receding waterfall.

You can lose all sense of the clock staring into the waterfall of blue, red and green. Kathleen leans forward to embrace the ride for a long as it lasts.

Just as suddenly as it started, the ride is slowly stopping, the music stops playing.

Coming down off the pony she does not wait for the ride to stop, stumbles off the platform and out the Casino amusement park door. "****, *******," she yells careening into the railing almost falling into Wesley Lake.

She staggers a few steps, sits down on the grass by the curb, hears the carousel music playing and knows the ride is beginning again, and all of her dreams crawls into her like a dying animal from its hidden hole.

And it all comes up from her throat taking her breath away. A distant yet familiar wind so she lies down on the grass facing the street of broken buildings filled with broken people. From the emptying lot of scattering thoughts the mockingbird is singing and the images shoot off into a darkening landscape, exploding, illuminating for a brief moment, only to grow dimmer, light and warmth fading into cold and darkness.




                                      
     

"Your girlfriend is flirting with me," Jack Delleto tells the man. "It's my game."

The man stands up, takes a pool stick from the rack, as he comes towards Jack Delleto the man turns the pool stick around holding the heavy part with two hands.

There is an explosion of light inside his head, Delleto sees two spinning lizards playing trumpets, 3 dwarfs with purple hair running to and fro, intuitively he knows he has to get up off the floor, and when he does he catches the bigger man with a left hook, throws the overhand right. The man stumbles back.

His girlfriend in the tight black halter top is jumping up and down, screaming at, screaming at Jack Delleto to stop, but Jack, does not. Stepping forward, a left hook to the midsection, hook to the head, spins right, throws the overhand right.

The man goes down. Jack looks at him.

"You lose, I win," and Delleto's smile is a sad, knowing one.



                                                  CHAPTER­ 13

"It's too much," and Jack looks up from the two lines of white powder at Bob O'Malley. "I'll never be able to fall asleep and I hate not being able to sleep."

" Here," Bob takes a big white pill from his shirt pocket.

Jack drops the pill into his shirt pocket and says, "No more." He hands the rolled-up dollar bill to Bob who bends over the powder.

"Tom sold the house so you're upstairs? O Malley asks, and like a magician the two lines of white powder disappear.

"Till i find another place," Jack whispers.

Straightening up, O'Malley looks at Dell, "I know you 're hurting Dell, I'm sorry, I'm sad about Kate, too."

"Kate had a kid. A boy, four years old."

Jack becomes quiet, walks through the darkened room over to the bar. Leaning over the bar he grabs two shot glasses and a bottle of Wild Turkey, walks back into the poolroom. He puts the shot glasses on top of the pin ball machine. "We have a winner, " the pin ball machine announces. Dell fills the glasses.

"Felix came in the other day, he's taken it hard," Bob tells him.
Bill Wain knock down four times in the sixth round, he lost consciousness in the dressing room, and died at the hospital."

"I heard. What's the longest you went without sleep? Jack asks.

"Oooohhh, five, six days, who knows, after awhile you lose all track of time."

They take the shots and throw them down.

"I wonder if animals dream," Jack wants to know. "I wonder if dogs dream."

"Sure, they do, " O'Malley assures him, nodding his head up and down, "dogs, cats, squirrels, birds."

"Probably not insects."

"Why not? June bugs, fleas, even moths, it's all biochemical, dreams are biochemical, mix the right combination of certain chemicals, electric impulses, and you'll produce love and dreams."

                                          
     

Jack Delleto goes into his room above the bar, studies it. The light from the unshaded lamp on the nightstand casts a huge shadow of him onto the adjacent wall. Not much to the room, a sink with a mirror above it next to a dresser, a bed against the wall, a wooden chair in front of a narrow window.

The rain pounds the roof.

The apprehension grows. The panic turns into anger. Jack rushes the white wall, meets his shadow, explodes with a left hook. He throws the right uppercut, the overhand right, three left hooks. He punches the wall and his knuckles bleed. He punches and kicks the blood-stained wall.

At last exhausted, he collapses into the chair in front of the open window. Fist sized holes in the plaster revel the bones of the building. The room has been punched and kicked without mercy.

The austere room has won.

The yellow note pad, he needs the yellow note pad, finds it, takes the pencil from the binder but no words will come so he writes, "insomnia, the absence of dream." He reaches for the lamp on the nightstand, finds it, and turns off the light. Red and blue, blue and red, the neon from the Wagon Wheel Bar sign blinks soft neon into his room. The sign seems to pulsate to the cadence of the rock music coming from the bar.

Taking the big white pill from his shirt pocket, he swallows it, leans back into the chair watching the shadows of rain bleed down the wall. The darkness intensifies. Jack slides into the night.



                                           Chapter 14


The rain turns to snow.

With each step he takes the pain throbs in his arm and shoulder socket. His raw throat aches from the drafts of cold air he is ******* through his gaping mouth and although his legs ache he does not turn to look back. Jack must keep punching holes with his ice axe, probing the snow to avoid a fall into an abyss.

The pole of the ice axe falls effortlessly into the snow, "**** it, another one."

Moonlight coats the glacier in an irridecent glow and the mountain looms over him. It is four in the mourning and Jack knows he needs to be high on the mountain before the mourning sun softens the snow. He moves carefully, quietly, humbly to avoid a fall into a crevasse. When he reaches the top of the couloir the wind begins to howl.

"DA DA DUN, DA DA DUN, HEY PURPLE HAZE ALL AROUND MY BRAIN..."

Jack thinks the song is in his head but the electric guitar notes float down through the huge blocks of ice that litter the glacier and there standing on the arête is Jimi, his long dexterous fingers flying over the guitar strings at 741 mph.

"Wait a minute, " Jack wonders, stopping dead in his tracks. The sun is hitting the distant, wind-blown peaks. "Ah, what the hell," and Jack jumps in strumming his ice axe like an air guitar, singing, shouting, "LATELY THINGS DON'T SEEM THE SAME, IS THIS A DREAM, WHATEVER IT IS THAT GIRL PUT A SPELL ON MEEEE, PURRPPLLE HAZZEEE."


                                        
     


Slowly the door moans open.

"Jack, are you awake?" her voice startles him.

"Yeah, I'm awake."

"What's the matter, can't sleep?"

Jack sifts position on the chair. "Oh, I can sleep all right." He recognizes the voice of the shadow. "I want to climb to a high mountain through ice and snow and never be found."

"A heart that's empty hurts, I miss you, Jack Delleto."

"I'm glad someone does, I miss you, too, Kate."

There is silence for several minutes and the voice comes out of the darkness again.

"Jack, you forgot something that night."

"What?" The dark shape moves towards him. When it is in front of him, Jack stands, slips his arms around her waist.

"You didn't kiss me goodbye."

Her lips are soft and warm. Her arms tighten around his neck and the warmth of her body comes to him through the cold night.

"Jack, what's the matter?" She raises her head to look at him, "Why, you're crying."

"Yeah, I'm crying."

"Don't cry Darlin," her lips are soft against his ear. "I can't bear to see you unhappy, if you love me, tell me you love me."

"I love you, I do," he whispers softly.

"Hold me, Jack, hold me tighter."

"I'll never let you go." He tries to hug the shadow.


                                          
      *


The dread grows into an explosion of consciousness. Suddenly, he sits up ******* in the cold drafts of air coming into the room from the open window. Jack Delleto gets up off the chair and walks over to the sink. He turns on the cold water and bending forward splashes water onto his face. Water dripping, he leans against the sink, staring into the mirror, into his eyes that lately seem alien to him.



                                            Chapter 15


Someone approaches, Jacks turns, looks out the open door, sees Joesph Martin go shuffling by wearing a faded bathrobe and one red slipper. Jack hears Martin 's door slam shut and for thirty seconds the old man screams, "AAHHH, AAAHHH, AAAHH."
Then the building is silent and Jack listens to his own labored breathing.

A glance at the clock. It is a few minutes to 7 a.m. Jack hurries from his room into the hallway.  They pass each other on the stairs. The big man is coming up the stairs and Jack is going down to see O'Malley.

Jack has committed a trespass.

When the big man reaches the top of the stairs, the red exit light flickers like a votive candle above his head. The man slides the brim of his Giants baseball cap back and forth across his forehead, he turns and looks down, "Hello, Jack, brother. Dad loved you, too, you know." An instant later the sound of a door closing echoes down the hallway steps.


Jack Delleto is standing in the doorway at the bottom of the steps looking out onto the wet, bright street.

"Hey, Jack, man it's good to see you, glad to see you're still alive."

Jack turns, looks over his shoulder, "Felix, how the hell are you?"
The two men shake hands, then embrace momentarily.

"Ah, things don't get any better and they don't get any worse," shrugs the old man and then he smiles but his brown eyes are dull, and Jack can smell the cheap wine on the breath of the old boxer. "When are comin back? Man, you've got something, Kid, and we're going places."

"Yeah, Felix, I'll be coming back."  Jack extends his hand. The old fighter smiles and they shake hands. Suddenly, Felix takes off down Main Street towards Foodtown as if he has some important place to go.

Jack is curious. He sees the rope when he starts walking towards the Wagon Wheel Bar. One end of the rope is tied around the parking meter pole. The rest of the rope extends across the sidewalk disappearing into the entrance to the bar. The rattling of a chain catches his attention and when the huge white head of the dog pops out of the doorway Jack is startled. He stops dead in his tracks and as he spins around to run, he slips falling to the wet pavement.

The big, white mutt is curious, growls, woofs once and comes charging down the sidewalk at him. The rope is quickly growing shorter, stretches till it meets it end, tightens, and then snaps. Now, unimpeded by the tension of the rope the mutt comes charging down the sidewalk at Delleto. Jack's body grows tense anticipating the attack. He tries to stand up, makes it to his knees just as the dog bowls into him knocking him to the cement. The huge mutt has him pinned down, goes for his face.

And begins licking him.

Jack Delleto struggles to his knees, hugs her tightly to him. Looking over her shoulder, across Main Street to the graffiti painted on the boarded shut Delleto Market...

                               FANTASY WILL SET YOU FREE

                                                 The End

To Tommy, Crazy George and Snake, we all enjoyed a little madness for a while.


"Conversations With a Dead Dog..."
Thandiwe Oct 2013
From that brown bottle.
It was his grasp on that brown bottle that led him to say I’m beautiful.
He claimed to be enticed by my speech,
Claims I’m intelligent, cute and not typical.
Yet I ask where he is…his hold on that brown bottle,
Drove him back to his sanity.
He’s awoken and now realises his mistakes on conversing with this plum flabby copy.
How taken I was, believing him.
His words forming rainbows of hope, wishing things turn out different.
Simple for him to step on my terrain,
Inflict some pain…yet he holds high his brown bottle and still claims I’m beautiful.
Where there any sincere words? The way he held my hand, activities he’s over-used, girls now forget he just doesn’t understand.
My importance, your significance.
Just because he warmed your skin, rubbing you gently certainly doesn’t mean you are anywhere near his book of greatness.
That to him is spreading open and giving him a taste of your pride.
A taste and an unpleasant ride.
He’d unlock your chambers and take you on a walk of sin.
Once his seen your paradise, he’s gotten a bit from your ripe orange, he’ll either reside or seek sweeter oranges.
Amazing how he used the best known gestures,
Sweet, empty words that seep from his sweet lips.
Yet they puncture my ears.
And bring to life my buried fears, I can now confess.
It’s because of this new this sort of treatment that has cemented my heart.
Preventing me now from hearing my soul mate’s knock.
So hardened it has become that bottle-holders like him seem to be daily prescription.
Appealing addictions which keep luring me back into their ambition.
He held high his cigarette.
Blowing the smoke out from his **** lips…I’d fallen deep into his admission.
Highly appealing, he’d look deeply into my eyes and fish for my weakness.
Hoping I’d lead him to my paradise,
Funny enough, I let him look me in the eyes and allowed him to try and find gold.
Yes I possess gold.
Never seen nor told…
It was when he held that brown bottle he claimed I’m special.
I seek his warmth now…
Missing his prints on my skin though I know many women who carry some awe already have those ‘handsome prints’.
Certainly not making me unique or special.
You lied yet again.
Maybe those are measures you take to feel on top of your game.
It was all after you drank the contents of that brown bottle you found me beautiful.
Stating you enjoy  my company…little did I know that’s a line that’s escaped your lips more times then your Marlboro smoke.
Yet again you’ve successfully left me broke.
Have I lost this quest for love?
Early to wish for commitment the elders warned us about.
Thoughts so divine, that brown bottle introduced me to your beautiful mind,
I thank the brown bottle because this being uttered words unfamiliar to my ears.
Sad and pathetic as it is…I thank the brown bottle for introducing me to this being who told me I am beautiful.
Thandi Xaba
7 June 2008
Babygirl Nov 2019
Dear little brown boy, don’t be afraid.
Do you know how many times momma has prayed?
Surrounded by love and light in a world filled with hate.
Hands up, don’t speak, otherwise you’re guaranteed one fate.
Momma has to teach you things other boys your age don’t need to know…
It’s to make sure you’re safe when you go.

Dear little brown girl, don’t let them judge your dark skin.
God worked really hard, and gave momma a perfect girl free of sin.
You’re beautifully sculpted despite what they say.
You are deserving of love and respect, EVERY DAY!
There are things momma has to teach you, other girls don’t need to know..
So love your brown skin, because baby you glow.

Dear little brown boy, you’re growing up way too fast.
Momma wishes there was a spell she could cast…
One to let the world see your beautiful soul, and not the “weapon” they call skin..
Sadly, little brown boy, this is a war we won’t win.
Don’t let them change or break your spirit…
Because there are many in this world who will fear it…

Dear little brown girl, you’re getting so big and have plans for your life..
You talk of children, and being a wife..
Momma watches, knowing what the world will try to take…
Just don’t let them see how much you have to fake.
They will fear you babygirl when you walk by…
Don’t let them change you into the bad guy!

Dear brown babies, mommas got your back.
That perfect melanin skin, well momma won’t let it crack.
Dear little brown boy, you can be anything in this world you wanna be.
Football or basketball, aren’t the only things for you, don’t you see?
Dear little brown girl, let your soul shine through…
Because momma is here to support whatever you do..
Isabella Soledad Aug 2017
It was a hot summer morning in late August. The brick building in front of her was daunting. This was it. Her first day of high school. Her long brown hair swayed behind her. It brushed gently against the small of her back. Her heart pounded excitedly in her chest. A new adventure awaits her. An adventure filled with many smiles, and many hardships. This is the story of a girl in high school, with long brown hair.

-

Freshman year was fun for her. She made new friends, along with keeping a few of the old.  She met 3 people in her life who had a strange impact on her life, both good and bad.

One of these 3 was a girl. She was *****, and had different style, which enticed the girl with long brown hair. They were put in the same group, and began to talk. Soon after they became close friends, and had their first sleepover. It was the first sleepover of her high school year which wasn't with a friend from her previous school. She enjoyed it very much, and truly valued her new friend.

The two would often be seen together, and even made friends with two others who were like them. The two others were boys. One boy was a bit of a nerd with floofy hair and glasses. The other boy was a punk guy with long hair and darkened taste. The four would go to the mall together, and became inseparable.

The girl with long brown hair really liked these new friends. They were so much like her in so many ways, yet she also had others whom she enjoyed just as much. Freshman year went well for her. She was happy.

Sophomore year rolled around. Her confidence was high, and her relationships with her friends strong. She had made new valuable friends, and loved to do choir and theater.  She continued to make friends through her extra activities, along with keeping close to the ones from freshman year.

The ***** girl in her little friend group had met someone. A girl. They were in love, but the girl with long hair didn’t mind. They were still best friends throughout it- although the ***** girl drifted away as she was occupied with her partner. The boy with long hair and darkened taste told the girl with long hair that he loved her. She was scared, and told him she didn’t feel the same. He accepted it, but became depressed. Time passed by. He was always sad. The girl with long hair became closer to the boy with darkened taste. She wanted to fix him. She wanted to help him. He told her he loved her. He asked her to be with him. She hesitated out of fear. A little time went by. He asked again. She said yes.

-

They were happy. She made him happy for the first time in a while. He made her happy too. One night, the punk girl invited the girl with long hair and the boy with darkened taste to sleep over her house with her and her partner. They agreed. The four went to the beach. The night was foggy. The air was warm; the breeze cold. The boy with darkened taste and the girl with long hair fell in love.

Time passed. They were happy together. One night the girl with long hair had a terrible feeling. She had a panic attack. The boy with darkened taste was busy with a class he was taking. The girl called her best friend to panic. She calmed down.

The boy with the darkened taste called the girl with long hair. He yelled at her. “Why didn’t you come to me first?”.  He exclaimed. “You were busy. I didn’t want to interrupt you. I was panicking.” He scorned her. She cried the whole night. The next day, she didn’t eat. The school hosted a mass. The girl with long hair heard murmurings throughout the choir. Her best friend had gotten in a severe accident. Her car rolled over. She panicked. The boy with darkened taste apologized to her for fighting. He promised to not do it again. She believed him. He asked for forgiveness. A little time went by. He asked again. She said yes.

Junior year began. The girl had one friend left. The summer was fun for her, but not in a way that was healthy. She had stayed with the boy with darkened taste. She thought she loved him. She thought he loved her. She was wrong. The beginning of the year was rough. He yelled at her a lot. He didn’t trust her. He would often take her phone to read her messages. She wasn’t allowed to talk to other boys. He made her delete her social media. She wasn't allowed to talk to other friends. She threatened to leave him. He threatened to **** himself. She was stuck. She was scared. She was sad. They fought. He grabbed her. He wouldn’t let her go. She tried to yank her arm. He held tight. She wanted to leave. He wanted her to stay. He asked for her forgiveness. A little time went by. She said yes. This happened continuously. A short while later, they fought. She was used to him grabbing her. She was used to him forcing her. She tried to get away nonetheless. Then he hit her.

-

The girl with long brown hair was sick. She did not eat. Her friends whom she  cut off were worried. Her weight dipped to an unhealthy level. She thought the worst. She thought she couldn’t escape. She was wrong.

The end of junior year was her time. She escaped finally. She was not unscathed. The girl with long brown hair cut it all off. She needed a fresh start. It was symbolic to her. It helped her.

    The beginning of Senior year rolled around. The girl had healed a good amount, but not entirely. She had cut off communications with the boy with darkened taste.

He saw her in school. He spoke to her. He asked for forgiveness. The girl forgave him, although the wound was still fresh. He asked her to be with him again. A little time went by. He asked again. She said No.

Now the girl is a different person. She was wisened by her experience, and was able to forge some of her friendships with the friends she loves. Some relationships cannot be forged. She tries still. Nothing will be the same. She realizes that. She moves on. She is happy. Her weight is back to normal. She is healthy. She was no longer the same girl, with the long brown hair. She is a different girl. A more happy girl. Only now, She is the girl with short brown hair.
This is a Piece I wrote a while back. I figured why not post it on here.
Annie Oct 2021
big blue
big blue, two
two big blue to see
big blue sky
like crayon on canvas
crazy how big blue is
crazy how I have two blue
always drawn to
big brown
two big brown
drawn to brown like crayon
draws land
land under big blue
big sky
blue eyes
look for brown
land and
sea, too
crazy you
have brown
I have blue
we have two
you take blue crayon
I take brown
draw land on you and
you draw big
sky or sea
all over me
I am blue
brown is you
kissing crazy
cos now blue is brown
brown is blue
land has sea
sea makes sky
crazy crayons
blue brown eyes
you and
I.
11/10/21
J Nov 2020
Brown. I said brown was my favorite color. Deep, dark, opulent brown, like coffee, like the dirt, tree trunks, hair, the deepest of honey, like dark chocolate. Brown, I said. Brown, you remembered. But you see, as I've told you before, this color was associated with disgusting, horrid things. It was associated with a psychotic, abusive, manipulative, ****** person, associated with the screams and tears and blood left in his wake. I took the word, the letters, and I weaved them with meaning and memories and forever promises and the phrase "forever and always" which was something that used to be very important to me. I promised very few people that, and by few I mean one other aside from him, and that was Kenzie. I told them "I'll love you, forever and always." Kenzie and I made it first, and then we both made it to our partners, the partners that we believed would last. She's married now, with a kid, to that man, and I? Well, here I am now. I don't say it anymore, it means nothing to me now. Albeit brown is lovely, and after the said past promise-breaker left I tried not to think of it as eye color, I struggled to see it more akin to nature, as something natural. "Earthy tones, right?" You said earthy tones, without hesitation, when we were taking those online quizzes about personalities, it was the question was about my favorite color, so I know that you remember. "Browns and greens, right babe?" Greens and browns, the Earthy set colors, not those ****** betraying eyes of a Ryder. He told me my eyes were green. He often told me about the green storm that threatened to flood the very existence of himself. My eyes change color, according to friends. Brown, green, sometimes they get this weird blue color, sometimes they're two different colors, one being green and the other brown, but I'm not sure. But anyhow, I thought that was my pull. I thought that if I had to get specific and create the perfect person for myself, I'd at least know what eyes I wanted them to have. You see, I love things that are underappreciated, everything in the category is something to admire, as long as you leave me out of it. But now, Sydney, now? Now I know, the hottest fires burn blue.

  To this, your eyes are no exception. Brown was the Earth, still is, and it's what lurks in trees, the ground, the beverages and food we ingest, but Frenchie, love, eyes like yours? They burn those trees, the grass, physical objects, and then they demand hearts to ashes. They turn universes upside down, OH LOVE! your eyes drive people mad- they drive ME mad. Eyes like yours BURN, not the freeze everyone swoons about. Your eyes don't drip tears, they let off smoke in warning, and though the flame may seem like a liquid, it's not in any sense. Your blue is not the sky, your eyes are not something to gaze at, half-mindedly wondering and completely misunderstanding. You're not something to zone out for, towards, or to. No, your blue needs to be watched carefully, your blue cannot be left unattended. Your eyes don't hold people captive, they don't make people pause and romanticize them(at least they shouldn't), they trigger the fight or flight. Your eyes are not sad, they are not the ocean. Fire is not something to jump into, nothing about it symbolizes drowning. Oh no, no no no, Frenchie, love, your eyes, YOU, are a force to be reckoned with. Hell's fire, that's what I see rather than some stupid cliche body of water, Satan envies the heat. They're not something to submerge yourself in, they won't clean or wash away the sins I have, they'll burn the physical, mental, and emotional flesh, and then said flesh will wilt off, simply floating away as if they were petals stolen by the wind. Burnt ashy peach petals, that's all to be thought of the skin, hair, thoughts that are charred. Hear me, lovely, eyes like yours make the cigarette burns seem like a mosquito bite, they make blades dancing across skin feel like kisses, they make these thoughts of hate feel like vows of forever in love. Your eyes betray those who don't pay attention, because, yes, at a first glance, they're like the ocean. They're like an ocean, I mean, if you're basic and OH WOW BLUE! BLUE EQUALS SKY! BLUE EQUALS OCEAN! Oh yes, yes! The same way that salt looks like sugar, like coke looks like tea, just like water looks like bleach, the way that I look like a girl, but, ****, I don't know what the hell I am. They have similarities, but we all know there's a significant difference. Your eyes **** a soul, your choice on how rapidly this happens, though, and it lets the soul believe it's in love with the feeling. Being in love with the feeling of decomposing, can you imagine? I know I can. I suppose I don't need to be telling you this, do I? Because you knew. You've always known that part of you didn't come from the ocean, but much much lower. Hades granted you this gift, no turning back now. But I suppose I'm fine with others mistaking blue for water, I'll know the truth, I'll know some part of you in this writing, even though you've admitted I don't know you at all. Maybe I'll find you out, hell, maybe I won't. Regardless, my lips forever will work to light those eyes of yours up, I'll always be your pyromaniac, but what's the difference between fascination and contemplated arson.

  Love, colorblind love, allow me to show you my colors as we find yours, yes? Will that be okay? You're so sure that I'm finding me, but all I've done is realized I'm coming back with pieces missing, even after doing something as simple as sleeping. I lose myself in my words, and then they flake off like trauma, which is to say they don't disappear at all, just bury themselves under the flesh that I yearn to flay. We don't know who we are, and maybe we're both losing ourselves, but we have to drop off some things to pick up more, don't we? Maybe I'm dark shades of brown, lighter even, or maybe I really am green, maybe I'm white. Until either of us really know, I'll show you exactly what you've been missing. You see, we'll lose ourselves to our respected colors, and from there we'll find each other again, and drain ourselves against one another to create something entirely new, just for us, and then we'll weave ourselves in and out of the universe until we're nothing, and yet everything. The greys that plague you, your little stand-ins for my obvious surroundings, will shine like neon, The colors, they'll take you in, pull you down, and you will bask in the glory your past kept hidden, you will be one with the colors you can't yet imagine. And through this, I'll be your glasses and your coordinator, I promise to magnify and guide. I will be your sword and your shield, love, use me as you wish and I'll take the damage. Whatever you need, whoever, whenever, I'll be here, I'll be it, I'll be yours, forever with my hand out for you to grab hold of, to steady or to comfort, and we can be better together, happy together, simply together. We can be safe, against anyone else, against the world if you'd rather, and I? I will show you this. I will hold you into the blues, into the greens, and in-betweens, past the whites and blacks and... and we will be the rainbow, you and I. Unlike anyone can be, I am here now, and I will paint you exactly what love should have been for you, what life should have been. It should have been soft, like silk, not rope. We accept the love we think that we deserve, and even though I'm not anywhere near that blasted rope, I know that's why you're with me, for I'm not exactly silk, either. I'm something of leather, perhaps. I'll make you feel beautiful, powerful, but I won't last there forever, you know. I'll flake off, you'll grow tired of the mask, you'll grow tired of me, but at least I'm not rope. And we both know that you wouldn't want the silk for yourself. But until I'm something in a pile that you can remember rather fondly, allow me to be the reason you're smiling and walking like that, leaving flames for a trail.

   I'll first show you a better white, white outside supremacy of course because white is nowhere near a dominant color to me, but I know that you've seen enough black for now. I will lay next to you in a field of lilies, snowdrops, hyacinths, dahlias, and daffodils with the beautiful floral scent filling our senses. We will be surrounded by all that is pure, soft, safe. Dandelion will fly around us, make a wish if you must, they'll fall everywhere; you can wish for everything in the world and still have excess seeds. On milk-colored cotton blankets, we'll gaze into the night sky, where foggy shapes spread around the chalky Moon, capturing Her beauty rather nicely. In this perfect world, Scorpio and Cancer will be right next to each other. Relax next to me, go ahead and put your guard down, as I weave my hand into yours, the peach and creams of your existence make me feel olive in comparison. I could be olive for you, but olives and milk don't go together, so perhaps I can be a soft caramel, very soft, I'm not too entirely tan, but I like the thought of that. It's further proof of my imperfections and proof of your opposite. Caramel and Cream. Beneath the pearly light, we shine quietly, soft glowing fae, you and I. We're goddess's, y'know. Crowns of the pale flowers on top of your head, now that I think about it they make you slightly coral in comparison, then lace down your arm, around your fingers, covering the parts you wish to hide. Can't you see you're a perfect representation of something to worship? Goddess of Comedy, of ****, of What Love Should Be, of Selflessness, of Cuteness, of Protection, of Not Knowing How To Control Anger, of Music, of Koalas, and I? Suppose I'm some sort of gender-neutral Goddess of Laughter, Magick, Crying, Being Overdramatic, maybe of Poetry, maybe of Avoiding Issues, maybe of Frogs, and maybe of Empathy. Oh yes, and I'll show you this. I'll show you the alabaster watercolors and paint and pencils, I'll show you how a Goddess paints the stars, but I won't ever(EVER) show you those ****** impressionable Crayolas again. They're childish in their waxy ways, Frenchie, and you don't deserve that anymore. White Crayolas are pointless and deceiving anyway, aren't they? You deserve so much more, so much better, so, I shall provide stability and vision.

  And this? I will show you.

  Because words are empty. And you need to see to believe it.

  You see, I am in debt of your presence. I am in scars of your truths. That might not make sense. To explain, I try so very hard to keep my own blank face when you're talking to me because I'm afraid I'll give you the wrong expression. You need understanding, not to be singled out and felt like an outcast the way that I know you feel already. I do this because I know what you've been through, but you say I don't, that I would never get it. Maybe not in exact ways, but I do in some fashion. But I don't know you, so maybe I'm just blathering. Anyways, I try to keep a straight face, hearing of your abuse, your insecurities, your everything that you slowly open to me. Do you know how that makes me feel? I'll tell you. I'm angry that such things could be done to you. You don't see this, I make sure of it, but it takes everything in me not to hunt them down, Sydney, because why. WHY. Why would anyone do such a thing.. to you? To you. You didn't deserve it. ****, no one does, but you especially didn't. Hearing this pains me emotionally, mentally, physically. But I keep a straight face, please don't assume it's because I don't care. Please never assume that it's because I'm bored with the topic. Because I do care, I care so ******* much, I just don't want to make you feel like I'm afraid. I'm not. The thought of losing you, THAT'S what scares me. The mere thought of you loving someone else the way that I love you, that's breaking away my soul with its phantom grip. I refuse to lose you, I can't. I don't think that you quite get this yet, but there's something about you that makes me worry so much that I get sick when you don't reply for mere seconds. It's like I need to constantly hear from you. Like if I don't, I'll be dead, alone, because I know better than most people how quickly a life can be taken. I know that I get mad easily and that sometimes my overdramatic selfishness gets overwhelming, but I really don't want to shove you away or make you annoyed by me. I just want to talk, and show you these flaws, so that you know I mean no harm, that I'm getting better, that I can be good for you. I also understand that such is impossible, you're bound to not want something about me, I know I won't match you in every way that you need. But I do want everything of you, I want your anger and your sadness and your insecurities. I want you in tears for me, because I know I will always be here to clear them up for you, but I always hope to never be the cause of your crying. I will never purposely make you cry, I will never try to make you leave me(unless I think that it's best if you do so). You say that I helped you, that I was the reason you felt that it was good you're not dead. One of them, I know, but still. When you wrote for me, it was something interesting. You see, people don't write for me. They write for themselves, they write about themselves, they write to feel quirky, they rarely write about others, hell I know I do. I don't get written about, and if I do it's lies. He-who-shall-not-be-named wrote a few things for me. In his letters or texts, promising his life to me, vowing that he'd never leave, never hurt me, never cheat on me. He gave me empty words and full-blown everything else if you catch my drift. He showed me that words were nothing, never to trust them. "I love you" is the biggest and most frequent lie that I get told. But something in me believes you when you say it. Because you said it without getting anything back for such a long time. You could have given up, moved on, walked away, but you didn't. You stuck by me, even when you had the world of people you could go with, you wanted me. Me. And so I owe you at least a little bit of trust when you say that you love me, and doing so should make you see that when I say it back I also mean it. I've never written this much for anyone, you make me want to write even if it all sounds ******* cliche and mushy.

  Deep breath.  

  I will kneel for you, Goddess, and be here, waiting. Here, ready. Here, open for you. Pick me apart, I'll show you my inner mechanisms, do with me as you please. I'm going to work for this, just give me time. I don't know you, you don't know me, that's what we agreed with. We hide behind these words, YOU DON'T KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT ME! because we're afraid that if we DO know something about the other, we'll die for it. We'll be hurt because knowing is knowledge and lack of something new to tell is weakness, is it? That's what you've been taught, that is what I've been taught, but listen. I have nothing to hurt you with. You've always known that you're stronger than me. I can't hurt you, right? I can't.
  
  I will always be full of stories, as will you, just tell me them. Just talk, I'll be quiet for once, you can tell me everything. You offer to listen to mine, say that you want to hear about me, but God let me just distract you so you'll talk about something, anything, else. I'm so stupid, I know you want to talk. I'll be quiet for once, let me work harder for you, I don't want to pretend that it's easier not to know you. We have to know each other. We have to, don't you want to stay with me? I know now that it is I who is the toxic one, let me try to be better for you. You told me that you didn't think that I stopped cheating, that I stopped being toxic because I met you, but I did. Sydney, I did. Or at least I've gotten better. I don't cheat, I've never cheated on you. I won't. But I know that you said that only because you were mad and overthinking. Or maybe you really meant it, I know everything that you said had some truth to it. I'd let you in if I could. Truth is, I'm an open book. For ****'s sake, I'm emptying this **** onto a ******' website, I don't have any ****** secrets. . . okay, I have a few, but only because I don't know how to bring them up. And yes, there's a lot of my past that you don't know, but there's also a lot of yours that I don't know. You have secrets you'll never tell, this is just truth, everyone does, yes? Do you want to know everything? If it will make you feel better, I'll tell you the world, the world of J, everything, you can have all my secrets, I'll be nothing but empty for you, you can have me. Would you like that?

  I'll erase the past lovers who made me fear, made me mad, made me, well, me, just for you. I won't mention him anymore, just don't leave me, okay? I'll stop talking about it, I'll stop getting so mad at you, I'll stop twisting your words, I never meant to. I never meant to. I always seem to make you feel as if you can't open up. You can. You can open to me, always, forever. Please. I can be better. Just for you. Always for you, only for you, please. I'm sorry. I say that so often, but that doesn't mean it has any less meaning, I am sorry. Quite often, I admit. I'm sorry for thousands, millions, trillions of things. I promise I'll get better with that, for you, just tell me how, tell me what to do, I will. I'll do anything. See, my past people weren't good at many things. Some could write a bit, some could sing, or both, or neither. Some could just talk right. But they all were good at one thing: leaving a scar. I remember you compared your past lovers to people with rentals, aka you, that they trashed. I think that if I could compare them to anything, they were feelings that I couldn't quite let go of because I knew that if I did, I wouldn't know what to do. I liked fear, maybe, I liked being hurt. I was used to it, it felt like little kisses, it meant they loved me. Manipulators do that, they make you feel like you need them until, bam, it's been almost a year and ****, you're alive aren't you? I feel things too deeply. One person's favorite thing would become an obsession for me. I don't know if that will change, because here I am telling you that, honey, you can be my addiction. But I wouldn't compare you to you a drug. Not the way Edward called Bella ******, how toxic, you're not ******. You're wine. You're champagne. You're "Veuve Clicquot." I know I don't really have to say this, but drugs are ******. They make you feel ******, that's why I won't ever relate you to them. You don't make me feel ******, not always. Admittedly so, sometimes you upset me, and sometimes you make me want to die, but that really is more along the lines of my fault, because we know me- I'm really overdramatic. And you, you say you're bad, that you're entirely something to stay away from. I think that's funny, really, cause I'm an alcoholic, I've bathed in poison, and Honey? You don't have its burn. I'll say it, you're not perfect, not in a sense that everyone will understand, but you are to me. Even your unobvious toxins are things that I find perfect. See, those things, they're deep down, but you're not toxic, you're not entirely deadly. But of course, you can be, if not handled with care. Though everyone can be as well, so please stop acting as if you're something that needs to be locked away from people. You're a person, a good person. Stop telling me that I'll never understand you. If you want to shove me away, my goodness, keep trying, but I've been told much worse by my own self, love, and I love being degraded. You're safe with me, and I will love you, though I know my affections can be quite unorthodox. You're my drink, not my drug, but somethin' I'm very much so addicted to. You feel good going down, hell you make me feel like a ****** lightweight, but god you show me what it means to be carefree, warm, happy, it's like I can do no wrong. You feel right for me. So, I'll drink and drink, and I'll dance and dance, soft yellow, and you? You will be swaying beside me. Mixing our hopes with our pride, you and I can twirl.

  "Distance makes the heart say you want her, distance makes the heart grow fonder."

  Regardless of the forevers between us, infinity called miles, I want you. Even though you **** me off really often, I want you. I don't like you sometimes, but I want you. I think that you're perfect for me, but I want to choke you. Often. But I mean it lovingly because I want you. See, I'm allowed to choke you, I'm allowed to want to at least, but no one else is. I don't actually dislike you in the slightest, I just think I have a lot to work out with myself. I didn't actually mean it when I said that I hated the things that you loved. I think the word was envy. I envy the things that you love, I envy being able to like things, being able to handle things, because **** I can't handle anything for large amounts of times. And I do envy the things you love because some part of me(I'm sure there's a name for it somewhere) wants to be the only one, the only thing for you.  I get frustrated so easily, I'm ****** I know. I'm so ****** used to being in this little fantasy I have for myself that I don't know what it really means to be in this reality. People don't act the way I want them too, I lose control of everything when I find I can't make people do as I please. In my world, you love me completely, so completely that you don't need anyone but me. But in reality, if anyone left your life, you'd break down.
In reality, you don't need me. You just happen to want me, you love me right now, but you don't need me. I'm not oxygen, or food, or water. And to be honest, even if I was, you'd be able to live without me for a bit. You avoid those things anyhow, don't you? I want you to see that I do love you, that I do want you, that I would never cheat on you or hurt you in that way because I want to be different from what you're used to with your lovers. I want to be something that you remember quite fondly if we don't end well. I want you to be able to say, "yeah. Yeah, they weren't ALL bad. There was this one person... J, I think, yeah. J. They weren't too bad."

  See, you're a blue flame that tastes like that yellow champagne, but I'm Agave Reposado. I mellow as I age. My natural citrus and spice round out as I grow, creating these complex notes of dry chocolate, chilies, vanilla, and cinnamon. Some prefer me with mixes of something else, say Cognac or wine, which might **** with my flavors even more. Parts of me are hardy enough to support cocktails, while the subtler parts are best sipped neat or over ice. Take that information and do what you will with it. I only speak these words so they'll have some sort of meaning to you. I taste like that gold tequila, but I'm nothing more than a candle.

  "I know we'll never grow old together, cause you'll never grow old to me."

  I will want you until you decide you don't need me, and, even then, I'll want you. YOU. You alone. You, Sydney Grace Collins. Because once I love, Darlin, I don't stop until something dies. The things that usually do are patience, longing, energy, faith. Will you get tired of me, no longer wish to see me, be finished with my absolute *******, not trust that we will last any longer? Will you wake up one day, see me and realize, "****. I'm done. I don't want THIS. I don't want this anymore, ever again." I said not until something like that dies, but I don't really think that I'll stop. I don't think that it matters if you love me or not, because I'm going to love you. I mean, it definitely matters if you do or don't, but it doesn't affect the way that I feel. See, when you stop loving me, I'll pretend I never did. But I'll know the truth, and when you read or hear this you will too. If I cared about you, even after you-know-who and everyone before him, it means that you're something very special to me. Even though I really wish I didn't give a ****. It would just be easier that way, I think, easier not to want you or care or worry, I would much rather not ever worry about you again. BUT. We both know it's not really something that I can choose, so until YOU leave and cover up your tracks, because I can be a hella good FBI agent,(or stalker, whatever you wanna call me) you're stuck with me, huh? Which shouldn't be taken as a bad thing, being stuck with me, and if it is I think that maybe I should probably tone it down, but, seriously, when have I ever really toned anything down?

  I can think of at least two times where you've asked me why I love you, what draws me to you, and I think that I've finally ******' figured it out. It's your laughter, love. It's like I said before, you do that cute little wheeze when you laugh before the cute musical notes of the actual giggle erupt, and in the middle of this, you find ways to take breaths. You toss your head back, and then you double over before you proceed to rock back and forth like that. I love seeing you happy. I love seeing you be THAT happy, and I like that most of the time that I see you do that is because I make you, I give you a reason to. I can't really deal with things other than laughing at them or making jokes, it's a serious flaw of mine, but I like that it can help you sometimes because, hell, you can't deal with your **** much either. It's the way that your eyes crinkle when you smile at me, or the hopeful look on your face when you sing, or the eager face you make when you're talking, or the simple resting ***** face, or the way you sleep, breathe, exist. It's the way that you reach for leaves with your burning touch, you reach for things that fall eventually on there, and you save them when you tuck them into your pockets. Little stars, little shooting stars we'll call them. It's the way that you can brush off an entire tree falling on you, but heaven forbid a leaf fall on your loved ones. It's the way that your anger flares when something happens to hit you the wrong way. It's the way that you dance. It's the way that you eat. It's the way that you talk, sound. It's the way that you tuck your issues down into that same pocket as if your crumbling life was a loose strand of hair falling onto your face.

  I like that about you, about how you bottle things up, sweep them away, avoid things. I love it, really, because I've always liked to research, to figure things out, and I know that I'm not too good right now, but I'm going to help you. Oh, yes, I am. I'm going to figure you out. Run away from the words I'm saying, but it's true. And you'll either accept that, or we'll fall apart. Not because I want to, but that's what happens without communication. You've gotten so very good at talking about your issues though, so so so very good, love, and I'm so very proud of you, not to mention grateful. But I know that it barely scratches the surface of that pain, I know because you've told me. So tell me, blue flame, where's the source? Where do I patch up, where do I sow, and what can I do to make sure it doesn't happen, let me help you. I want to patch you up, and then I want to love the scars. There's nothing wrong with you, did you know that? Nothing at all. You're perfect. I love everything about you, even the things that I don't know about you, I love them. All your secrets and thoughts and plans, I love them. I yearn to be a part of them, but I know that takes time. I'll wait, and I respect it but don't ever forget that I am right here, even if I won't understand the pain I know that it's relieving to be able to just ******' talk about it. I'll listen.

  You're so ******* important to me.

  Look at me, baby. No, seriously, look at me. I want you to keep this in mind, love, this face, the look of my room, how I talk when I tell you all this **** that goes on in my head, look at how I'm opening for you, for YOU. Remember this round, unorderly face. See my eyes, love, as I read this to you, this other poem-related thing I'm writing, notice how wide they get? They're passionate, they are, do you see that? Passionate because of you, the thought of YOU, love for YOU. Do you see how your hoodie looks on me, and if it isn't on at the moment, your chain. Look at me. I will make you want to stay, look how tiny I can be for you. You can put me into your pocket too if you'd like. I can make you want to stay, right? I can make you miss me, I know it. When you do leave, I'll make sure I haunt you with this voice, these eyes, these I-love-you vibes, Darlin, you won't leave without an extra soul following. Cause you're gonna remember, you're going to remember me even if it kills us. You'll remember the way it felt when my lips crashed into yours, you'll remember laying in my lap while my hands roamed your face, you'll remember it all. You see, I don't remember things very well. For instance, I don't remember exactly when I first realized I loved you, which was after I had loved you but before I could admit it to myself much less to you. I only remember wanting to hold you, the times where you were the only one that could make me happy, and I know that's still how it is, at least on my end. Something about you makes the green storm halt. I don't remember what made me want to say that I loved you back, but I do remember trying to find something funny, just to say, to show, so that I could watch you laugh again. I love your laugh, Sydney Collins, I love you. I don't remember what made me fall for you exactly, but I do remember noticing you were being quiet when I finally stopped talking about myself once, and I remember knowing that I would do anything to make sure that you're okay again. See, I **** at really helping, but I want to, believe me. I want to help so many things. I want to help the voices and the thoughts get easier. I want to help the anger and loneliness, I want to help you. I want to be YOUR person. Forever. I want to protect you, let me check under your bed for beasts, back into the closet I go for monsters, I REMEMBERED, but you see, you don't need me to do the second part. The secrecy and skeletons, the ones you lay to rest, you keep it shut for a reason, don't you? Locked and sealed, like your mouth, never opened long enough for anyone to know what's going inside, but I will check regardless, and if you say, " J, don't say **** about that body," I'll smile and ask "what body?" and shut the doors, find my way back to you, and tell you that you hide the smell very well. Because I'm on your side, love, I'm not the enemy. And, just so you know, I always bring a shovel with me, should you need it. Closets can only hold so much, and you'd understand that, wouldn't you? Wouldn't we? GOODNESS! My heart is ******' POUNDING.

  You make me see gold when things are black.

  We are Not Veronica and JD.

  I have to admit something to you. When you talk like, oh it's happened so rarely, but like.. that. I freak the **** out because, wow! how do you do that to me? DO I DESERVE IT? No, no, no. OH, no I don't, I could never. I don't deserve a lot of the things that you tell me. But I think of you, I think of you so often. When I'm alone, I imagine you're touching me, I think I need your touch. You breathe sometimes and these knees buckle and this heart swoons and I cry out "ASEXUAL" because holy ******* **** *** with women seems so scary, and oh **** how do I hold myself back. I just want to see you smile, hear you breathe a sigh of relief, and listen to your sweet nectar laugh when flattered by one of my compliments. I want to feel the warmth of your skin while your body is wrapped around mine, and hear the beat of your heart while I lay against your chest, though I'm happy if you'd listen to mine instead, I know how you prefer to lay. I want to watch your chest rise and fall as you sleep and kiss you until you wake up. I want to feel safe with you. I want to feel...small.. with you if you get what I'm saying. I want to trust you.

  Let's talk about our issues from now on, rather than ignoring each other, please.

  I really don't care if I have to cross a sea of vulnerabilities and emotion, I would do it all for that time you said that my, MY, smile made you happy. Because when you're happy, I'm happy. And ****, my chest feels all fluttery whenever our eyes meet, and jeez I'm just a frikity freakin' mess whenever you make me laugh, and GOD I love it when you call me baby or princess or kitten or whatever name because hell I don't have to be a girl for those names to mean the world. I'd love anything that you call me, just as long as I can call you mine, still. I will say this, love, I will tell you that I'm gay, just for you. I'm a ******, I'll scream, until my mouth grows numb, tongue forgets how to speak, teeth rot out. Until I die I will cry your name, and from then I'll sign it, and you'll teach me how won't you? I will never NOT want you, Sydney. You're part of my life now, a big part of it, and that means that even five years from now I will remember you. We can't go back, now, these are important memories. I'll write I love you until my fingers forget how to hold, how to touch, how to be fingers, I'll write until said fingers break and ******, I'll write until my fingers forget how your hands feel wrapped in mine, until my poems no longer reek these cliche pitiful words, and then I'll continue because I will never stop. I will look for more ways to make sure that you are HERE! In my heart, in my eyes, in my head.

  "All I wanted was you."

  There are very few things that I can be sure about, and one of the only things that I'm sure about is the fact that I mean it when I tell you that I love you. YOU cannot help how I feel, and, quite frankly, neither can I. Nothing will change it unless I want it to, and of course, why would I want that? your voice whispers a gentle need back, I know you feel this too. So I beg of you to call me a thousand, billion, trillion times, tell me that you want me, too, just me, only me, that you love just me, only me. Babe, I'll write your name times infinity between each phrase, I will love you more than you love me, and you'll drown, fire child, in my love. you'll hiss, I'll cool you down, but I will not ***** you.

  For I am just a candle.

  And you're the flame that takes me away.
sometimes I just feel like writing, and that's okay. usually, it isn't much. I struggled with a title for this, so I just started to write until it was okay again. I think that some of these things don't really make sense, but I scramble to hold the things I write. They escape a lot. I read this to her out loud, she said that she had never been compared to a flame, not like this. she said that her ex compared her eyes to the ocean, so when I said, "they are not the ocean, not something to jump into" she smiled. that made me happy to know, that I did something like this right.

I edited this a lot after reading it to her, and after listening to what she said. I apologized. I told her "Yeah... Yeah, apologize. Words are ****. But that's all I have. Yknow? I'm sorry. I'm sorry for assuming that I knew you, for saying that "I get it" even though I couldn't possibly get it. I'm sorry that you're losing yourself, and that I twist your words when you try to talk about me, or about your ex's, or about anything. I'm sorry that I'm one of the people around you that's always ******* up their arm. I'm sorry that you think I won't love you unless you're funny. I'd love you even if you were a tomato. I'd love you even if you were coffee. I'd love you even if you were my worse nightmare. I'm sorry that I got mad, I didn't understand, I'll try to be better with that. I'm sorry that I took you listening to music as you not wanting to talk to me, I forgot that you have other things. You're more than what meets the eye, I'm sorry I forgot that, I'm sorry I assumed things. I'm sorry that I won't understand your mind, I only ask that you help me try. I'm sorry for shutting you down. And mostly I'm sorry that you think I never changed from my past, that I'm still toxic, that you don't doubt I'll cheat or have. I haven't. I won't. I'm sorry that I'm toxic, I'll fix it, I'll get better. I'm sorry that I said I tell you things that everyone knows. I'm an open book, like you said I'm easy to read. I shouldn't have said it in that way, truly I have nothing to hide. I'm sorry that I keep repeating my past mistakes. I'm sorry. And I love you."
She was supposed to call me, but she didn't get the chance to. it's almost three in the morning, I'm pretty sure she's sleeping. I'm very glad she is, though, because I know her insomnia has made it really rough on her.
anyhow, enjoy yet another one of my entries.
would you even call what I write poetry?
Elisa Holly Aug 2018
Brown eyes staring at the wall
Waiting for it all to crash to the ground
Empty bottles scattered all around
I lay my head real close to hear your breath sound.

But I know, I know its just to get to the other side.
My my, pretty brown eyes.
My my, pretty brown eyes.
Don't you see the dreams you can have?
Stop seeking this fog thats dragging you back.

I watch the glaze melt from your gaze.
Clarity brings tears of sincerity.
You crawl to the floor in search of that last drop.
Only to call a man to take you to your next stop.

But I know. I know its just to get to the other side.
My my, pretty brown eyes.
My my, pretty brown eyes.
Don't you know the life you can have?
Stop seeking this fog thats dragging you back.

Brown eyes open to the sky.
A white sheet covers them as they all pass by.
My heart sinks as the sirens turn off.
All I know is another soul is lost.

But I know. I know its just to get to the other side.
My my, pretty brown eyes.
My my, pretty brown eyes.
Didn't you see the love that you had?
You sought this fog that only drug you back.

My my, pretty brown eyes.
My my, pretty brown eyes.
******.
HeyitsAngel Nov 2019
The Brown eyed girl
She smiles as he looks at her
She is just an ordinary Brown eyed girl
Oh how she wishes she didn't have brown eyes
The Brown eyed girl wanders with her pen in her hand
Hoping to write something extraordinary
The Brown eyed girl
Wishes for someone to love her with her brown eyes
The Brown eyed girl glances as the boy with extraordinary eyes
The Brown eyed girl is a writer
Underneath those brown eyes
Is a girl that has a bright heart
The Brown eyed girl
Hales May 2016
I've never liked the color brown
It has always seemed too weird to me..
In art brown can be made by mixing every color together and waiting to see what happens..

I ruined some of my best paints that way.

In earth brown is the tree bark, sometimes the fur of a small animal
Sometimes brown is the pile of dung you stepped in playing in your yard as a little kid.

Brown reminds me of the smell of a cow pasture
some people find it comforting
I just find it disgusting

I thought I could never love someone with brown eyes, for I even hated my own golden brown eyes.

But then I say him
He was perfect
everything about his was something I desired
everything from his hair to the small things like his country accent that got me so captured

The first thing  noticed when I saw him was his eyes
His big beautiful brown eyes
They were so mysterious and there was whirlpool of emotion entwined inside
I could see into them like open doors and I got lost in them
I loved his eyes
more than I thought i could ever love anything that shade of brown.

*I still hate my eyes
but the thought of his eyes bring me such joy.
The thought of the chocolate eyes that made me so happy and I fell so hard for.
I miss you
Syddy Raye Apr 2014
Behind brown eyes a shadow walks
Children love
And hearts break
Behind brown eyes blood is spilled
Secrets are kept
And lies are like oxygen
Behind brown eyes are left over feelings when
She kills herself inside
And buries the hatchet
Behind brown eyes lies a secret
Blood that burns
And metal that soothes
Behind brown eyes hunger waits
For an answer
And the answer never comes
Behind brown eyes lies Ana
Ana who is cold
And Ana who lies
Behind brown eyes is a broken soul
Who believes she is unfixable
And believes she is unloveable
Behind brown eyes lies me
Łëïçkî Jan 2015
Hey. Do you know?
How lucky to be loved you are?
With your brown eyes, brown hair brown skin.

Hey. Did you know?
How lucky I am to be loved?
By the brown eyed, brown haired brown skin.

Hey. Did you know?
I am loved.
By the brown brown brown boy.
Jeremy Washko May 2016
Brown eyes, Brown eyes so tempting to the touch. But just to be lost in your eyes for a moment, more than a spark is lit all my senses electrified as I light up. Brown eyes, Brown eyes just the thought of your kiss. It's more than enough to send me floating away in a skyward ship. But not to worry you've got me ******* and set free at the same time, I'll always return to you in a whisp. Brown eyes, Brown eyes so dangerous to the core. When I imagine a life beside you, I couldn't think of anything I'd want more.
So Brown eyes , Brown eyes I hope you have a great day, just know that I'm falling in love with you so simply put and complicated that way. But I'll figure it all out remember I think about your Brown eyes everyday...
1.
Skin: Dark brown
Hair: Long, curly, graying brown
Eyes: Hazel, small
Height: Very tall
Weight: Fairly muscular
Build: Somewhat narrow

2.
Skin: Pale
Hair: Mid-length, straight, graying auburn
Eyes: Brown, somewhat small
Height: Tall
Weight: Somewhat thin
Build: Somewhat narrow

3.
Skin: Fair
Hair: Long, curly, black
Eyes: Dark brown, average-sized
Height: Tall
Weight: Fairly muscular
Build: Narrow

4.
Skin: Light brown
Hair: Mid-length, wavy, graying light brown
Eyes: Brown, somewhat small
Height: A little short
Weight: Fairly muscular
Build: Somewhat narrow

5.
Skin: Medium brown
Hair: Mid-length, wavy, brown
Eyes: Dark brown, average-sized
Height: Tall
Weight: Fairly muscular
Build: Average
Sky May 2018
color isn't just the sky, i know that.
the rain, the snow, and all the blues
along with the different hues that
make me
(and you)

color isn't just all niceness, although
there's many a nice (and a vice) that
throws its body behind
its color, like (for instance) the deep dark red of
lust, or blood

color isn't just a thing that's there and with
its cosmic strength and chroma-power,
just sits upon your face as if saying
"i'm not actually here."

but,
then what? was it before
(i won't lie) my friends said that among
the many guys i've liked?
you are? a bit, uh,
kind of different?
different kind of...? it was a bit
awkward, they said
you need your own
spectrum? what?
they said,
they said,
they said...

you're
brown.

and hah...
of course you're brown, of course-- you're not
just brown, you're
very brown and definitely positively
brown and yes, you're
one of them, and of course! that matters, yes,
it matters that
you're one of
them.

(brown) (brown?) (brown.)

and of course i'm not brown, i'm just
very not brown, i'm very unlike you and
very yellow, definitely positively
yellow and you know what? of course
that matters. that i'm not one of
you and
rather, one of
them.

it's almost funny? how the sky
has always been very blue, the clouds
have always been definitely white, the grass
has always been positively green and yet
you? and you? you've definitely, positively
always been...

no,
you haven't.
always
been
brown.

but they said (i won't lie) to
open
my
eyes, and so
you know what?

i did.
what is color to you? to me, color is awkward feelings and beautiful nature. but more awkward feelings.
Mitchell Dec 2013
In the Fall, when the temperature of the Bay would drop and the wind blew ice, frost would gather on the lawn near Henry Oldez's room. It was not a heavy frost that spread across the paralyzed lawn, but one that just covered each blade of grass with a fine, white, almost dusty coat. Most mornings, he would stumble out of the garage where he slept and tip toe past the ice speckled patch of brown and green spotted grass, so to make his way inside to relieve himself. If he was in no hurry, he would stand on the four stepped stoop and look back at the dried, dead leaves hanging from the wiry branches of three trees lined up against the neighbors fence. The picture reminded him of what the old gallows must have looked like. Henry Oldez had been living in this routine for twenty some years.

He had moved to California with his mother, father, and three brothers 35 years ago. Henry's father, born and raised in Tijuana, Mexico, had traveled across the Meixcan border on a bent, full jalopy with his wife, Betria Gonzalez and their three kids. They were all mostly babies then and none of the brothers claimed to remember anything of the ride, except one, Leo, recalled there was "A lotta dust in the car." Santiago Oldez, San for short, had fought in World War II and died of cancer ten years later. San drank most nights and smoked two packs of Marlboro Reds a day. Henry had never heard his father talk about the fighting or the war. If he was lucky to hear anything, it would have been when San was dead drunk, talking to himself mostly, not paying very much attention to anyone except his memories and his music.

"San loved two things in this world," Henry would say, "*****, Betria, and Johnny Cash."

Betria Gonzalez grew up in Tijuana, Mexico as well. She was a stout, short woman, wide but with pretty eyes and a mess of orange golden hair. Betria could talk to anyone about anything. Her nick names were the conversationalist or the old crow because she never found a reason to stop talking. Santiago had met her through a friend of a friend. After a couple of dates, they were married. There is some talk of a dispute among the two families, that they didn't agree to the marriage and that they were too young, which they probably were. Santiago being Santiago, didn't listen to anybody, only to his heart. They were married in a small church outside of town overlooking the Pacific. Betria told the kids that the waves thundered and crashed against the rocks that day and the sea looked endless. There were no pictures taken and only three people were at the ceremony: Betria, San, and the priest.

Of course, the four boys went to elementary and high school, and, of course, none of them went to college. One brother moved down to LA and eventually started working for a law firm doing their books. Another got married at 18 years old and was in and out of the house until getting under the wing of the union, doing construction and electrical work for the city. The third brother followed suit. Henry Oldez, after high school, stayed put. Nothing in school interested him. Henry only liked what he could get into after school. The people of the streets were his muse, leaving him with the tramps, the dealers, the struggling restaurateurs, the laundry mat hookers, the crooked cops and the addicts, the gang bangers, the bible humpers, the window washers, the jesus freaks, the EMT's, the old ladies pushing salvation by every bus stop, the guy on the corner and the guy in the alley, and the DOA's. Henry didn't have much time for anyone else after all of them.

Henry looked at himself in the mirror. The light was off and the room was dim. Sunlight streaked in through the dusty blinds from outside, reflecting into the mirror and onto Henry's face. He was short, 5' 2'' or 5' 3'' at most with stubby, skinny legs, and a wide, barrel shaped chest. He examined his face, which was a ravine of wrinkles and deep crows feet. His eyes were sunken and small in his head. Somehow, his pants were always one or two inches below his waistline, so the crack of his *** would constantly be peeking out. Henry's deep, chocolate colored hair was  that of an ancient Native American, long and nearly touched the tip of his belt if he stood up straight. No one knew how long he had been growing it out for. No one knew him any other way. He would comb his hair incessantly: before and after a shower, walking around the house, watching television with Betria on the couch, talking to friends when they came by, and when he drove to work, when he had it.

Normal work, nine to five work, did not work for Henry. "I need to be my own boss," he'd say. With that fact stubbornly put in place, Henry turned to being a handy man, a roofer, and a pioneer of construction. No one knew where he would get the jobs that he would get, he would just have them one day. And whenever he 'd finish a job, he'd complain about how much they'd shorted him, soon to move on to the next one. Henry never had to listen to anyone and, most of the time, he got free lunches out of it. It was a very strange routine, but it worked for him and Betria had no complaints as long as he was bringing some money in and keeping busy. After Santiago died, she became the head of the house, but really let her boys do whatever they wanted.

Henry took a quick shower and blow dried his hair, something he never did unless he was in a hurry. He had a job in the east bay at a sorority house near the Berkley campus. At the table, still in his pajamas, he ate three leftover chicken thighs, toast, and two over easy eggs. Betria was still in bed, awake and reading. Henry heard her two dogs barking and scratching on her bedroom door. He got up as he combed his damp hair, tugging and straining to get each individual knot out. When he opened the door, the smaller, thinner dog, Boy Boy, shot under his legs and to the front door where his toy was. The fat, beige, pig-like one waddled out beside Henry and went straight for its food bowl.

"Good morning," said Henry to Betria.

Betria looked at Henry over her glasses, "You eat already?"

"Yep," he announced, "Got to go to work." He tugged on a knot.

"That's good. Dondé?" Betria looked back down at her spanish TV guide booklet.

"Berkley somewhere," Henry said, bringing the comb smoothly down through his hair.

"That's good, that's good."

"OK!" Henry sighed loudly, shutting the door behind him. He walked back to the dinner table and finished his meal. Then, Betria shouted something from her room that Henry couldn't hear.

"What?" yelled Henry, so she could hear him over the television. She shouted again, but Henry still couldn't hear her. Henry got up and went back to her room, ***** dish in hand. He opened her door and looked at her without saying anything.

"Take the dogs out to ***," Betria told him, "Out the back, not the front."

"Yeah," Henry said and shut the door.

"Come on you dogs," Henry mumbled, dropping his dish in the sink. Betria always did everyones dishes. She called it "her exercise."

Henry let the two dogs out on the lawn. The sun was curling up into the sky and its heat had melted all of the frost on the lawn. Now, the grass was bright green and Henry barely noticed the dark brown dead spots. He watched as the fat beige one squatted to ***. It was too fat to lifts its own leg up. The thing was built like a tank or a sea turtle. Henry laughed to himself as it looked up at him, both of its eyes going in opposite directions, its tongue jutted out one corner of his mouth. Boy boy was on the far end of the lawn, searching for something in the bushes. After a minute, he pulled out another one of his toys and brought it to Henry. Henry picked up the neon green chew toy shaped like a bone and threw it back to where Boy boy had dug it out from. Boy boy shot after it and the fat one just watched, waddling a few feet away from it had peed and laid down. Henry threw the toy a couple more times for Boy boy, but soon he realized it was time to go.

"Alright!" said Henry, "Get inside. Gotta' go to work." He picked up the fat one and threw it inside the laundry room hallway that led to the kitchen and the rest of the house. Boy boy bounded up the stairs into the kitchen. He didn't need anyone lifting him up anywhere. Henry shut the door behind them and went to back to his room to get into his work clothes.

Henry's girlfriend was still asleep and he made sure to be quiet while he got dressed. Tia, Henry's girlfriend, didn't work, but occasionally would put up garage sales of various junk she found around town. She was strangely obsessed with beanie babies, those tiny plush toys usually made up in different costumes. Henry's favorite was the hunter. It was dressed up in camouflage and wore an eye patch. You could take off its brown, polyester hat too, if you wanted. Henry made no complaint about Tia not having a job because she usually brought some money home somehow, along with groceries and cleaning the house and their room. Betria, again, made no complain and only wanted to know if she was going to eat there or not for the day.

A boat sized bright blue GMC sat in the street. This was Henry's car. The stick shift was so mangled and bent that only Henry and his older brother could drive it. He had traded a new car stereo for it, or something like that. He believed it got ten miles to the gallon, but it really only got six or seven. The stereo was the cleanest piece of equipment inside the thing. It played CD's, had a shoddy cassette player, and a decent radio that picked up all the local stations. Henry reached under the seat and attached the radio to the front panel. He never left the radio just sitting there in plain sight. Someone walking by could just as soon as put their elbow into the window, pluck the thing out, and make a clean 200 bucks or so. Henry wasn't that stupid. He'd been living there his whole life and sure enough, done the same thing to other cars when he was low on money. He knew the tricks of every trade when it came to how to make money on the street.

On the road, Henry passed La Rosa, the Mexican food mart around the corner from the house. Two short, tanned men stood in front of a stand of CD's, talking. He usually bought pirated music or movies there. One of the guys names was Bertie, but he didn't know the other guy. He figured either a customer or a friend. There were a lot of friends in this neighborhood. Everyone knew each other somehow. From the bars, from the grocery, from the laundromat, from the taco stands or from just walking around the streets at night when you were too bored to stay inside and watch TV. It wasn't usually safe for non-locals to walk the streets at night, but if you were from around there and could prove it to someone that was going to jump you, one could usually get away from losing a wallet or an eyeball if you had the proof. Henry, to people on the street, also went as Monk. Whenever he would drive through the neighborhood, the window open with his arm hanging out the side, he would usually hear a distant yell of "Hey Monk!" or "What's up Monk!". Henry would always wave back, unsure who's voice it was or in what direction to wave, but knowing it was a friend from somewhere.

There was heavy traffic on the way to Berkley and as he waited in line, cursing his luck, he looked over at the wet swamp, sitting there beside highway like a dead frog. A few scattered egrets waded through the brown water, their long legs keeping their clean white bodies safe from the muddy water. Beyond the swamp laid the pacific and the Golden Gate bridge. San Francisco sat there too: still, majestic, and silver. Next to the city, was the Bay Bridge stretched out over the water like long gray yard stick. Henry compared the Golden Gate's beauty with the Bay Bridge. Both were beautiful in there own way, but the Bay Bridge's color was that of a gravestone, while the Golden Gate's color was a heavy red, that made it seem alive. Why they had never decided to pain the Bay Bridge, Henry had no idea. He thought it would look very nice with a nice coat of burgundy to match the Golden gate, but knew they would never spend the money. They never do.

After reeling through the downtown streets of Berkley, dodging college kids crossing the street on their cell phones and bicyclists, he finally reached the large, A-frame house. The house was lifted, four or five feet off the ground and you had to walk up five or seven stairs to get to the front door. Surrounded by tall, dark green bushes, Henry knew these kids had money coming from somewhere. In the windows hung spinning colored glass and in front of the house was an old-timey dinner bell in the shape of triangle. Potted plants lined the red brick walkway that led to the stairs. Young tomatoes and small peas hung from the tender arms of the stems leaf stalks. The lawn was manicured and clean. "Must be studying agriculture or something," Henry thought, "Or they got a really good gardener."

He parked right in front of the house and looked the building up and down, estimating how long it would take to get the old shingles off and the new one's on. Someone was up on the deck of the house, rocking back and forth in an old wooden chair. He listened to the creaking wood of the chair and the deck, judging it would take him two days for the job. Henry knew there was no scheduled rain, but with the Bay weather, one could never be sure. He had worked in rain before - even hail - and it never really bothered him. The thing was, he never strapped himself in and when it would rain and he was working roofs, he was afraid to slip and fall. He turned his truck off, got out, and locked both of the doors. He stepped heavily up the walkway and up the stairs. The someone who was rocking back and forth was a skinny beauty with loose jean shorts on and a thick looking, black and red plaid shirt. She had long, chunky dread locks and was smoking a joint, blowing the smoke out over the tips of the bushes and onto the street. Henry was no stranger to the smell. He smoked himself. This was California.

"Who're you?" the dreaded girl asked.

"I'm the roofer," Henry told her.

The girl looked puzzled and disinterested. Henry leaned back on his heels and wondered if the whole thing was lemon. She looked beyond him, down on the street, awkwardly annoying Henry's gaze. The tools in Henry's hands began to grow heavy, so he put them down on the deck with a thud. The noise seemed to startle the girl out of whatever haze her brain was in and she looked back at Henry. Her eyes were dark brown and her skin was smooth and clear like lake water. She couldn't have been more then 20 or 21 years old. Henry realized that he was staring and looked away at the various potted plants near the rocking chair. He liked them all.

"Do you know who called you?" She took a drag from her joint.

"Brett, " Henry told her, "But they didn't leave a last name."

For a moment, the girl looked like she had been struck across the chin with a brick, but then her face relaxed and she smiled.

"Oh ****," she laughed, "That's me. I called you. I'm Brett."

Henry smiled uneasily and picked up his tools, "Ok."

"Nice to meet you," she said, putting out her hand.

Henry awkwardly put out his left hand, "Nice to meet you too."

She took another drag and exhaled, the smoke rolling over her lips, "Want to see the roof?"

The two of them stood underneath a five foot by five foot hole. Henry was a little uneasy by the fact they had cleaned up none of the shattered wood and the birds pecking at the bird seed sitting in a bowl on the coffee table facing the TV. The arms of the couch were covered in bird **** and someone had draped a large, zebra printed blanket across the middle of it. Henry figured the blanket wasn't for decoration, but to hide the rest of the bird droppings. Next to the couch sat a large, antique lamp with its lamp shade missing. Underneath the dim light, was a nice portrait of the entire house. Henry looked away from the hole, leaving Brett with her head cocked back, the joint still pinched between her lips, to get a closer look. There looked to be four in total: Brett, a very large man, a woman with longer, thick dread locks than Brett, and a extremely short man with a very large, brown beard. Henry went back
The Calm Feb 2017
Nothing more beautiful
Than a pair of big brown eyes
Our world tells us that for eyes to be beautiful they have to match the skies but that's all lies
There's nothing more beautiful than staring into her eyes and seeing how her soul is connected to the earth
Mother nature's nectar, and me just a hummingbird
Only needing one, I don't need to be a collector cause you see
Her beautiful brown eyes are deeper than blue skies
her beautiful brown eyes are compassionate and wise
I could not vocalize, all her brown eyes symbolize, or how much I love staring them as she wakes me up at sunrise
And when I'm with her it's hard to prioritize, all I want to do is romanticize, hop on our cloud and rise
I'm so happy I met you, my darling, the girl with the brown eyes
romatic
Brianna Dec 2013
I hate the color brown.
I hate my brown hair when I had it and I hated that my eyes were brown when I was younger.
I can't stand the leaves that are now brown or this desert town so dry and brown.
It's the saddest color.
Brown screams earthy to people and to me I just see nothing but dull and useless.
Everything today has been brown...
And it could be psychological of course... It's probably just me being cynically of course!
I really hate the color brown.
Today is a bad flipping day.

— The End —