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Terry Collett Mar 2012
It was the boys’ bath night
and you had bathed
and were drying yourself

with the white towel
they had given you
when the bathroom door flew open

and Anne stood there one-legged
in her pink flowered nightdress
perching on her crutches like a hawk

her eyes bright and dark
a smile lingering on her lips
well ****** me

she said
what a sight
for a girl’s lovesick eyes

and she entered the bathroom
and pushed the door shut
behind her with her bottom

almost uncrutching herself
in the process
you pulled the towel

tight around you
and stared at her
it’s the boys’ bath night

you muttered
girls aren’t allowed in
while boys bath

she moved over
to the mirror
and gazed at herself

you’re right
she said
I’m not a boy

I’m a tight titted girl
and she laughed
and crutched herself

over towards you
making you flatten yourself
against the wall

gripping the towel with one hand
and holding her back
with the other

and she leaned down
and kiss the back of your hand
then looked you deep in the eyes

what have you got hidden
behind that towelling skirt then?  
she said

and you gripped the towel tighter
with both hands
and she menacingly moved

one hand cautiously towards the towel
her armpits gripping
the crutches tightly

as she moved
you shouldn’t be in here
you said

I’m not in there yet
she laughed and grabbed
the towel away with a force

that took her and the towel
toppling to the bathroom floor
where she lay

like an overturned beetle
you stood naked
your hands covering

what your father
called your toolbox
gazing down at her struggling

to get up
well don’t just stand there
like a prize parrot

help pick me up
she said
and so with one hand covering

you knelt down to help lift her up
but then she pulled you
down beside her

and laughed
and her laughter echoed
around the walls

but then she paused
and put a hand
over her mouth

hearing Sister Bridget’s
nearby footsteps
and noisy calls.
hypotheses Feb 2018
i am a bath towel i am
always fresh and clean
and ready for your use
you hold me up close to your
unblemished skin
dry it
and take in the scent of the
lavender soap
that you used to wash me yesterday

i am a bath towel i am
never out of place
forever on your rack
when i am *****
you soak me with water
twist it dry
repeat until done
fresh
crisp and clean
on your body
soaking in your intimacy
soak, twist, repeat

i am a bath towel i am
always listening
never speaking
cleansing your anguish and your
worries
with my sanitary
i have seen all your scars
and oh!
i wish i could rinse them from you
like i do with the lipstick on your cheek
given from your last lover

i am a bath towel i am
always going to be
at your side
there to cleanse
there to wash
but will you ever let
my soft fabric
wrap around your heart
so full of spring blossoms and
summer skies
and keep it as my own?
I basically wrote this at 2 in the morning when I couldn't sleep, and I'm not even sure if I did this right and all that. So I would really appreciate it if you have any advice for me on this one!
Terry Collett Dec 2013
Della walks
with her father
onto the beach.
Sand, sun,

sea going out.
Sea,
she says
love it.

Her father looks at her,
takes in her smile,
her well kempt hair,
the tip of her tongue

resting there
on her lower lip.
Did your mother
pack your swim gear?

Packed it in my bag.
Where's the bag?
She looks back
towards the car

parked by the road.
You must try
to remember
these things.

I did, then I forgot.
It doesn’t help.
Angry sounds.
He sighs.

Stay here, don't move,
he says
and walks back
towards the car,

over the sand,
hands in the pockets
of his black jeans.
She watches him walk.

Angry walk,
she thinks.
She sees him
most Saturdays,  

sometimes Sundays,
since
the divorce.
He gets to the car

and takes out
her pink bag,
locks the car
and treads back

towards her,
his face dark
and unsmiling.
Like smiling faces.

There you are,
he says.
She takes the bag
and they

walk down
towards the sea.
He gets out
a large beach towel

and lays it down
on the sand.
Here we are.
Sea smells salty.

It does.
If you sniff it
it gets up your nose.
He nods,

gets out a book
and begins to read.
Makes your nose feel salty.
She looks at her father,

he stares at the page
of his book.
Can I go into the sea?
Be careful.

She stare sat him.
Shall I get on
my swimming
costume here?

Yes,
he says,
turning a page.
People will see me.

They do.
Mum holds the towel
up around me.
He sighs and gets up

and gets out
a large coloured towel.
OK then,
get your gear on.

She takes out
her swimming costume
from her bag
and drops the bag

on the sand.
She looks at him.
Mum puts the towel
around

me so people
can't see me.
He sighs
and puts the towel

around her,
stares out
at the beach.
She takes off

her cat patterned top
and drops it down.
Then she removes
her skirt and underwear

and quickly,
but awkwardly
puts on her costume.
He looks at ships

on the horizon.
Seagulls,
bathers,
families and lovers.

She pulls at the costume
to get it comfortable.
Done it.
Good.

He folds the towel,
puts it beside him
and begins to read again.
She stands looking at the waves.

Mum walks me to the waves.
Why?
In case I slip.
You're a big girl now.

What if I slip?
He lifts his eyes
from the page.
You won't.

Mum holds my hand in case.
Your mum does
a lot of things
I don't.

He reads on.
She stares at him
for a few moments,
then unhappily

walks down
towards the waves.
She has her hands out
like a tightrope walker,

to balance herself
over the sharp stones,
here and there.
She reaches the area

where the waves rush in.
She stands there looking out.
She sniffs the air. Salty.
People around her stare.

A child laughs.
Two boys whisper.
She walks into the water.
The sea is warm,

rushes over her feet.
She clutches her hands together,
looks at the boys.
Warm water.

Wet, too.
The boy grins.
She's a Mongol,
the other boy says.

Funny features,
the other says,
big lips, and tongue.
She looks back at her father

reading up on the beach.
She paddles deeper.
Leaves the boys behind.
The waves rush against her knees.

She claps her hands,
hugs herself,
feels hers small *******.
The sea is crowded

with bathers.
Noise, laughter
and shouts fill the air.
She stands still.

A boy splashes her.
She puts her hands
over her face
to keep the water

from her eyes.
He rushes back
towards the beach,
laughing.

The water rushes
to her thighs.
Best not get out too far, deary,
a woman says nearby.

I'm Della,
not Deary,
she says.
The woman nods and smiles,

well be careful, Della.
The sea can be  dangerous.
Mum says
be careful.

Yes, you must.
Mum's not here.
Who's with you?
My dad's with me.

Where is he?
Della points towards the sand
where her father
is reading his book.

Be careful, Della,
the woman says.
Be careful, mum says.
Yes, be careful,

the woman repeats.
The woman gazes at Della.
Sees her vacant expression.
Her daughter died

the year before.
Drowned.
Della  looks back
at her father

sitting reading.
Mum watches me.
So she should.
Dangerous place the sea.

Della stares
at the incoming
rush of waves,
loud shush of the sea.

Your dad should watch you, too,
the woman says.
He reads.
He should watch you.

Della hugs herself tighter.
Best not get in
much deeper, Della dear,
the woman says.

Deep.
Gets to my thighs.
Yes, higher
than you ought to go.

Frightened.
Let's go back,
the woman says.
Della clutches

her arms tighter.
I fell last time,
and got salty water
in my mouth.  

Sickly.
Was sick after.
In the car.
The woman smiles.

Let's walk back  
to your dad.
The woman holds out
a hand.

Della hesitates.
Her father
is reading his book.
She puts out her hand

and holds
the woman's hand
and they walk up
towards the beach.

The warm hand holds her.
Far from
her father's sight
and the deep sea's reach.
Patrick Austin Sep 2018
Our Backgrounds before we met...

I'm an only child born in Montana in 1983, from a divided home. Parents divorced at seven, Mom was unstable and unfaithful. Dad obtained custody of me and we moved to Oregon Coast to live with my Grandma. I had unhealthy visits and relationship with Mom thereafter. My Grandma died at 12 and at 13 my Dad remarried an alcoholic woman, I had a strained relationship with them until adulthood when she stopped drinking. I had exposure to trauma; alcoholism, mental illness, verbal abuse and juvenile troubles. I rebelled by using drugs in my late teens and early twenties, I lived on my own for a few years after high school but had little direction.

My bride is the eldest with two little brothers, parents stayed in same area of Portland during childhood with lots of family support and her parents stayed married. They had Christian values but some anger and anxiety issues at home. She was sexually assaulted at 17 and never had good closure with this. She told me her parents didn't provide her enough help with things like this growing up. Status quo was the backbone of the family dynamic, challenging emotions were discouraged. She rebelled by being reckless with herself, financially and sexually. She decided to join the Navy at 19. She lived alone briefly, but mostly with Grandparents & Parents before our marriage.

I loved how we both grew up reading Archie comics. No other girl I had ever met had that in common with me. I think we wanted a surreal life like the one in Riverdale.

2002

She and I were 19 when we first met in my home town on the coast at an arcade. We became friends and secretly liked each other. I was too nervous to ever make a move on her. We traveled together, she stayed with me, we used drugs together and drank at times. One night she drank too much and had *** with a guy I knew at a party. I was devastated by this. She was Navy bound and I didn't see a real future for us. The next morning she left and I didn't talk to her again for two years. I figured she would be gone with the Navy soon and that she must not have been interested in a relationship with me despite the time we spent together.

2003

I was depressed about this rejection. I dated an older woman who was interested in me but was no substitute. I eventually moved to the Portland area to work and live. I still had few plans and was lonely, in or out of the few brief relationships I attempted. I never found someone that I felt safe with or had a true connection, let alone true love. She ended up not following through with the Navy and continued working her way up in her job at the call center. She attended community college and dated a few guys. She dated one guy for a couple of years who was not a good match for her but stayed with him off and on despite issues. His family was wealthy and treated her well. He slept around on her as did she. At one point he gave her an STD. She also had an ongoing affair with a married man in the military that she went to high school with. He had a child and a wife with mental health issues. She was still hurting a lot at times and not always doing well.

2004

She reached out to me via email after two years of no contact. We emailed back and forth a couple times over the next few months. We talked about meeting up. We spoke on the phone and eventually met up in Portland. We had an amazing night getting to know each other again and work past the confusion of our earlier days of friendship. I realized that she did in fact like me before but since I was timid and trying to be proper and take things slowly she didn't understand my motives. She apologized for her actions at the party as well. She claimed she was in a really messed up place and was making bad choices at that time. Getting our feelings out in the open was good and she appreciated my attitude towards being slow to make moves on her when we first met. I was worried about falling for her based on our history but eventually I was determined to give it a shot. We soon after starting dating and being intimate. Our love was extremely powerful and beyond all others we had both experienced. She broke ties with other suitors and shortly after we talked about marriage and started planning a wedding for the next year.

I remember when we first held hands. We were so shakey and she was quivering on my couch as I had my arm around her. We felt so safe with each other. We could finally be ourselves and do what our hearts desired. We knew we were on to something new and so amazing. We were so patient with each other as we navigated our new love and emotional thresholds.

I remember when we saw Matisyahu in concert together. That was a once in a lifetime experience and a life-changing moment for us. I feel it set the tone for things to come in our future.

I remember how creative my proposal to her was, in the Arcade where we first met. I hid the ring in a prize container from one of those claw machines. Pretending I got the ring from inside by reaching into the machine on one knee I was so nervous and wasn't sure if I could pull it off before she caught on. She looked so shocked and surprised. I was so excited she said yes! We took pictures in the photo machine and had burgers afterwards, I'd do all of it all over again just to see her face in that moment.

2005

We found an apartment for us in Portland. I moved in while she was still living back with her parents until the wedding. She had to change her number because the married man she was previously involved with kept calling her about changing her mind about marriage and continuing their relationship. She was offered a job in Denver and we decided to move away together after our sandy wedding in Cannon Beach. I still had a very hard time and was embarrassed with my past history with her. Many of my friends knew what had happened at 19 and how much it hurt me but I was so crazy about her I think I tried to pretend it didn't happen or that it was not a big deal because we were younger. We got married and moved to Colorado soon after. We made friends at a church, I became more active as a Christian and really loved being married. We were very involved in keeping spirituality in our marriage. I began to notice her poor financial decisions and practices more. This caused conflict but we always tried to communicate and work on things.

I remember when we went down to my folks for New Year's in 2005. We sipped tea in my Datsun as we drove to the coast over the snowy mountain pass. We told them of our engagement. We were all so blissful and excited. We never knew what was to come. We didn't even know about the opportunity in Denver yet. Our story is amazing!

I remember when I wanted to go see her in Portland and the roads were iced over. I left my car at a park and ride before I caused a wreck. I took the light rail across town then rode a bus to the Eastside shopping mall. The bus to her house was not running because it wasn't safe so I walked the rest of the 4 Miles sometimes having to crawl on my hands and knees to make it up hills in the ice and then I finally made it only to just spend a couple hours with her and fall asleep on her parents couch. Her Dad drove us back the next morning to my car so I could get to work. It was all worth it just to see her for that little extra time. I would have done anything for her.

I remember when she was interviewing for the new position in Denver? I drove all over Portland trying to find little toy cars to help with her illustration about how a team is like a car having all four wheels and how they work together to accomplish a goal. I was so proud of her for giving it her all and succeeding at earning that position. Now that I think of it, that car analogy applies to our family and us. We all need each other to be better and keep on track and be a team. I am so motivated by that and our boys. I lose my way without that and I want to be her reflection and motivation as she has been that for me. I truly thought we brought out the best in each other when we were together.

I remember when we were given tickets to see Fiona Apple. That was so spontaneous and a great way to kick off our time in Denver together. We always used to watch our same movies over and over again. Like the Friends DVDs and White Christmas every winter break and The Wedding Singer. We walked everywhere and lived simply. "I wanna be the guy, who grows old with you"

I remember in our first Denver apartment when we took baths together in our claw foot tub in the big bathroom. We put a board over the top and played cards. I liked playing Uno with her in bed too. She was so funny being slightly color blind and in the dark, mixing up the greens and blues. We played Uno in Breckenridge too at that cool bed and breakfast in the fall.

2006

We had continued fun and adventure in our new home of Denver. She was doing well as a trainer for the bank and I started working in health foods. We went camping in New Mexico a couple times with friends and we both took individual trips to Oregon as well as one together for her uncle's wedding. We had marital spats on occasion but always bounced back. The issues we had seemed like part of a normal marriage and were far better than what I had grown up around. I realized that marriage was a lot of work but I was up for the task. She occasionally became aggressive throwing things at me or breaking things during conflict.  I believed I was the problem and tried to change for her in many ways. With two incomes we still had trouble making our bills at times. She had debts that I never knew about that started to catch up with us but I took care of getting them settled and we paid off her car and traded it for an older Volvo Wagon that we both loved, I even had it repainted her favorite color for a birthday gift. Overall things seemed like they were progressing in a positive way.

I remember when we saw Midnight in concert in Boulder. That was the peak of our hippy days. We were alive with pleasure in our healthy vegetarian diets and practices living in a time and place like no other. I want to be like that again. Reggae was our music. We had much in common.

2007

We really fell into our roles in our marriage and the community; church and culture, friends etc. Things seemed very balanced and appropriate for us at that time and that age (24-25). We had separate bank accounts and jobs. I had money in savings. We started the process of buying a house so we could invest in something. She became pregnant shortly after. I embraced the challenge with positive energy but we were both in for a big change. We started having more fights. I didn't have many friends and would write to old friends via social media just so I could to catch up and tell them things were going great with being married to make myself feel better than I actually did. She hated the dawn of social media and also felt isolated I'm sure. She felt I should be doing more for her and I didn't know how to do what she needed but I failed to ask a lot of the time. After one argument, she left the house. My instinct told me to look at ******* and ******* as a retaliation. I had not done this much once we were married because she always met my needs but when things were difficult between us I felt more emotionally isolated. She walked in and realized what I had been doing. She was very upset, and because she was pregnant, thought I was not attracted to her. The truth is I found her even more beautiful and in fact when I looked at ******* I tried to look at women I found less attractive than her so that I feel good about what I have. I mostly fantasized about how these women were more submissive and loving than her. That is the part I needed to feel good about and feel better about myself with because I felt very dominated and controlled. She has never forgiven me for this and I will never stop feeling sorry to her for my brokenness. During one particular argument that year she was getting close to being violent towards me again and I pushed her away on the chest with my fingertips. She got very mad and said I hurt her. I immediately felt terrible and apologized. I never let something like that happen again. I have always avoided violence towards others especially women and of course her. I was defenseless against physical and emotional abuse.

2008

Our eldest son was born at the beginning of the year, it was a traumatic birth for everyone. We wanted a natural birth with a midwife but we were transferred to a hospital and she ended up having an emergency C-section, nothing went as planned. We had a really hard time coping with the emotions of this experience. A lot of buried feelings and trauma from both of us started coming out. We moved a month later into our new home outside of town. No more walking or biking to places, we had to drive everywhere. This house was next to our friends from church. We thought this would make us feel less isolated but we didn’t really have the community with them that we had hoped for. They were upset that they didn't have a child of their own yet and being around us might have been hard for them. My wife stopped working and stayed home with our son. All these changes made for a very difficult time. I did my best to support them but this was the first time we shared a bank account and needed to follow a budget more than ever before. We had no debt at the beginning of the year with money in savings but then the hospital bills put us down about $7,000 and rising with new home and moving expenses and baby needs. My job could barely keep up. She and I had a hard time adjusting. We could not afford to travel home to Oregon and visit family as much and we felt more and more isolated. She started showing me more signs of instability, locking herself in the bathroom with kitchen knives and scraping her legs which continued off and on for years to come. Talks of divorce and suicide threats seemed to happen more than before. I felt responsible and tried to fix her ever changing issues with me.

I remember when herr ******* were full and swollen with milk. It is so beautiful the way she could feed our babies. I wanted her in every way, our bodies belonged to each other. I was there for her and our shared pleasure. I loved it when she told me that she was mine in the heat of passion. This spark could only be a bandage for so long but I didn't know that yet.

2009

I tried to promote within my company but was not selected, they were cutting budgets and employment all around me. I felt worried about our future. I had always thought the military might be a good opportunity and could move us closer to family back home. My father-in-law encouraged me to look into the Coast Guard. I felt this would be a good way to get moved closer to Oregon.  I ended up joining the Navy because we found out we were pregnant again with our second son and that was the only way I could join a military branch. She worked off and on as a nanny and later in the year at a coffee house working nights. We barely spent time together and when we did it was a lot of hard conversations or arguments about finances with making up intimately in the middle of the night between times of caring for the baby. She once scratched my neck with her fingernails during an argument. People I worked with noticed. It was a hard time and we knew change was on the horizon with jobs and moving. We did visit Oregon that summer though and had a great vacation at the beach with a borrowed 4x4 and staying at a hotel and picnicking out of a cooler as well as going to her brothers wedding. I was 26 and about to join the Navy to provide better for my family at all costs sacrificing myself for their benefit because I would have rather died than look like I didn't try my best for them.

I remember when our babies would kick and move around inside her belly. I loved laying by her and feeling her tummy. I would hum to the baby and hear them move and squirm. I loved giving our boys baths when they were babies too. We had our little bundles of our love, wrapped in a towel in our hands, so tiny and vulnerable. I miss those days and want to remember them with her, aside from this state of melancholy.

2010

The Navy recruiters would only take me if we rented out our home and had her stay with family during boot camp and training. We moved to a furnished apartment in Denver and put our things in storage. She was 5 months pregnant and our eldest was two. I shortly after was let go from my job. Our second son was born in April. I got a contract with the Navy at the last minute but didn't leave until August. We sold our beloved vehicles and lived off retirement funds for six months and moved down to Florida where her parents had just moved out of the blue for work, to stay with them until I left for boot camp. I applied for temporary work in Florida at a dozen places but had no luck in my three months there. I took care of our eldest a lot while she took care of the new baby. Being in Florida was a culture shock for us but we had our moments of romance and made the best of it. Eventually I left for boot camp in August. It was really hard and sad to be gone. She stayed in Florida and came to visit me with the baby at boot camp graduation in October. I then went to Connecticut for five months of training. It was also hard but at least I could call home every day and be in the same time zone. I visited Florida during the winter break and saw my boys and her. We went to Disney world and had a great time on her parents. We also made a romantic home movie I could enjoy while away from her. I flew back to Connecticut and tried to make the best of things. My roommate was very abusive of substances and I resisted the temptation for a long time but the threat of being submarine service bound and missing my family pushed me to drinking every weekend and getting messed up to escape before I left.

I remember when we drove to Key Largo, Florida and stopped at a crazy bird wildlife center. I remember our oldest was so amazed hearing a bird say hello back to us. It was so foreign and fun there. I am glad we all shared that experience together.

I remember our trip to the citrus grove in Florida. That was such a great day for our family. I always look back on that with really fond sentiment. I felt like I was in a beautiful family music video with them.

2011

I finished Submarine Training and got orders back to the Northwest. The plan was all coming together. I arrived first and bought a car and got our items moved from storage in Denver to our townhouse rental in Washington. She and the boys joined me a month later. I didn't report to my Sub for another month as they were at sea. She became pregnant again with our third son right after arriving. We had just bought a small car and were not planning on another child. Towards the end of the year I was working a lot and having a really hard time, being bullied and treated poorly at work plus our financial situation was still very difficult. Adjusting to the military was hard among younger men being 28. I dreaded each day in that environment but I tried to endure it for my family. I went to sea for a couple months at the end of the year stopping in Hawaii and California. During this time She reached out to her ex married affair partner after six years of no contact. She didn't tell me until later. She said she needed closure with him, we were not in counseling yet but she decided this was appropriate. I flew home early from sea and wanted to surprise her. The stress and trauma of this quick transition home after being to sea for the first time (which was also traumatic) made me want to drink and get messed up before flying. I arrived home and surprised her but I seemed off to her which I was but didn’t explain why, I have never done that since. I got to be home for two months almost work free while we celebrated the holidays and prepared for the new baby to be born. She started getting more involved with a church and building a community for us which was great. Our financial struggles almost led us to foreclosure of our home back in Colorado but by the grace of God we got it sold with a short sale just in time.

I remember when I came back from Hawaii and brought her a beaded necklace and she wore it naked with her big beautiful pregnant goddess belly and we made passionate hippy love together. I want to grow out my beard again and spend my life making hippy love and feeling free again.

2012

Our third son was born in January. It was a very positive birth experience and much less stressful than the other two. Shortly after I flew out to finish the other half of the deployment I had missed. I really focused on being positive and spiritually connected by reading my Bible at sea which was helpful. I called her when I arrived in Japan halfway through being gone. She was upset because she tested positive for an STD while trying to get on birth control. I became suspicious of her yet she was suspicious of me. We both got tested again and I was clean, she told me she had a false positive after all. This put a big strain on our trust, especially being so far away. This forced us to be honest with each other about some things such as her contact with her ex lover and my drinking to cope. We were both very upset until I returned home and we could start some counseling to work through things. Forgiveness seemed to be difficult for us. It brought up hurts of the past when we were 19. She also had severe postpartum depression that became worse after each birth. I was still having a hard time with work and the submarine environment. Our church friends tried to counsel us but it was not the most helpful. My submarine was scheduled for extended repairs and not going to sea for three years, I would be transferred before the end of that period. I used this time to bond with her and my boys. I wanted to get better involved in our community and do volunteer work and side jobs to earn extra money. Our boys were all given diagnosis's for autism which begun to fill our lives with appointments and challenges for years to come but we were a good team in dealing with all of it. It gave us something to work together on but took our focus away from working on our own personal issues and relationship with each other as much as we should have.

2013

We had new years with both sides of our family in a snowy mountain setting in Oregon. It looked like it was going to be a great year until her Grandpa passed away suddenly. It ripped our entire family apart but especially her. He kept the family grounded and she was very close to him, he really loved all of us. She and I started going on dates again because we had Navy sponsored child care. It was the beginning of a really good thing for us. Tragically one night after a date we were dancing with the boys on the patio and I tried to pick her up and I lost my balance and fell on her, breaking her collar bone severely. She needed surgery and was very mad at me for years to come. She has a scar, a metal plate and numbness in her chest. We worked through it with our community from church but she still is very mad at me. I feel more terrible about this incident than she could ever know. I would lose a finger in place of that incident if I could. I continued having a really hard time in the Navy and I didn't want to stay in but She insisted our boys needed care only the Navy could offer. She also said she would divorce me if I ever left the Navy. I took this threat seriously even though she assured me later that she would never actually do that. Against my own convictions I reenlisted because I wanted to do the best thing for my family. We moved into base housing at the end of summer and didn’t go out to do things as much anymore. The house was nice but it ****** us in, we also had less community with people around our home. I started volunteering at church more and doing work with special needs people. I felt like I was doing good things and that I had purpose all around. I think she appreciated this about me.

2014

We started seeing a professional counselor together and individually. It became a regular event. I worked on myself and she worked on herself. I had a lot of issues with my Mom and eventually broke off communication with her for my own well-being and the betterment of my family. I got past a lot of the bad feelings I had. She worked on her traumatic experiences and our relationship dynamics. Just when things were going well I got a new boss who made things hard for me and others at work and I started messing up more. I got in trouble for messing up a job at work and was given strike one on my record. She lost respect for me as a provider but I tried to stay strong showing her that I would continue to do my best.

I remember when we had an appointment in Tacoma and we had a brunch date together afterwards. She looked so beautiful that day, I took her picture and was so proud to enjoy  huevos rancheros and momosas with her. I remember going to the Tacoma Art Museum seeing the Georgia O’Keefe exhibit, we have a great time together doing new things and feeding each other's interests. I loved laughing with her too, sometimes we just bust up like nobody's around. I loved the sound of her laughter. I loved watching Portlandia with her, it is so funny to remember the funny place where we became close and be able to relate together.

2015

I kept working hard and being involved with family and appointments for my boys and her. I still maintained my volunteer work and part time side jobs. I got strike two with the Navy for messing up again... I had just gained orders to leave the sub for local shore duty. I could not get out of the extended repair situation soon enough. She was very disappointed in me and not so understanding. I worked through this situation with our counselor as did she. He always told her I am a good man and that I do a lot for her and the boys. It's true, I care more than anything about them, I made mistakes and I feel bad especially when I cause my family stress. I left for shore duty in April. It was a hard time adjusting to the new routine but eventually we seemed to make it work. That summer we took a trip to visit Texas where her parents had just moved from Florida. We spent a great night together for our 10th anniversary in a hotel in Texas and went dancing. We had a lot more time together as my work schedule was less. The more people we had in our home working with our kids on issues the less useful my input seemed. I was not included as much in making family decisions because they all seemed to happen while I was at work, despite my objections. We tried to get our budget under control but she still had anxiety discussing spending. She continued to struggle with depression and was put on medication because she had still been harming herself. She was put on Prozac daily and anti anxiety medication as needed. He family members were not very supportive of medication which upset her but I always tried to be supportive in seeking help and continued care for both of us.

2016

We had a busy routine of kids in school now and home school and preschool and appointments for all of us. She wanted to go to church less and less. I started drinking a couple beers at night almost every day. I tried to mask my stress from her mood swings. She decided not to go to church at all anymore and focused teaching the boys about Jewish traditions exclusively which was hard for me to adjust to and confusing for the boys. I loved her and wanted to be supportive. As usual I was submissive and removed myself from the Christian church and some friendships. I feel like we lost our community at that point. We searched for a good place to have a new community with Jewish people but it was like starting over. I felt like I converted to Christianity for her when we got together and now I had to convert again, either way I would have done it for her because I loved her that much. The kids were confused by this change. After trying and failing at many synagogues we finally found one that seemed right for us.

2017

We finally had some money in savings because I kept it a secret and ended up planning a trip to visit her parents in Texas but it fell through due to lack of military flights. Instead we spent three nights away in a nice hotel resort as a family in February. We had three days of pure family time. Playing Battleship and other games in our room as a family, watching movies and eating at all the different restaurants and getting room service. Going swimming everyday in the foggy pool. I love our family and how we can have a great time together doing nothing but at the same time so much. That was so peaceful and relaxing. I wanted to keep doing things like that together as a family before our boys got too old. Shortly after this vacation she wanted to go back to school, then we bought a third vehicle so she could. Shortly after this she changed her mind about school and wanted to buy another house instead. I went along with it to please her and we practically killed ourselves trying to get the move accomplished with not much help or money. We had a good year over all. We got away for a romantic anniversary together in the summer. Just before the boys were going to start public school in the fall, her parents moved back to the area. She had anxiety with this and cut off contact with her parents and brothers for a while. Her Dad called me very upset and I tried to keep the peace until they reconciled. I was doing better with work and made up for lost progress as well as making arrangements to change jobs in the Navy to something more fitting. Since the boys started public school, I planned on leaving for Navy training in my new position after the beginning of the new year when they would be at a more settled place in their routine.

I remember when we went to the Olympic Club for our anniversary and we stayed there for a night away. We drove the long way through the countryside talking about new music that she wanted to share with me and she made notes of it on my phone notepad. We brought our own cooler and picnic that included Session Lagers and chocolate. We checked in to our room and made noisy bohemian love on the edge of the creaky bed in our small European room inches from the door. Then we went to the theater downstairs and watched the late showing of a really interesting Sci-fi movie "Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets". We took showers and slept sweetly together. We made love again in the morning before we had a delicious brunch outside on the patio. We took the long way home and drove around on new roads and found our way out of cell phone reception. We figured out the road less traveled to get back to our home. We loved being alone and away together, just one night can make such a difference and mean so much.

I remember going to the Forest Theater to see Tarzan with our boys. That was such a great time. I would love to get our boys into theater and go see them someday. I wanted to keep our dreams and goals together alive and not lose opportunity and fall short by losing our partnership.

I loved going camping in Seabeck. Loading the truck with all our gear and getting away. Archer got sick from the cowboy caviar and I had to clean him and the tent up in the night. I was glad we had each other to be a team in our marriage in that situation as with all the other times. These sorts of things are what escape a person's mind when they are determined to get a divorce.

2018

We had a lot less money than the year before, again buying a house took its toll on finances as did the boys school and after school activities. I stayed very involved taking the boys to appointments and sporting practices. We stopped going to synagogue but tried to practice Judaism at home as much as possible, which I was very supportive of and involved with. She was still depressed and talking about suicide at times. I encouraged her to get help as I always had. Eventually she was diagnosed as Bipolar 2 and manic depressive by a new provider. She started taking new medicine for this and was worried I would want to leave her. I assured her I would never leave her and that I always wanted to work on things with her and help her. I left for training in Mississippi February 8th. It was going to be hard but I thought it might be good to have some time apart from each other to miss one another and reflect on things as well as prepare for times when I would be away at sea. I got in trouble in Mississippi for giving junior personnel a ride and being negligent of people who might be underage and possibly drinking, this became strike three. I never thought this could happen. I became recommend for separation from the Navy shortly after and was stuck in Mississippi for six months instead of six weeks. She was supportive through most of it but seemed to fall into hopelessness. Money was spent by her that we didn't have without discussion. She quietly leased appliances and tires and purchased a vehicle as well as having a secret bank account and email address. I discovered through our insurance company that she wanted to leave our policy for divorce. I didn't know this and she had even told the boys she wanted a divorce before I even knew. I was caught off guard and confused. I kept trying to communicate and reason with her but she didn't want to talk. I refused to give up and wrote emails and a letter but it only seemed to push her away further. By the time I left Mississippi she had filed for divorce and a restraining order against me saying I was unstable and a threat. I couldn't return to my home. My whole life fell apart in just a couple months. I found out she had been talking to other men in the Navy and keeping more secrets. I assumed this was her way of taking control during a difficult situation. I really needed her support during this hard time of transition out of the military. I became homeless, jobless and without my family in a month. I prayed to God that given time things might change between us but it was of no use. Bipolar had consumed whatever was left of my bride and there was no turning back.

I felt that our love was not one to be cast away. Other people might not understand or agree but what we had was truly special. We may have surely needed some time and space to get counseling as well as reconfigure and repair our marriage but I didn't feel like our relationship was irretrievably broken. She was so important to me and I thought she was the love of my life and would always have my heart. I wanted to be her partner in love and life, watching our boys grow up and being there to support each other. Being that she is Bipolar I knew she will need a lot of help and I was more than willing to assist her in making sure she was taking care of herself and not throwing herself into harm's way, ensuring she sticks with a plan we agree to for consistency. I cared about her deeply and had much compassion for her. I didn't believe she was thinking this through or thinking about the future. I really wanted to look at the long and short game with her, neither seemed appealing to me if we progressed but here we are. Things are not going to be easier. She will still have to face her problems and deal with me on a regular basis for the rest of our lives no matter what happens. She can believe her lawyer when they promise she'll get the moon and stars out of this in the end but they only see half of the story. Above all they want our money. It would have been good for her to face me in person and tell me she wanted to divorce and we could have started talking about it with a counselor to figure out how that could even work. Instead she chose to avoid as much responsibility for her actions as possible by doing everything in my absence as if I am not a real person. I had to find out about it from our insurance company and was last to know.

Immediately after I hear the word divorce I looked into her cell usage history and find she has a new military boyfriend that she talks to 20-30 times a day. She felt she owed me no explanation for this and it was none of my business. A mature person would have let me know about this months before and I would have seen it coming but there was no sign until it was seemingly too late. She strayed down a dark path and never turned back.

Her proposed parenting plan was cruel and had no thought put into it. Two hours a week with supervision, no holidays but father's day? She said she’s not trying to keep me from the kids but this is the exact opposite of what she’s saying with the paperwork she filed. She seems very mixed up and still you continues to make rash and sudden choices. Like a completely bogus restraining order against me that contradicts so many facts she has stated herself on record during my Navy retention process. She was so bold as to want to change her identity and even put it in ink on the divorce paperwork as well to a whole new name. That is not the actions of a stable person. She has since changed her mind again on that just as quickly as everything else in her recent life choices. I can't trust that any decisions she is making right now are for the right reasons or that she is of sound mind. I have never seen her so conflicted and confused, grasping at straws and running scared from herself.

Using the legal system so carelessly and going back and forth makes me feel like she is not ready to be making big choices and changes for her and our family. It is very unfair that she can’t consider my feelings on things and what I wish for the boys as well. Very reckless behavior. She can’t anticipate that the day would come where she has to face me and talk to me like an adult. She wants to hide behind the legal system which only leaves much to be unresolved. Ghosting me is not really an option in a marriage of 13 years with children.

Having relationship conversations is too difficult for her at this time and she would rather avoid it and skip to divorce because she thinks that will somehow be easier. I suspect she knows she is making poor choices, possibly out of fear and lust for something new and less painful than the reality of things right now. Our marriage was nowhere close to divorce when I left. She was sad to see me leave and woke with me at 3:30 am to say goodbye, making me coffee and cookies for me to take with.

Our community and accountability seems to be gone due to the continued trend of isolation that she is drawn to. The God fearing loving committed wife I thought I had is gone or trapped inside a terrified shell of herself. She cut me off from her family members and I can't discuss my concerns about her with them either. She only seems to have community with those who are not going to discourage her from these destructive choices.

I understand we have had issues and struggles but we are no worse off than other couples during challenging times. I think that because we loved each other so much it just hurt more when things got hard. I can't accept or believe this is justified or the right choice based on the positive trend we were on before I left. This was the longest break we have ever had from each other and I think she just needed someone to be there more for her, no matter who it was. Time can heal all wounds and I hope that is true for our relationship as co-parents.

She still refuses to tell me about why she wanted a divorce or talk about anything beyond caring for the kids. I have fought the restraining and I can see my boys again but I am still not allowed to my home without her permission.

I have risen from the ashes in just a couple months. I rent a room from a nice couple from our old church and obtained a good paying job while I continue paying the household bills.

This is a really hard time, this difficult spell could have been a tool to better our relationship. I wanted to experience more beautiful memories with her. We had so many more beautiful memories and dreams left to create. This is what marriage looks like to me now as I lower the casket.
This is a timeline of the major events during my 13 year marriage. Amidst the reality, I injected all the lovely memories that refuse to leave my mind.
Toni Seychelle Feb 2013
The ground beneath the stiff leaves is frozen. The cold, brisk air invades my lungs, I exhale, my breath visible. I step over fallen branches and tugged by thorny vines. A red tail hawk screeches overhead, this is a sign of good luck. There is no path, no trail to mark our way, just an old, flat railroad bed surrounded by walls of shale, blown up for the path of the train so long ago. The only ties to remind of the rail are the rotting, moss covered ties that once were a part of a bridge that would have carried the train over a small creek between two steep hills. I see a fox burrow, and it's escape hatch is one of the hollowed railroad ties. I want to be a fox... The trek down this hill is not easy, thorny blackberry bushes and fallen trees impede progress. At the bottom, the small, bubbly creek is frozen at the edges, traveling under rocks and continuing its ancient path. I look up the hill that I just descended, and wonder how the return will go. Keep moving. The next hill will be easier, there are no thorny tangles, just treacherous leaf litter that will give under my feet if I don't find the right footing. The trick is to dig my boots into the ground as if I'm on steps. These hills are steep. Finally at the top, I look back at this little spring valley, I'm not that high up, but what view. Here, there is a dilapidated tree stand, falling apart from years of neglect and weather. Surrounded by deep leaf litter, there is a patch of rich dark earth, a buck has marked his spot, his round pellets are nearby. The saplings catch my hair as I walk by, and at these moments I am thankful for this cold snap that took care of the ticks. A creepy feeling takes over me, so thankful for this snap. A few feet further, as I watch where I am walking, another tussled bit of earth and I notice some interesting ****. It's furry and light grey; I poke it with my stick and find a small skull when I turn a piece over. Owl. I continue my walk, I didn't come here to play with poo. The last time I took this hike was three years ago, on a similar frigid day. It was a lot easier to make it through the shale valleys. Last summer, a wind storm felled trees and took out power for two weeks. The evidence of that derecho is clear here in this untouched forest. I remembered a tree, which now is a fallen giant, that had lost it's bark. The bark had separated and laid around this tree like a woman's skirt around her ankles. Now the tree lies with it's bark. I pass another tree I recognize whose branch extends out but zig zags up and down, as if it had three elbows. The tree signifies my next move, to descend from the flat railroad bed, down to a creek that flows through the tunnel that would have carried the train. The creek is considerably larger than the last creek I could step across. Descending towards the creek leads me over moss covered rocks and limbs, still bearing snow. Outside the tunnel, the hill walls are large stones, covered in a thick layer of moss, some of which has started to fall off due to heaviness. There's a sort of ice shelf in the creek, it's three layers thick and can support my one hundred and twenty pounds. Laying across the creek is another derecho-felled tree. Some sort of critter has crawled on this, using it to avoid the water below and as a short cut up the hill. His claw marks are covering the the limb, a few are more clear, it looks as if the creature almost slipped off. His claw marks show a desperate cling. I walk through the tunnel, in the mud and water; the creek echoes inside. I look above. There are drainage holes lining the ceiling, one is clogged by a giant icicle. I imagine the train that used to ride over this tunnel, I pretend to hear it and feel the rumbling. The last time we were here, we found cow skeletons. We placed a few heads on branches and one over the tunnel. We stuck a jaw, complete with herbivore teeth, into the mossy wall and a hip bone on a sapling. The hip bone reminded us of Predator's mask in the movie. All these bones are turning green. When I was here before, there was a bone half submerged in the creek; I had taken a picture of it but today, it isn't here. I'm sure it was washed away. After our exploration of the previous visit, we turned back. We are cold again, can't stay in one place too long. I climb through the deep leaf litter and over the rocks back to the railroad bed. Passing all the things I've already seen and spotting things I missed. I find two more fox burrows. They utilized the shale rock and burrowed underneath the jutting formations. Hidden coming from the south, the gaping openings seem welcoming from the north. My friends, the spelunkers and climber, want to descend into the darkness but I remind them, it is an hour to sundown, our trek is hard enough with overcast daylight. Wisdom prevails. We pass a tree, we didn't notice before, that was struck by lightening. The cedar tree was split in two and fell down the shale wall. I see the evidence of the burn and a smoldered residue at the base. Nature has a cruel way of recycling. The downed tree still has snow on it and the path of a raccoon is visible, I like the paws of *****. Though the way is flat, the walls of shale tower above us, limiting routes. At one point I can't see through the fallen trees I have to pass through. I have to crab walk under, crawl over, duck again and find my way around the thorny collections of bare black berry bushes. Finally into a clearing, still surrounded by sharp shale, there is another wall covered in inches of thick, healthy moss. I place my hand, taking time to stroke the furry wall. My hand leaves an imprint. I wonder how long that will last.. Back down the steep hill up and up the thorny tangle. I know I'm on the right path up, I see the fox's hole through the railroad tie, and his entrance burrow up the hill. Going down was definitely easier. The summit is literally overgrown with thorns, there is no clear path through. It is, again, impossible to see through the tangle of limbs and saplings and more thorns. Somehow we make it through. We are close to breaking off this path. We know this by the remains of a cow skeleton that more than likely fell from the top of the shale cliff. Femurs and ribs and jaws abound. On the last trip, we placed a hip bone in the "Y" of a sapling. The young tree has claimed it, growing around it. We add a piece of jaw to the tree's ornamentation and move on. We climb down from the railroad bed to our car - parked on the side of the road with a white towel in the window so that no one suspects a group of people walking through private property, past faded NO TRESPASSING signs.

When I undress for bed later, there are many small scratches up and down my legs from those ****** thorny vines. I'm okay with that, it's better than searching for ticks in my head.
I couldn't write a 'poem' about this hike. It was too full of nature.
tl b Apr 2016
Each morning when I neglect to make my bed, I see your faded red towel folded on the corner of my nightstand.

This is a reminder that you will eventually spend the night again.
This is a reminder that you will eventually share wine with me  again.
A reminder that you will eventually hold me, eventually swing me     around in the kitchen, eventually kiss me first.

I don't know when, and the uncertainty wells up in my eyes. I guess this is what it feels like to miss someone who is right there.
We have not reached the point of routine, which is to say that we are not dull, though I cannot say this in confidence.

Each night when I climb back into my bed, I see your faded red towel, still folded, at the corner of my nightstand.

This is a reminder that he will eventually spend the night again, I tell myself.

One word answers. Red. A red towel reminder. Towel. When was it touched last? Tears. When was I touched last?

Like throwing in a white flag, I surrender to this sadness.
Brandon Apr 2013
They were lounging on the white sanded beach crusted over with bits and scraps of broken seashells. They were lounging in the hot Santa Anna sun baking in the ultraviolet rays. They were lounging as if they did not have a care in the world and like they were a million miles away from the everything's that had contaminated their lives up to and ended at this point.

There was the buxom Chéri Ann trying to forget the trial coming up in the next few weeks that had been a long trying time coming. She laid sprawled out stomach side down on her beach towel feeling the sun tan her back. Her hands were busy rolling a tea stick but her eyes were looking past the girl in front of her; also laying down on a beach towel but on her backside; at the waves crashing effortlessly into the surf. Her fingers expertly broke up the green leafy bud that smelled of lavender and coffee. She placed them in  a rectangular piece of rolling paper and still looking ahead of her towards the sea, rolled it into a medium sized stick. She took it to her lips lighting it with a lighter that she pulled out of the sand and inhaled its jade smoke. She held the smoke in for what seemed like an eternity and blew it back out onto the small flame still burning at the edge of the sticks tip, snuffing it out. She smiled and she passed it to her left where David who was wanting a cold beer and a cigarette after the past few days and also lying prone but facing away from the sun declined and grabbed it and sat up and forward and passed it to Heather who was the girl lying supine in the view of Chéri Ann. He grabbed a pack of cigarettes from his shirt lying beside him and pulled one out. He lit it. He took a drag and inhaled. He blew smoke out of his nose for a second before switching and blowing the rest out of his mouth in floating O shapes, sending them off towards the light blue sky.

Heather's face was enjoying the feel of the suns rays burn her face and bring out her freckles again. She was smiling. She took the stick from David who had sat up on his beach towel and leaned forward and arose her from her splendor. She still smiled. The tea stick went to her lips and she inhaled with a soft peaceful sigh. She smiled bigger. She could not remember her life before and nothing existed before and she was happy.

The sun shined down. The ocean was blue and the waves were crashing into the surf still with white foam beading on top of the waves. The sand was still white and littered with broken sea shell fragments.

Heather passed the stick to Bob sitting on the sand writing in his leather bound note book with a shortening black number two pencil sharpened to a point with a three inch strip of fine grit sandpaper and the edge of pocket knife passed down to him from his grandpa who got it from his dad who got it from his grandpa and so forth for another generation or two each on the day of their deaths. Bob sat facing the sun but looking at the cursive being written on the white five by seven lined notebook paper thinking not of anything but the words being written. He stopped writing and put the pencil down in the note book and closed it and laid it on the sand and took the joint and inhaled and held it and took another hit and held it. He exhaled. He took another hit and held it for a shorter time and breathed it out thru his nose. he passed it back to Chéri Ann who took another hit before passing it to Heather and he grabbed two beers from a cooler sitting next to him on a communal large sized beach towel that Chéri Ann had packed. He tossed one to David who caught it without looking or any warning at all.

Sometime alcohol screams to the blood in us.

David and Bob both snapped off the tops of the bottles in unison with bottle openers attached to their key rings. They saved the tops for Heather who made decorative art with them. They both drank them. Feeling the coolness of the liquid go down their throats and cool their stomachs. The cold amber felt good against the hot sun. They inhaled the beers and opened two more a piece and inhaled them. A breeze started to pick up.
Not so much a poem as fragments of a short story....
CK Baker Dec 2016
six lanes
in a sight line
past the cedar shims
and trim tempered insert
past the washed mural
and water stained tiles

covered eyes
fight for focus
over cork strung ties
and dark distant bridges
foot crawlers on lemon pegs
teaming
under clouded halogen light  

dreamers contend
in a variation of chant
(throwing it off in a
drawl sequence)
a glimpse of the guard
and warm towel assignment
forge comforting relief
in a task filled day
from my book 'How To Write Pro$eperly

LESSON 18: Marketing Your Product
Get outside and box.

How to Make Good Money as a Poet

Volume
Keep up the volume
Then they have to buy all the books
And go looking
For something good
Self-effacing



More How to Make Good Money as a Poet

*** angles
in relation to women’s personality gauge it
chart it
*** angles
Canadian research grant



More How to Make Good Money as a Poet

Poem-in-a-jar
Ode-in-a-jar
Rhythm-in-a-jar, and it vibrates when you pick it up
or could be handwritten
with desperate plea
send money
fax phoney part
please pleas
should colour of lid
indicate mood of poem
should label
indicate word topic theme
or what of material
metal lid or plastic
* Replace the safety seal so they have to punch cover
*
Note: if freshness seal broken, do not consume

More How to Make Good Money as a Poet
dead poet cookbook
dead poet cookbook



Poem-in-a-Jar

limited edition collector poetry
signed by author
artist proof worth more
more worth more
per line $1 $5 $100 sky’s the limit
capitalism:
self-effacing charity:
give-drop poem-in-a-jar to bums to sell
use as tax write-off full retail + “costs”
have party supporting charity more tax write-off
wheee! thank you, taxpayers
mmmm! tax write-off



More How to Make Good Money as a Poet

Verse libre
Convince public that your random scratch ins
have deeper meaning social import
esoteric ****** meaning
make it plainly oblivious for them
doubletalk and doublewalk
run at them
when you recite
a poem
attack poetry
possible sales to war department
note when publishing do not include how to make money poet stuff proprietary secret
information

More How to Make Good Money as a Poet

Poetry Repair
Fix other peoples poems
Putter with their pitter-patter
Charge per word (or line) no word
Fix their lines
of poetry and charge them for it
Could franchise this idea
Have walk-in shops around the planet
Poetry Repair;
Pete's Poetry Repair; friendly sounding.
Come down to Pete’s, we'll fix what’s the matter with your pitter-patter
Could increase sales by charging for coffee and downnuts
when they bring in their poems for repair
(Making money as a poet is a joke, easy living man)
Pete’s Podium of Poetry Repair
Poetry Repair
There's gotta be money in it somehow



More How to Make Good Money as a Poet

Ads
In the backs of magazines *2007 or spam
Now you can make EASY MONEY AT HOME
With the fastest growingest gosh-**** bestest
Poetry Repair
Can you spot the error in this?:
Twinkle twaddle little star
How I wonder what you are
Yes. You saw it. Easy, wasn't it? And in no time at all
you'll being doing this to even some of the greats:
Romeo, Romeo,
Oh where for **** thou Romeo
Editors pay big bucks for this stuff
Poetry repair
do it at home
Ads

More How to Make Good Money as a Poet

1 book = poems + free towel inside
free towel inside your book of poems
poem and a free towel
could be symbolic message
something about a towel and a poem
maybe the beach
maybe the *****
something about a towel and a poem



More How to Make Good Money as a Poet

poem-in-a-casket
very goth
sort by flavour
poem-of-the-month club (with underwear)
poem *******
poem *******
******* with poems on the ***
maybe women will let me write on their pantied ***
and charge them for it
(I'm voting for poem *******)
***** Poetry
I’ll be rich
fifty bucks a toss
Painted-***** Poetry
for fifty bucks a toss
I'll come to your house
and paint a poem on your *******
We'll discuss each poem
over tea and cookies
so you'll get what you like
get what you like
poem on your pantied behind, painted
fifty bucks a toss
Call now!
Mitchell Duran Sep 2013
The retainer where she was put
Was made of concrete. My father told me they had
Dug the grave first, then poured the concrete in, waited for
It to dry and harden, then hammered in six
Circular spikes in the four corners, two on either side
Of the middle. They lifted the concrete cast out with a crane.
My dad was going to be charged 300 dollars a day for the rental,
But because of the circumstances, Home Depot let us have it for free.

-

Where was she?
Where had she gone?
Would I see her face again?
Would she want me to
Meet her on the other side of the river?

-

I answered my cell phone.

"Make sure to bring flower's."
She had been crying. Her voice wavered the way sun light
Does on moving water.

"Make sure to bring flowers," she repeated, "And
That you wear what your father and I bought you."

I nodded my head with the receiver pressed up against my ear.
We both let out a sigh. My mom hung up. I put my phone in my back pocket.

-

Lately, I had been seeing a shrink about repetition. He liked to use the word cycle.

"Everything is repeated," I would tell him.

"Life is a cycle," he'd disagree so to get me talking.

"Can cycles be identical?"

"Technically not. Some cycles are extremely similar, but no two cycles are
Completely the same. Are two people's lives ever exactly the same?"

"I wouldn't know. I don't know that many people. Maybe."

"You know lots of people, Camden. You have told me about many of your friends."

"Are we talking about the seasons?" I asked, changing the subject, "Like fall, winter, spring, summer? We are born, we live, we die, and we are born again?"

"That's a very natural way of looking at it."

"I know it is." I inhaled deeply, swallowing air and wondered what time it was.

"If you are so sure, why look for validation from me?" He liked this one, I could
tell. I imagined him shopping for clothes and then exploding in aisle 16 because of a sale on jeans.

"The word cycle is used by people too afraid to use the word repetition. Everything is
Repeated for the next generation, the next group, the next of the next of the next. We shift things
Around, give things to one another to shift life to make it look different, but, things remain the same. Everything contains the primal function we were all doing and living from the very beginning, only now, there is more of a separation. Music is still music, words are still words, paintings are still paintings, love is still love, death is still death, only done differently and more intensely."

"We are talking about man furthering technology because we, as people and creatures, are
Statistically more prone to flee than fight?"

"Why do you think it has caught on so quick?" I touched both
Corners of my lips with my tongue and suddenly realized I hadn't eaten breakfast.

"It is a theory," the psych nodded, "A theory with, I am sure, many
Palpable facts you could make a very nice report with to prove...something." He
Was at a lost for words and I felt guilty that my mom was paying him $75 an hour.

"We are very split. There are too many of us. Too many hands spinning the china."

"Who is we Harry?" The psych hadn't looked up from his pen and pad of paper, until now. I could
Tell he was annoyed with me either because he was making no progress or because the session
Had just begun and I was already digging into him.

"Culture. The government. You, me, my dad, my mom, the taco bell cashier, the geniuses at Apple computers, a paper weight, my dead sister. We're all apart of these shifts, all putting in a certain amount of energy and lies to keep the protection of the projection going. The question I keep asking myself is: do I want to use my strengths to be apart of this cycle or not?"

His eyes flared open for a moment like he'd swallowed a firefly, not at the question I had posed for myself, but from what I would soon see was from the mention of my sister. He had something.

"I was notified by your mother that you may not want to talk about your recently deceased sister. Is It O.K. if I ask you some questions about her?"

I was leaning forward on the couch with my hands clasped in between my legs. The psych had looked up at me now. He was sweating at the top of his thin hairline. Observing that I was staring at his building perspiration, he, trying to be nonchalant, took out a thin, white napkin from his grey shirt pocket and dabbed the top of his head. The napkin looked like cheap toilet paper. I'd have offered him some water, but I had no water to give and I didn't know where the sink and cups were to give him any. I figured he did - it was his office - so I asked him for some. He pointed me in the direction of the bathroom. I got up and found a stack of paper cups. I poured myself a cup and went back to the couch, but instead of leaning forward, I sat back, relaxed, and let the expensive leather couch take the weight I had been carrying away.

"So," the psych maintained cooly, "Would it be alright if we were able to discuss your sister?"

I lifted the paper cup over my head and the psych's eyes, after I poured the water over my hair, my face, and clothes, was a mixture of what my mom's eyes looked at the funeral, defeated, confused, and with a loss of faith and hope. My father's eyes had only held hate, anger and the need to lash out at someone, but the only someone that would have fit the bill would have been God.

"Sure," I answered, "Let's talk about my sister."

-

I finished drying myself in the car. The psych had let me keep the towel.
I leaned out the window to look at myself in the side mirror. I looked fine.
Presentable. Accountable. Like I had been through something where I had
Faced my soul. Like I had used and abused my emotions. There was comb in my glove compartment, so I took it out and rushed it through my damp hair. Slicked back. The sun
Was out, no clouds, burning up the inside of my car. That taste that comes after
Finishing something that's supposed to do you good didn't come. I was left with an unsure hand.
Putting my keys in the ignition, I turned them, and felt the engine rumble in front of my legs.
The sun sat in the sky like a lazy hand and I had nowhere else to go but home.

-

"Let's go to the river today," my dad said over coffee and two over easy eggs on top
Of burnt wheat toast. "I'll drive and you and your sister can sit in the back and sing."

I looked over at Ally. She was gazing into her fruit bowl she had prepared for
herself because dad didn't understand the concept or how to make it. The lamp light above us
reflected in the smooth apricot yogurt and the flecks of granola scattered on top
looked like beige, jagged rocks. My dad's offer hung in the air and neither
of us bit the lure. I had just woken up and was unable to speak clearly, a decent
excuse. Ally was simply choosing to ignore him.

"What you think there Ally?" I asked her. I sipped my coffee. It needed more cream. I got
U, got it and brought the carton to the table.

"We can take the truck down there and load the back with the fishing poles and tackle
And inner tubes. We haven't...done that...in a long time," he said, chewing his food as he spoke.

Ally poked her fruit bowl with her spoon, silent.

"What you think, Cam?" My dad was desperate. He knew I'd say yes.

"Sure. I've got no plans this weekend."

"No schoolwork?"

"It can wait till Sunday. Only math and some reading."

"Ally, what do you think?" my dad asked, leaning over to her. I could see he was
Trying to be as courteous and gentle with her as he knew how to. I felt bad for him.

"Sure," she muttered, "That sounds like fun." I could barely hear her, but somehow,
I could tell she sounded happy.

"Perfect," my dad smiled, "We'll pack the car up Friday,
Drive up Saturday morning early, camp one night, then get back Sunday afternoon." He
Took a long sip of his coffee and swished it around in his mouth, then dug
His fork into the dry toast and ran his small steak knife over the eggs. A silent pop came from
The egg and the light orange yolk spilled out. "Perfect," he repeated, "Just great."

Ally poked a grape from her fruit bowl and dipped it into the yogurt.
I took another sip of my coffee and looked up into the fan, spinning above us.
We were going to the river.

-

"Your sister turns five today," my mom told me, "And that means
I want you to be on your best behavior."

I nodded, unsure what the point of a birthday was. I had had one before, or at
least I thought I did, and all I remembered was that I got presents and the colorful balloons
and the cake we all ate with fire kind of floating and burning above it. Somewhere
in that moment I remember thinking that the cake was going to catch on fire, then they, everyone,
some that I knew and some people I had never seen before, yelled and shouted to
blow the fire out, so I quickly did, but not because it was for a wish, which I later found out it was supposed to be for, but because I truly thought the cake was going to catch fire and they wanted me to take care of it. At that point, I was unsure what it meant to be alive or why to celebrate it all.

"This is her day, Camden," my father told me, "So I want you to be happy for your sister."

"I am," I said. I was wearing my favorite white and blue striped t-shirt and
New shoes that my mom had bought me for the party.

"Sometimes you have to think of other people," my mother continued, "And today is one
of those days. I don't want any crying because you didn't get any presents or that none of your
friends are at the party. There are going to be a lot of Ally's friends there, but not many
of your's...do you understand?"

"Yes, Mom."

"Do you understand, Cam?" My father repeated. His skin was the color of a burnt
pancake and he smelt like stale sugar and sun tan lotion. He was in front of me and was
holding a thin magazine with a man in a boat holding up a fish on a line on the cover.  

"Yes, Dad," I said again. I was hungry. I wanted mac n' cheese, my favorite food.

I had been on the floor, laying on my stomach watching Ren and Stimpy. They were standing in front of the television and I remember trying to wish them out of the way. Behind them were two, large bay windows where three palm trees stood in a row like tropical soldiers. I could see there was no wind because the three of them stood still, as if posing for someone. Their leaves were bright green, a mixture of the neon green Jello I used to love to eat and the orange Jolly Rancher my dad would always have in a tiny tray in the middle of the dining table. My mother hated having them there because it always tempted Ally and I, but he never moved it until he moved out.

"Do you like your show?" my mom asked, turning to see what I was watching.

I nodded, absently. Ren was licking Stimpy's eye because he was complaining about having
an eyelash in there. Stimpy was completely still and smiling like he does - dumb and content.

"Interesting..." my mother trailed off. She walked to the kitchen behind the couch and
Opened up the pantry for something. "You hungry, Camden?"

"I'm starving," my dad said, "Let me go check on Ally in the bedroom. She should be up
from her nap."

I got up from my stomach and sat back on my legs, "Do we have mac n' cheese?" I asked.

"Let me check."

She reached up for the cabinet over the stove where I could never reach and
Opened it. I rose slightly up from where I was sitting to see if I could see the glorious dark blue and orange package, but wasn't able to see over couch. I hovered there, still like a humming bird.

"You're in luck," I heard her say, "We've got one box left."

"Yay!" I screamed and got up, running into the kitchen.

"But," she smiled, stopping me, "You'll have to share it with your sister."

"No! I don't want to! I always have to share."

"What did we just talk about Camden?" she said, lightly stamping her foot.

I tried to remember, but couldn't. I shrugged.

"You need to learn to share, Camden. You also need to listen better when your father and I are talking to you. You and your sister are going to know each other a very long time and I want you to learn how to share now, so you two can be happy in the future."

"The future," I asked, "What's that?"

She paused, then said, "It's a time," she paused again, "Ahead of us."

"Do we know where it is?"

"Not exactly," she sighed.

"What's it look like?"

"No one really knows. People can only imagine it."

"Is it very far away?"

She opened the top of the blue and orange mac n' cheese box and poured the dry macaroni into a large silver ***, lifted the faucet, and let it run inside for five or seven seconds. She placed the *** on an unlit burner and turned to look at me. Her eyes looked far away and right there with me.  

"Closer then you think," she said and turned the burner on.

-

I turned into the taco bell parking lot. There was something I was trying to remember that was in my trunk, but I couldn't recall the picture. A haze blew over the windshield that was a mix of heat and wind; I wished to be somewhere else, someone else, someplace else, but, there I was, sitting there underneath the sun, like everyone else. If I was able, I would have unlocked the door to my car and opened the door and walked out - but - there was something else lingering underneath my fingernails, something I couldn't name.

"Two tacos," I said into my hand, "And a water."

"Pull to the window," the voice buzzed over the muffled speaker.

"Yes," I said through my split fingers.

In front of me, over a patch of clean cut green grass and a yellow, red, and orange Taco Bell signature sign, was a fresh gas station with a willow tree *** near the front entrance. He had a sign that hung around his neck that read Juice Please - Very Thirsty. How I knew this was because I had seen it every time I had been asked to fill up my dad's car every other Sunday. I had never given the tree a dollar, yet, I felt that I owed him something. I tried to pull up to the window, but my clutch was grinding and a cloud slunk overhead. I was tired and only wanted to eat.

"That'll be a two twenty-five," the voice said through the thick, clear glass.

"Yes," I said to myself, digging into my wallet for three dollars.

I ****** the three onto the thick plastic platform. A quick sweeping plastic brush pushed the bills toward the asker, and the bills were gone. I had no food. I had nothing. My money was gone and all I had was a gurgling car in front of me and an empty front seat beside me. A pair of clouds waded by my front shield window. A shadow drew itself out in front of me like a **** model. A beep. Sudden and behind me. There was sound. I looked over my shoulder and a black  2013 Cadillac was sitting there, windshield tinted grey, the driver a shadow. I was unsure what to do...so I pulled forward six inches, hoping the offer would be enough. I wasn't in the best neighborhood.

The window to the left of me slid open. An arm erupted forward with a plastic bag,
"75 cents is your change."

The hand dropped three quarters next to the plastic bag. I grabbed the bag with the two tacos and three quarters and quickly wound up my window. The face in front of me was a dangerous blur: smiling, frowning, not caring either way what happened to me next. The hands had gobbled up the three dollars and I was happy to see it go. Who needed money? I tossed the plastic bag onto the passenger seat and sped off two blocks for my grandma's house. Salvation. The holy land. A place with free hot sauce and two dog's that were stolen without paper's. Eden.

-

"What are you learning right now?" I asked Ally.

She hesitated, then said, "Something to do with science." She paused," Lot's to do with rock's."

"Rocks?" I stammered, not remembering a time when I learned about rocks in school, "What kind of rocks?"

"I don't know," she grinned, looking up at me, "All kinds."

I laughed and kicked a stone into the river. The sun was out and reflected on the water like an unpolished diamond. We had grown up a quarter mile away, but still, it felt foreign to us.

"I like it. There's some things you could see that you would never think to read about it in books."

I had read plenty off books. Most, I took little from, but Ally, I could see, had taken plenty.

"What are you doing in school?" Ally asked me.

"What do you mean?" I
Terry Collett Nov 2016
There's day out there light comes through the gap in the curtains bright light but you don't want to get up you want to lie in bed all day and forget the day began want to just lie there close your eyes and pretend the day hasn't come want it to be last week when he was still with you still in bed with you and hugging you and kissing you but he's gone and it's not what you wanted at all but he just up and left and rumour has it(female friends told you) he was seeing someone else and had gone off with her you snuggle down in the bed pull the white duvet over you imagine it is him near to you him hugging you tight like he used to do the white pillow is soft and smells of perfume yours his pillow lies behind you unused now although you did hug it in the night did hold it tight against your naked flesh pretending it was him against you now it's cast behind you against the bed board thrown there in disgust you lie and stare at the light at the patterns it makes on the duvet small particles float in small galaxies twirling around and around why did he go? What was she like? What did she have I don't ? questions enter your head you try to push them away but they barge into your brain like invaders causing you anxiousness and now you are depressed and want just to sleep want just to close your eyes and pretend there is no world out there nothing just nothing birds sing by the window traffic hums beyond you wanted him last night wanted him in bed with you his hands over you his lips kissing you kissing you everywhere but there were no lips no kissing although you pretended he was kissing you and closing your eyes you kissed your arm and hand and then moved down and kissed your leg and as far as you could reach until your neck ached with the reaching and you lay back and stared at the dark ceiling and cried aren't you going to get up? They'll expect you in today at the office and if you don't go in they might think you aren't coming anymore and the job will go and how then will you pay the rent and bills? You want the inner voice to shut up want it to just be quiet it has been at you in the waking hours yak yak yak you close your eyes shut out the light imagine it's Sunday imagine it is time to have that second sleep you do have some Sundays where has he gone? Why didn't he tell me? You open your eyes and stare at the ceiling where light plays got to get up and wash or shower and brush the hair and get breakfast the voice says you sit up stare at the window push back the duvet and put your legs out of bed and sit on the edge of the bed and feel the soft carpet beneath your feet there's a chill you ought to go shower warm up get that hot water over you wash off the night sweat and the wetness down below where you did things in the night out of frustration you stare at the dressing table at your refection in the mirror at your hair all over the place what a sight the voice says look at you no wonder he left you and went off with that ***** whoever she was bet she looked a million dollars not like you you cheap looking ***** shut up you tell the voice the voice stops and you get off the bed and walk across the carpet and open the door and walk to the bathroom and sit down on the stall and *** the air is warm the heating is on your body is not what it was am I old now? Middle aged? No no I am thirty three not old why did he leave me? Did he want children? Guess he might not that I didn't want them but it frightened me having kids having that responsibility on me all that baby stuff you have to cope with and what if it died how would I cope with that? You get up flush the pan and get in the shower and turn on the tap and the water is nice hot and you close your eyes and let the water flow over you in your hair and over your shoulders and arms and legs you open your eyes after a minute or two and grab the shower gel and wash all over your hair you face neck arms under the arms body hugging washing as if he was doing it between the legs especially there and behind the back of the legs all over you rinse and then you turn off the tap and stand there momentarily and stare at the shower curtain and suddenly it hits you he isn't going to come back he's gone gone gone you panic and almost slip in the shower you push back the wet curtains and get out on the mat and grab a white towel from the rail warm and soft and you hug yourself in it and calm yourself calm now relax just relax you hug your body tight in the towel and begin to dry yourself he isn't coming back no more hugs and kisses no more *** in bed with him no more *** games no more you hug the towel about you and cry your cheeks wet and you hug the towel tighter and tighter pull yourself together the voice says get dried and get to work shut up you reply you wipe the tears away then throw the towel in the basket you walk back to the bedroom and stand there naked in front of the mirror looking at your body and the hair dried in a mess you hesitate then get out the clothes for the day the underwear the tights the dress the blue one he bought you why that one? I want to show I don't care I want to wear it you dress slowly then once you are dressed you brush your hair sitting on the small chair in front of the dressing table Mother used to brush my hair nice when I was a girl sitting me on her lap brushing down slowly and carefully and then she'd kiss me and say I was her angel Mother's dead now that cancer got her you feel tears coming again looking at your face in the mirror you see tears going down your cheeks like small pearls I love you he said I bet the voice says in your head he says that to all the girls.
A WOMAN TRIES TO COME TO TERMS WITH HER MAN LEAVING HER.
Margaret Jul 2014
The beach
      WOOOSH
                   .......Whoosh.....
Sand
        Water
Whoosh swoosh of the waves
Cute boys in the water
Whoosh swoosh
Of the water.
In my towel
Whoosh..... swoosh......
Hanging out at the beach today.
No matter what happens at the beach the water stays moving consistently
Fig boo obba do
Uptar guivbar
Ceeb zoop gabba
Koop neeb wabba vo

Muck pocket locket bug
Even sub lubbet dug

Ibber tug vagga dug
Neek mug dar rug

Towel
How well
Ew shell

Angus meat funk
Skunk eats the big dunk
Seeba doob la lunk
victoria Dec 2018
Wet hair
Warm towel

Arms wrapped around
my tiny shoulders
You were my first love

Wet hair
Warm towel

My daddy
My whole world
You were my only love
Back then
I didn’t see
Anyone else

Wet hair
Warm towel

Yesterday you died

Wet hair
Warm towel

My beautiful memory
My dad died on Saturday the 1st of December 2018... after a long, hard and heartbreaking battle with motor neurone disease. He was too sick for his original plan of assisted suicide and was left unable to speak, eat or move for the last 6 months. My early memory of him was him washing my hair in the bath then wrapping me in a warm towel... now he is a peace without his broken body
david badgerow Jun 2012
the morning sun
was hot and i awoke suffocating
inside an oven
of a tent
on a beach
naked

everything i owned
was in a bag in the backseat
of your car
with your *******
quickly driving
away

i found your
little brother's optimus prime towel
beneath me
and decided to
wander into the
world

and i found
my cellphone and car keys
and an unsmoked cigarette
on the sidewalk
but you stole my
dignity
TOWEL

After their bath, their towel they make me,

Some kind of mischief, in this they see.

My Freyanush n  Zoi's towel, I love to be.

Such a wonderful time of the day this is; filled with glee.

As hug me they;  with their lil bodies, wet I love to get.

To stay dry I dare not with them ever bet.

To run n  jump in my lap, a time they plan n set.

They somehow succeed in getting me wet.

To be their towel, is absolute fun, a sheer joy.

Love I, to be their towel; their live- fun- toy.

Willingly I become a part of their prank n ploy.

For these cute loving pranks, I am their envoy

Armin Dutia Motashaw
SG Holter Oct 2014
Right now she's one hour's
Drive south of where I
Miss her from.

Stepping out of the shower
Just about now, perhaps
Catching my scent

On her towel and cursing
Me through a wet smile for
Always grabbing the first one

I see. She'll look in the mirror
And remember that time I
Walked in and stood behind

Her, brushing strands of black
Away from the back of her
Neck; making room for my

Mouth to render it nearly
Impossible to dry herself with
Eyes narrowing; closing, her

Towel already wet from the
Shower I had taken
Earlier.
SG Holter Apr 2014
Sea breeze carrying scents
From foreign fields.
Blossoming sympathies reaching
Out over the fences of Lafayette
Cemetary.
Forest breath rustling leaves with
Faint animal musk and the
Serenity of centuries.
Still nothing smells quite like a
Young woman; bare feet and towel
Draped- fresh from
Shower
Passing.
Salty rancher spackle is to Earthy diva smackers as Swinging hotel number is to?
Rippling cling bread is to Three lizard chariots as Indigo lime tangent is to?
Nighttime reunion planet is to Nettle lane scuffle as Soaking spider *** is to?
Fancy trance logs are to Sticky fudge lather as Vivacious gator college is to?
Cheerful blossom face is to Secret tractor rocket as Canned gremlin emblems are to?
Jealous pitchfork generals are to Heartbreaking patchwork veranda as Folding robot noise is to?
Pretty rhino rash is to Lost locket vengeance as Back pocket weather is to?
Frosted candy sidewalk is to Sneaky kook code as Shiny waffle smoke is to?
Sapphire cloud romance is to Magnetic comet lava as Blue triangle envy is to?
Vanishing honey melody is to Thermal elf pajamas as Whistling iceboat shampoo is to?
Peach mint politics is to Frozen doll pennies as Rusty anchor catapult is to?
Swollen pony fever Throbbing sword kazoo as Silent turbine science is to?
Obese germ thunder is to Stacked lemon towers as Corrupt moon jockey is to?
Demented insect whistle is to Glass trophy cleanup as Purple geode bubble is to?
Nighttime razor slime is to Lacquered dragon maps as Tint paper mittens are to?
**** camel drops are to Velvet ****** shoes as Slippery red muffins are to?
Flying hot drool is to Pale chocolate telescope as Tin trumpet ballet is to?
Expensive puppy speed is to Flowered duck mirror as Cosmic needle factory is to?
Fractured laser doodles are to Cracked butter gravel as Rubber holster straps are to?
Majestic panther fortress is to Jeweled cork target as Iron swan taxi is to?
Poisonous pepper bouillon is to ****** goat soap as Chrome feather pirates are to?
Digital gorilla scriptures are to Timid hunter stench as Frozen domino video is to?
Eccentric troll opera is to Transparent wax village as Spoiled coral agony is to?
Bizarre green metal is to Pillow eating hamster as Leather cavern ***** are to?
Eternal hurricane evidence is to Powdered rainbow perfume as Smoking yellow prune is to?
Liquid wish cleanser is to Exploding meadow ladders as Brittle rose hammer is to?
Caged foam filter is to Cherry balloon string as Ivory cactus spider is to?
Carbon puppet watch is to Sad kings compass as Elastic lace whiskers are to?
Nitrogen trolley dust is to Lazy elephant toffee as Orange toad choir is to?
Dark pole zodiac is to Blue finger blanket as Illegal bug nozzle is to?
Stinky towel cookies are to White jade caskets as Sticky snail tea is to?
Converting stellated caramels is to Mythic aerosol socks as Rubber raspberry jokes are to?
Flying clock carousel is to Whisky nut worms as Plastic fish platforms are to?
Queasy Vaseline queens are to Moody pigeon pills as Aqua mice fur is to?
Spotted bowl shadow is to Idiotic radiance lotion as Bungalow toad hearse is to?
Gushing chimney fungus is to Funky lamb acrobat as Utopian **** sprinkler is to?
Twinkling bungalow tablet is to Botanical duck rope as Bug hat ram is to?
Broken clock fossil is to Black ginger confetti as Parisian cobra meatloaf is to?
Silly Xerox ribbon is to Obedient raccoon carny as Traditional cat linguini is to?
Last astral advisor is to Elastic badger riddles as Broken circle rifles are to?
Bagged squire channel is to Temporary mosaic cake as Ancient bacon thread is to?
Wireless math army is to Moronic neon money as Pearl razor radar is to?
Rubber buzzard blizzard is to Troubled bubble wizard as Crushed hash ******* is to?
Purple birdy cure is to Tangled frost blossoms as Silken bridal saddle is to?
Unisex owl accordion is to Sugar bottomed boat as Optical nougat treasure is to?
Flavored saline rain is to Black arrow clan as Transistorized clam guitar is to?
Sharpened twig scar is to Mutant beet sonar as Baked troll mask is to?
Boxed noodle secrets are to Traditional guru buttons as Glossy marshmallow strategy is to?
Vibrating melted jelly is to Silver furniture dream as Spewing collated seats is to?
Burnt mountain pickles are to Baby preacher shoes as Sympathetic pilot pain is to?
Narrow portal treaty is to Monkey warehouse vacancy as Painted tornado trap is to?
Porch penny sulfur is to Glowing pony fat as Patched mattress bait is to?
Frigid waitress fallacy is to Graphic shrimp salute as Misted sneezing window is to?
Moist apple moss is to Daddy’s zoom seed as Downtown Pope cart is to?
Tired felon trickle is to Holographic squirrel candle as Wild ray hay is to?
Deadly zero chalk is to Folding wilderness chart as Curved ******* vacuum is to?
Hollow porcelain pellets are to Strawberry rain stencils as Microwave taxi nomads are to?
Wasted machete balcony is to Crumpled creature confessions as Fridge fuzzed fruit is to?
Sloppy demon damage is to Squeaky puppet chuckle as Mental arcade combat is to?
Monster trout stories are to Lewd pirate cocktail as Locked mammal grommet is to?
Rotting rope network is to Tragic toy goat as Cotton submarine shoes are to?
Complex pepper dance is to ****** cloud cushion as Marching taxi holiday is to?
Mental petal collectors are to Spooned barn putty as Dork factory fiction is to?
Hot spotted tops are to Timed stepping pests as Yogurt notching tartar is to?
Crazy dog comics are to Ambitious cartoon sphinx as Pavlov’s zinc ballet is to?
Soiled spinster wedding is to Padded razor wound as Floating fish map is to?
Slippery leopard pants are to Perfumed nut button as Dart wizard party is to?
Needy alien elephants are to Barking garden gnats as Quasar focused paper is to?
Slanted heart **** is to Bronzed cliff sandals are to Cunning jockey jokes are to?
***** thumbprint massage is to Holistic princess memory as Sliding dental sword is to?
Drifting wood whistle is to Fluorescent carpet powder as Foam dragon whistle is to?
Chopped web shadow is to Immortal vermin soup as Collapsing porch conspiracy is to?
Stolen thunder chant is to Haunted comet heart as Swollen throat portrait is to?
Fragrant frost parfait is to Grumpy caveman *** as Random stingray solo is to?
Squeaky polar turbine is to Silent lava fever as Oversized lunar fulcrum is to?
Synthetic dew droppers are to Pocket poster paste as Hypnotic screen dog is to?
Symbolic whirlpool nausea is to Dreaming tree phantom as Log badge bracket is to?
Camp hippo map is to Horseradish seizure insurance as Distant insect mirror is to?
German lady sherbet is to Stuntman laundry wax as Hungry butterfly ghost is to?
Fly smudged foil is to Amped maze coil as Shifting optic terror is to?
Automatic sheep floss is to Panoramic tanker anchor as Throbbing bone pillow is to?
Mutant clown village is to Nightmare translation treasure as Spotted spectral chakra is to?
Blind roach tweat is to Hermit worm tiara as Divine logo ritual is to?
Glueless gun stamp is to Malicious spam pump as Floral toffee pods are to?
Dudgeon mist removal is to Menacing bolt smacker as Boating duke shadow is to?
Costly metal plungers are to Creaky buzzing gushers as Glowing star cushions are to?
Raked barge sludge is to Crusted cream glitter as Zircon gutter babble is to?
Fake gold scholar is to Amish ******* mogul as Faithful ***** choir is to?
Sacred limo prayers are to Fried mice café as Splintered ****** thimble is to?
Dealing rabbit decals is to Pelican bongo festival as Patched equator rot is to?
Freedom gourd gasoline is to Cobblers studying acorns as Desecrated dice crater is to?
Tattered tapestry rod is to Busted particle scanner as Bogus piffle catalogue is to?
Trifle truffle raffle is to Last lamb laminate as Segmented cake goggles are to?
Domestic tackle tactic is to Ticking tic talk as Cordial corps coordinates is to?
Tucked duck caftan is to Sunken ramp ruckus as Wretched ranch rhetoric is to?
Clearly incomprehensible directions are to Useful archaic nonsense as Antiquated skeletal outline is to?
Bewildered beasts feasting are to Lazy busybodies resting as Vaccinating brave volunteers are to?
Lucky wagon dragons are to Famous gargoyle gargle as Formal postman funding is to?
Furrowed shroud chowder is to Borrowed tartan pajamas as Martini mixed algebra is to?
Cowgirl balloon helium is to Chewy glucose habitat as Stationary monument movement is to?
Diamond powered powder is to Diagonal diameter diagram as Purposely condensed expansion is to?
Organic iodine capsule is to Gleaming beach probe as Dominant dome static is to?
Shaving wrinkled targets is to Petting sensible monsters as Selling invisible whiskey is to?
Frozen piano architecture is to Note dotted clouds as Screaming Korean worms are to?
Sonic plant website is to Telepathic climbing clam as Bored protein exercise is to?
Gourmet mollusk cone is to Numb poodle caravan as Asian raven radar is to?
SG Holter Oct 2014
It never ceases to amaze me,
The way a woman can be at her most
Beautiful
Naked,

And yet feel so
Insecure; covering up with arms
Even as she tiptoes into
The

Livingroom for a
Towel to
Eclipse herself
With.

Every day with a woman
Is the one
Before
Christmas.
Zulu Samperfas Feb 2013
I sat with my attention deep into the computer screen
As he came back with two biscuits on a paper towel
"do you want one?" he asked
and a little line was crossed of caring I haven't had
in a long time and I was afraid, like a feral cat
reaching out furtively for a treat offered by
a concerned lover of the feline and
I reached out slowly for it, pink chipped nails
and fear, overcome
and he feeds feral cats around where he lives
a man who feeds cats...I never thought I'd know one
Nikita Marley Aug 2013
I was angry.
******.
I ran from the beach. I held my towel and sweater.
My glasses were foggy.
I couldn't see anything.
I pulled them off and clenched them in my fist.
I flew over the bridge and tore through the woods.
My flashlight beam was slow
Wavering.
I ran
tripped
jumped
panted
scraped
screamed
flew
up the stairs.
I was angry.
******.
Why couldn't they leave me alone.

Up the stairs.
Rocks
Sticks
Bumps
******* sharp things
Leaves.

The lights of the house glowed up ahead.
Bright.
Too bright.
Like my grandma.
I ran to them.

Around the house.
Through the door.

Bright greeted me.
Are you going in the sauna?
Why the **** do we HAVE a sauna!!!!!
We're in the middle of nowhere
We swim in a lake
We drive an hour
To get to the closest town
And yet we have a SAUNA

No. I'm not going in.

I'm already steaming.
Even though I'm steaming
A *** boiling over
She SMILES
******* SMILES
Why are you SMILING?
So you're just fine like that?

Slam.
Slam the door.
Goodbye.
No more.

I'm crying.
Hot tears over my cold body.
My nose hurts.
I cry and cry.
But no one hears me.
He's in the next room
And he doesn't hear me.
They're still at the beach. I hear them
And they don't hear me.

I sit on the floor.
I ignore the wet spot I'm making on the stupid grey rug.
I pull my wet towel to me.
I haven't dried off yet.
I don't.

I don't care.

I stand up.
I stop crying and pull my towel over my head.

It is dark.
I stand there.
And then I walk.
Through the room
Bumping into beds and walls.
I am nothing.
Nothingness itself.
I see no one
And no one sees me.
I can't see.

I can't see.

I hear my name over and over.

What is that?
Nothing.

What did you say?
Nothing.

What do you want?
Nothing.

Yeah right.

What's up?
Nothing.

Sure. Nothing.
The word one uses when we cannot speak.

I stop being nothing and take off the towel.
I am not nothing.
I am Nikita.
I am crying again.
I hear them coming up the stairs outside.
I gather my clothes and put on my glasses.
Still foggy.
I take them off.

I leave the room.

Are you heading to the sauna?

No.

I go to the bathroom.

STOP SAYING MY NAME

I DON'T WANT DESSERT

I DON'T WANT CHOCOLATE CAKE

I'm crying again.
Tuesday Pixie Oct 2014
Nothing is certain anymore.
I used to know: I miss knowing.
I had decided he was the one.
Forever. For ever. Everlong. Everlast.
But it wasn’t everlasting.
And now?
I’ve lost the partner to my dream.

Begin again. Start once more. All over.
New introductions: new dynamics
It’s all different.
Unsettling.
Exciting – I’m thrown off balance.
Soo much to learn.
What’s beneath the ripply surface?
Open up, prise to sunlight; I must see.
Figure: are you the new ‘one’?

A replacement?
A new dream. A new adventure.
A thousand ways to see the world.
Perspective dominates so much.
I think we come from similar mind
- But unless you speak I cannot be certain.
“What’re you thinking?”
“Mmm… I don’t know”
It’s a gap
Between thought and mouth
- I’ve been there, I’ve felt it.
We need to build a bridge.

‘Put your trust in me, I’m not gonna die alone’
I don’t want to. Not alone.
I need someone to accompany me.
I want a family.
Who?
It feels like time to settle in.
Who?
I’m tired of this game
This uncertainty
Either let me be alone
- Impossible for me, I know:
I ***** too much up when I’m single.
Yet there should be growth there.
- Then let me be with the one.

I know there is no perfection.
But imperfections may compliment.
I know it takes work.
Communication.
Sacrifice.
Energy.
Time.
I know difference must be respected.
I know connection is of most importance
- Or perhaps a close second to support.
And love.

But love grows.
Even arranged marriages fall into love.
Why not choose?
The one with the traits
The dynamic that is desired
Love will come
It always does in the end
So long as resentment does not dominate
The dynamic is soo important!
And the lifestyle
- What am I willing to give up?
What does he desire?  

I’m over this dizzying romance game.
I’m throwing the towel in.
If not him, then someone else close by.
Because I’ve always had too many options.
And before that made me scared:
Given urge to ‘play the field’
Taste all within range.

Now, now, I am tired.
It’s nice to know someone’s intimacy
Exploring beneath the cloak:
Let me in, let me in, let me in.
I know it takes time
Let me in, let me in, let me in.
But trust me. Please?
Let me in, let me in, let me in.
Coz ******! I’m letting you in.
And ******! I want to show you my world.
And to see yours.
And when we escape this place,
Maybe just for a day or two,
But when we do,
It’s fricken beautiful
And we’re beautiful
And I know that.

Please. I want to fall into love.
Why not with him?
Tired of the dating game. At such an early age! Perhaps it's just a phase.. We all want our happily ever after, even if we've lost faith in true love.
'Put your trust in me, I'm not gonna die alone' from The Antlers 'Putting the Dog to Sleep': http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xg8Ckamh8Gw
Martin Narrod Jun 2014
Most peculiarly of most things was that I thought all of this very fishy, daudry, drab, and boresome. This is where I turn on the second table lamp...

In a muster I arrived to the home of my aunt, where at once she drew me into the back of the house, down a flight of stairs made of tusk and bone into a catacomb where she kept a alive collection of wooly mammoths. She said the upkeep wasn't awfully horrendous as she had an invisible backdrop which led to a lion, a witch, and a wardrobe sort of thing. I stood in the gangway behind 10 foot high thigh bones waiting for one of the monstrous red beasts to come greet me, but what arrived was a very large elephant with longer tusks than usual. None of the red sillyness which I had dreamt of seeing in my previous years.

She could see I was not that impressed, and so I was led to another part of her home. Around the corner walked in my uncle in is superb and luxurious dress, reminiscent of 18th century British military fatigues. He said, "I bought the E.T. ride from Universal Studios, but as bringing the whole ride to my home I had them adapt a more suitable version to fit the property. A hangar opened and inside there were four chariots of orange and blue, diamond shaped school buses with their undersides aimed at withholding a V-shaped street. Then in two and two single file order all the classmates of my K-12 years arrived and took seat into the strappings of this 'ride' we were to take. Music played, John Williams even was produced by hologram, and after the ups and downs for several minutes we arrived to what I thought would inevitably be the forest, but rather was what I perceived was a Finnish town. The chariot I was in was stuck in the street, mud, rain, and soot entrenched us. I unbuckled the polyester straps and when I stood I realized that though the seats had built in urinals and toilets they were utterly noiseome to the senses. I followed a local girl to a food mart where I asked how I could find where I was but no one spoke a drop of English.

I corraled the group and told them to wait for me. I followed this girl who seemed quite younger than I to a small apartment in the uppermost floor of a very unsturdy chapel-like home several suburban blocks from our ride. She immediately removed her pants and I saw with my very own eyes that she was hairless and nubile. She insisted that we have a ****, and after I caressed her and complained too that she was far too young, she insisted that the age of consent in Germany was actually 13 yet she was 16. I remember it clearly. The most gigantuous feelings of pleasure as I mended a studio closet for my dining room furniture inside her ripening channel. Eventually after an hour we finished, she offered me a towel and some biscuits, which I consumed joyously.

Upon leaving her home I remembered that she had said we were in Germany, and so I produced a measure of Deutsch that I had been saving in my repetoir for the right moment. As Finnish is not my strongest language I was pleased of this and became instantly popular among the other candidates of our journey. This  E.T. ride is far different than  I remember it having been. Moments later I awoke quickly, a tuft of her black hair on my eiderdown comforter and a veil of tears from the merriment of glee shrouded over my face. After I rolled and balled into the soft feathers of my bedding, I twisted myself again into a knot, and allowed myself to rejoin the soporific treatice I was aiming for.

This is now where I turn off both lamps and go on watching films of a similar style.

Wishing You The Very Best,

Sir Martin Narrod

I keep my family of conscience
I shred my folly of heir
In case of torment or fondness
I never wear underwear.
Kiernan Norman Jul 2014
We didn’t bloom together the way we should have. We never eyed each other across neat soil; both self-conscious and self-righteous as we sipped the sun and, in quiet bursts, raced to touch the sky.  

We weren't planted by gentle hands in soft plots with room to stretch our limbs and shield our eyes, nor to bud in peace and thrive and find identity in both our own bold blossoms and as a pulsing piece of the whole lavish garden.

We didn't bloom because we erupted.
We running-start-swan-dived into stale dirt and were too close from the very beginning.
We didn’t sprout up straight; we snaked and lurked and left no bit of earth untouched by our vibrant, stencil **** fingers declaring ourselves alive.

By harvest we were tangled beyond repair.
By harvest I didn't know me from you and I liked it.

To be so entwined is lovely but depends on a balance
we could only begin to grasp.
To expand but not uproot requires perfect synchronicity maybe not beyond our years but certainly beyond our maturity. We spread out our emotions like tarot cards on a towel in the grass and reflected in your sunglasses I met the silent pieces of me.
In colorful, grim drawings those quiet, ugly bits floated up veins and settled under ribs.
They stayed silent. Until they began to scream.

And you and I- we didn't have the words;
not our own words that we earned and burned while stumbling across months and plains,
tripping over potholes and finding our feet quicker each time.
We had place-holders words we sang back and forth and splashed around and bathed in.
The words we spoke were profound and cardboard.
We were just reading lines, sharing identical scripts and an ache to be seen
so deep and desperate it was sinful.

We maybe shared the humid cling of regret; which hung heavy in stuck-air auditoriums,
it beaded sweat echoed, rolling down spines and turning blood to sticky wax as we whispered in the corner about the things we could say aloud while our minds never left the things we wouldn't dare.

We were mostly ill-equipped.
We joked about hurricanes
We didn't survive the first storm.

I want you to know you really hurt my feelings.
I want you to know you're the first guy I've given my feelings to hurt.
I want you to know I was terrible towards the end.
And I know that. But you gave up on me

You gave up on me at the exact moment I was giving up on myself.
Even as my tongue stung metallic and veins pulsed so hot and loud
through my eardrum that I felt I would explode- it was clean.
It was all remarkably clean.
and sterile.
There were no explosions.
No shattered plates, ****** knuckles or blown out voices
that scratched and rose in time with the sun.

Just a quick slash of rope-
an anchor cut loose and left to sink;
our secrets were set free to
rust over and collect algae.
We were suddenly off the hook
for any vulnerability we might have spilled
on each other in our fits of laughter
and hours of sleep.
A deep sigh of relief.
A deeper sigh of desolation.


The moment exists in sad yellow lighting that must have been added in restrospect.
I tweaked the floor of my memory too:
at that moment I was not wearing flipflops on linoleum- but sinking, slowly and barefoot, into chilly riverbed mud as it turned to ice.

I opened the door and there you stood.
You knew I had been crying and I didn’t try to hide it
it was too exhausting- running on fumes.

And I did expect something from you,
anything from you, that might dull the singed-dagger plunging
stab to my chest with each breath I gulped and spat .
I wanted anything that might reel me in from the cliffs edge
where my thoughts had carried me on horseback.

But you had nothing.
I watched your eyes glaze over my swollen lips and pinced, glassy eyes.
You threw back the melted, Picasso-esque mask where my face once was,
like a quick, sharp shot of warm whiskey.
Careful to avoid eye contact you slipped ‘**** this,’
under your breath and started to reach for my hand.

You started to, but then after a second suspended
you let your arm fall back to your body.
Head lowered, jaw clenched and you turned and fled with a new heaviness pushing down on your posture.
It looked painful and adult.
It looked like you finally felt the weight of our season.
And watching you go I shrank in lighter and thicker because I felt it too.

We are not going to get a happy ending-
not with each other and not right now.
Maybe not ever.
And that will have to do.
(Though I will miss your hand in mine.
I hope one day you'll remember being tangled with me and it will make you laugh before you cringe because I didn't like to be alone.)

If I wanted to be alone I would just go home.
howard brace Jan 2013
Despite repeatedly shaking her pincer... much as a sprightly pensioner might brandish a furled umbrella at a grappling contestant, currently being boo'd at in the red corner... the baby crab stamped her foot in annoyance as she glowered at every passing wave that rolled along the shoreline.  In absolving herself of any guilt she may have felt over her prolonged excursion, she had become, even further marooned by a failure to catch a succession of tides back home, an oversight she later confessed, to observe local tide-tables in 'Old More's Almanac...' on sale in all discerning book shops and selected High Street newsagents, priced 10/6d... for unless fluent in the Russian vernacular, it was just about as articulate to the little crab as a map of the Moscow Metro during a blackout, only to have the Rouble finally drop with a throat gagging 'Gaaargh...' clunk, that you were currently standing on the down-line platform, when you should've been stood on the up... as the last train lurched unsteadily out of the station whistling a jubilant entente cordiale... 'wish me luck as you wave me dasvidaniya'.

     Still stamping her foot, only now in strict rotation with the other seven, the baby crustacean peered out from beneath the shade of the large pebble, rearing its bulk out of the rockpool like a lollypop-lady's 'STOP'!!! sign, her beady eyes twitching independently, first this way, then the other, cut withering swathes through every cardinal point of the compass that didn't duck quite fast enough, was rapidly coming to the conclusion that the rock-pool in which she found herself tapping her foot in today, would be no less aquatic as any other rockpool that she may find herself still tapping a foot in tomorrow and that the best course of action was simply to stay-put and take the matter up with the local town council, then petition for additional fare-stages to be implemented... and with the cost of shoe leather at current prices... well, with eight legs to consider it would make savings that weren't to be sneezed at.  

     It wasn't everyday of the week that a young and upwardly mobile baby crustacean had occasion to move both up-market and down the beach, all in the same mouthful... and into what could only be regarded as a desirable, detached beachfront property, a rock-pool of distinction with all available mod-cons.  She felt relieved that apart from the occasional day-tripper, who invariably dropped litter wherever they went, that a baby crab of distinction such as herself, was certain to be accepted socially and hob-*** with a new and discerning circle of acquaintances... you only had to take that nice lady earlier in the week, they both seemed to have so much in common... then she would roll up her sleeves and really show the neighbourhood what knitting was all about...  

     With as much enthusiasm as that of a three year old screaming for an ice-cream in the middle of an heat-wave, Red marched up the beach and as far from his wife's waspish tongue as a lame excuse would carry him, heading back towards the growing crush of holidaymaking fathers who were only there presumably, for the sake of their own children, laying siege to the mobile vendor... only this time, having already stood in the same queue ten minutes earlier, now had a sufficiency of funds to purchase that which he'd unsuccessfully queued for the first time.

      After an unspecified time which by his wife's reckoning was grounds for divorce... Red, now laden down with the iced confectionary picked his way through the same throng of fathers who moments earlier had been happily chatting in the queue together, were now enjoying the same berating as the one Red was looking forward to as he made his way back towards the rock pool, juggling more ice-cream than two manly hands could intelligently control... while in a bid for freedom, the rapidly thawing confectionary were hatching plans of their own, ones quite independent from those intended as they embarked upon their meandering exodus, known only to iced creamy desserts on hot sunny days... and into the unknown, roaming across Red's hands and trusting their fate to a far higher authority.

     "Did I mention that I was on a diet" snapped his significant other, as she sat licking pistachios from the melting cornet... "don't you ever listen," secretly smiling to herself... "and you did remember to bring Sockeye's water this morning.. didn't you..!" she continued "someone with half as much sense would've stood it in the rockpool to keep cool, I'm sure the little crab wouldn't have objected..!"   At the mention of his name, Sockeye with ears far too free-lance to ever consider gainful employment of their own, needed no further persuasion and charged straight through the rock-pool to his mistress's side, walloping the thermos flask for a tail whopping six... bringing his personal batting average so far this holiday to a self congratulatory forty not out... and found the baby crab spluttering flat on her back and having second thoughts on any immediate savings in shoe leather were she to stay. 

     Generous to a fault, Sockeye now thought to shower everyone's ice cream with liberal helpings of the seashore as several parasitic irritations had Sockeye hard at work serving eviction notices on some of the more exotic zoology that only a patent Bob Martin's would dare to muscle up to... the local wildlife, by the look on his face were having the time of their lives bivouacked behind his left ear, throwing wild parties and disturbing the peace.  Cross-eyed, it was only while launching a double pronged assault on the latest settlement of interlopers that Sockeye finally succumbed to his injuries and surrendered to a neighbouring sandcastle... it really didn't do to mention a certain name too loudly at times like these, especially when you just happened to be on the receiving end.

     For some strange reason he was undoubtedly in the dog house... they'd shouted at him, which made him sad, all except his little master who had pushed him away... which left him bereft.  Sockeye sat down on dads beach-towel and had a long, thoughtful scratch... where had all the fuss gone? he searched for appreciation their faces... his tail gave one disheartened thump before it stopped... and all those little pieces of ice-cream dipped wafer, which up until now had always appeared as if by magic.  

     Catching sight of one such treat, undoubtedly forgotten by the rock pool, a marauding seagull pulled out of a rolling dive and swooped, at the same instant as two gaping jaws launched themselves skywards... canine jowls quivering bravely in the light sea airs... and not too dissimilar to a heat seeking missile, rose gracefully from the ground to meet it... 'well intercepted..!' as both ears applauded in mid-air... no aerial freeloader was about to skip town with Sockeye's ice cream wafer without paying... leaving one solitary wing flapping its willingness to pay up.

     At least it kept her husband in useful employment Tina decided... and mercifully out from under her feet, as she brushed a fragment of affectionate pistachio from her bikini top... she'd have to  make sure he went for the ices in future... and without the means to pay for them... a mischievous smile turned the corners of her mouth as she leant towards the beach-bag and invested herself with several more juicy grapes... that everyone who fell within her sphere of influence had been warned well away from... under threat of dire consequence... and it would take a brave man indeed, or a very foolish one... she gave her husband who was sitting well within arms reach a caustic glance... and Tina's particular variety of justice had a very long arm indeed.

                                                        ­           ...   ...   ...**

a work in progress.                                                        ­                                                                 ­  1297
See them standing on the podium of promises
Tickling us to wed them into power
As we stand under the burning sun, sweaty as ever
All ears to their flowered words of which they caress
And powdered our minds with.
They donate maggi, salt, wears and the root of all evil,
To further blind our minds and instinct.
Like goats following a hand with a palm fruit,
We chased them with high hopes to the polls,
Like Esau of old we repay their donation with our votes.

Their desires were met, now in power
At serious battle against their promises,
Our faith getting lean, our hopes bleed in response to their policies.
The opposition jubilant for the failure of the electorates.
Soon, they awoke into reality, spur to abort incumbent reign.
Some took to bombs, guns, cutlasses, few to the streets.
The opposition soldiers are thugs, always hungry to ****.
The masses weapons are their mouth, placards,
And solidarity songs, they walk and sing.
They say when elephants fight the grasses suffer
I wonder who are the elephants or the grasses indeed.
A  place that suppose to be our home now a battle field
Where everyone fights for self survival
Forgetting the unborn, our toddlers, our heroes past.

It is high time we talked and sack the thugs
But who will moderate
Who will faithfully give audience, who will sincerely talk?
The elite, the elected seems like they are war ready
They have well set up their political troops
A war they won't stand to fight
But escape through thinning air off our sight.

In a molding  state
Pigs dare to preach sanity
In a world of questions, ignorance remain the worst cancer
And the apex poverty.
Let not fold our hands and live to die in this doom
If your lips are scared, let your pen speak.
Let not throw in the towel
Until we justfully elapse the reign of the unwanted in one peace.
The inspiration for this poem came from the power struggle in my country and how  we have been very unlucky in getting a leader that all can fully accept. Our leaders here barely keep their promises.
Nigel Morgan Oct 2012
When Zuo Fen woke day was well advanced into the Horse hour. In her darkened room a frame of the brightest light pulsed around the shuttered window. A breeze of scents from her herb garden brought sage, motherwort and lovage to cleanse the confined air, what remained of his visit, those rare aromatic oils from a body freed from its robes. Turning her head into the pillow that odour of him embraced her once more as in the deepest and most prolonged kiss , when with no space to breathe passion displaces reason in the mind.
 
The goat cart had brought him silently to her court in the Tiger hour, as was his custom in these summer days when, tired of his women’s attention, he seeks her company. In the vestibule her maid leaves a bowl of fresh water scented with lemon juice, a towel, her late uncle’s comb, a salve for his hands. Without removing his shoes, an Emperor’s privilege, he enters her study pausing momentarily while Xi-Lu removes himself from the exalted presence, his long tail *****, his walk provocative, dismissive. Zuo Fen is at her desk, brush in hand she finishes a copy of  ‘A Rhapsody for my Lord’. She has submitted herself to enter yet again that persona of the young concubine taken from her family to serve that community from which there seems no escape.
 
I was born in a humble, isolated, thatched house,
And was never well-versed in writing.
I never saw the marvellous pictures of books,
Nor had I heard of the classics of ancient sages.
I am dim-witted, humble and ignorant,
But was mistakenly placed in the Purple Palace . . .

 
He loves to hear her read such words, to imagine this fragile girl, and see her life at court described in the poet’s elegant characters. Zuo Fen’s scrolls lie on his second desk. Touching them, as he does frequently, is to touch her, is to feel mystery of her long body with its disregard of the courtly customs of his many, many women; the soft hair on her legs, the deep forest guarding her hidden ***, her peasant feet, her long fingers with their scent of ink and herbs.
 
He kneels beside her, gradually opening his ringed hand wide on her gowned thigh, then closing, then opening. A habit: an affectation. His head is bent in an obeisance he has no need to make, only, as he desires her he does this, so she knows this is so. She is prepared, as always, to act the part, or be this self she has opened to him, in all innocence at first, then in quiet delight that this is so and no more.
 
‘A rhapsody for me perhaps?’
‘What does Liu Xie say? The rhapsody is a fork in the road . . .
‘ . . . a different line’, he interrupts and quotes,’ it describes people and objects. It pictures appearance with a brilliance akin to sculpture or painting.’
‘What is clogged and confined it invariably opens. It depicts the commonplace with unbounded charm.’
‘But the goal of the form is beauty well-ordered . . . . as you are, dearest poet.’
‘You spoilt the richness of Lui Xie’s ending . . .’
‘I would rather speak of your beauty than Xie’s talk of gardening.’
‘Weeding is not gardening my Lord.’
 
And with that he summons her to read her rhapsody whilst his hands part her gown . . .
 
Over the years since he took her maidenhead, brusquely, with the impatience of his station, and she, on their second encounter deflowered him in turn with her poem about the pleasure due to woman, they had become as one branch on the same tree. She sought to be, and was, his equal in the prowess of scholastic memory. She had honed such facility with the word: years of training from her father in the palace archives and later in the mind games invented by and played with her brother. Then, as she entered womanhood and feared oblivion in an arranged marriage, she invented the persona of the pale girl, a fiction, who, with great gentleness and poetry, guided the male reader into the secrets of a woman’s ****** pleasure and fulfilment. In disguise, and with her brother’s help, she had sought those outside concubinage - for whom the congress of the male and female is rarely negotiable. She listened and transcribed, then gradually drew the Emperor into a web of new experience to which he readily succumbed, and the like of which he could have hardly imagined. He wished to promote her to the first lady of his Purple Chamber. She declined, insisting he provide her with a court distant from his palace rooms, yet close to the Zu-lin gardens, a place of quiet, meditation and the study of astronomy.
 
But today, this hot summer’s day, she had reckoned to be her birthday. She expected due recognition for one whose days moved closer to that age when a birthday is traditionally and lavishly celebrated. Her maid Mei-Lim would have already prepared the egg dishes associated with this special day. Her brother Zuo-Si may have penned a celebratory ode, and later would visit her with his lute to caress his subtle words of invention.
 
Your green eyes reflect a world apart
Where into silence words are formed dew-like,
Glistening as the sun rises on this precious day.
As a stony spring washes over precious jade,
delicate fishes swim in its depths
dancing to your reflection on the cool surface.
No need of strings, or bamboo instruments
When mountains and waters give forth their pure notes . . .

 
Her lord had left on her desk his own Confucian-led offering, in brushstrokes of his time-stretched hand, but his own hand nevertheless, and then in salutation the flower-like character leh (joy)
 
‘Wheresoever you go, go with all your heart’.
 
Meanwhile Xi-Lu stirred on the coverlet reminding Zuo Fen that the day was advancing and he had received no attention or conversation. It was whispered abroad that this lady spoke with her cat whom each afternoon would accompany his mistress on a walk through the adjacent gardens. It was true, Zuo Fen had taught Xi-Lu to converse in the dialect of her late mother’s province, but that is another story.
 
Lying on her back, eyes firmly shut, Zuo Fen surveyed the past year, a year of her brother’s pilgrimage to the Tai Mountains, his subsequent disappearance at the onset of winter, her Lord’s anger then indulgence as he allowed her to seek Zuo Si’s whereabouts. She thought of her sojourn in Ryzoki, the village of stone, where she discovered the blind servant girl who had revealed not only her brother’s whereabouts but her undying love for this strange, ungainly, uncomfortably ugly man who, with the experience gained from his sister’s persistent research had finally learned to love and be loved in equal measure for his gentle and tender actions. And together, their triumph: in ‘summoning the recluse’, and not one alone but a community of five living harmoniously in caves of the limestone heights. Now returned they had worked in ever secret ways to serve their Emperor in his conflict against the war-lord Tang.
 
She now resolved to take a brief holiday from this espionage, her stroking of the Emperor’s mind and body, and those caring sisterly duties she so readily performed. She would remove herself and her maid to a forest cabin: to lie in the dry mottled grass of summer and listen to the rustle of leaves, the chatter of birds, the sounds of insects and the creak-crack of the forest in the summer heat. She would plan a new chapter in her work as a poet and writer: she would be the pale girl no longer but a woman of strength and confidence made beautiful by good fortune, wise management and a generosity of spirit. She needed to prepare herself for her Lord’s demise, when their joyful hours living the lives of Prince and Lady of Xiang, he with his stallion gathering galingales, she with her dreams of an underwater house, would no longer be. She would study the ways of the old. She would seek to learn how peace and serenity might overcome those afflictions of age and circumstance, and when it is said that love’s chemistry distils pure joy through the intense refinement of memory.
This short story with poetry introduces the world of Zuo Fen, one of the first female poets of Chinese antiquity.
nivek Aug 2014
in all the dusty roads
sore feet
was never a consideration
Until you came along
towel wrapped
and kneeling
you washed our feet
If you could see us now,
huddled up
on this bathroom floor
like the wet towel in the corner,
a most-likely-used toilet brush
covered in
ash & hair
is the next closest thing
in arm's reach
to a real statement.

You want to know what it's about?
You do not want to know what it's about.

To dunk those
pearly whiteheads
in oil and expect
whiter pearls
would just be silly.

Take the bedazzlings from their feet
and what is left to judge
that which they do not want to know?
for all the donors & gatekeepers
Taylor Jun 2014
i want to get to know you.
i remember thinking that when i first met you.
i wanted to get to know everything about you.

what you look like in the morning, what you look like at night, what your hair is like if you jokingly put it up in a towel, what your family is like, what words you use a lot.
what your favorite scent of febreeze is, what color you describe the sky as, what you think of when you see something beautiful.
what your favorite creamer is to put into your coffee or if you even like coffee, what you look like at 2am when you're feeling alone.
how you speak when you are angry in comparison to when you are sad (so i will never get the two mixed up), what you want as a tattoo, what you believe in.

i wanted to know everything that i could fall in love with.
and i learned that there is no one else i would rather know, than you.
because absolutely everything about you is intriguing, from what you look like in the morning to what you dare to believe in.
Hamda Yusuf Aug 2011
Hi.
You probably didn’t know this at the time but my name is Hamda Yusuf.
Actually…
Scratch that.
My name is
Hamda Ahmed Yusuf Abdale Mohamed Hussein Mohamed Mohamoud.
And before you even say anything,

stop.

Because I already know that my name probably puts up more flags in an airport than a Mexican driving in Arizona.
Know that the deep piercing stares are directed at my hijab
And not my infectious smile.
Know that I’m already judged not for who I am
but for what I wear
and just for the record

It isn’t a towel.

But somewhere in all of that self-pity I realized that it really shouldn’t matter how you perceive me to be.
It should only matter how I perceive myself to be.

And I already happen to know that I’m Hamda Yusuf,
poet.

I’m Hamda Yusuf and my kind of a Friday night is a Star Trek: The Next Generation marathon.
I’m Hamda Yusuf and I’ve seen the Lion King 17 times and I’ve cried every time Mufasa died.
I’m Hamda Yusuf and Albus Dumbledore is my hero.
I’m Hamda Yusuf and I'm a mustache enthusiast.
I’m Hamda Yusuf and apparently I scare Juan Williams at airports.
I’m Hamda Yusuf and I’m Muslim.
Not Moslem
or Islams.
But Muslim.
It’s really not that hard to say.
I’m Hamda Yusuf and I’m sick and tired of hearing about countries banning the burqa to protect women rights when they’re really just taking away our right to choose.
And since when has it become okay to take off the layers but illegal to try and put them back on.
Is it me or is the world going insane?
Threats of burning Qur’ans and protests against building mosques as if we had done something wrong.
Besides fight for the American Dream we were told to fight for.
And you.
Knower-of-nothing-you, every-Muslim-is-a-terrorist-and-every-terrorist-is-Muslim-you, I-get-all-my-facts-from-conservapedia-you,
have the audacity to tell me there’s no such things as Islamophobia in the world?

Well I’m sorry.
Because I’ve been sent on a mission to talk to every single person who has ever called me a ******* and unfortunately for both of us,
you’re on my list.

So how about you take a seat on my couch,
take a sip of my mother’s tea
and I’ll explain to you as politely as can be,
how my father has told me more times than I can count on my fingers that I can be whatever I want to be.
I can be that lawyer,
be that doctor,
be that engineer.
But I will never
ever
ever be,
just another *******.
This is really a spoken word piece that was written for an open mic so it probably reads a bit weird. I thought it would be worth sharing anyway.
b g Jan 2014
and what about all the times you kissed me like it was worth going to hell for?
i know what your lips taste like
i know how your beating heart feels against my hand, my lips, my cheek
i know the way you gasp surprised when i kiss you
as if you can't believe i did that
even though i have done it so many times before
and its 1:36 in the morning and your towel doesn't smell like you anymore
i cried when you told me you loved me
i cried when i didn't say it back
i cried when i didn't say it back that night after you ****** me
i cried when you told me i was your hurricane
i didn't cry when you left
you left me an empty bottle of wine and a note
"this is what i drank the day you told me my lips tasted like you"
goodbye, starlight
Anna B Oct 2015
"Tomorrow you will be alright"
I comforted myself a near midnight.
Dragging the towel, moist from the sink
under my lower lids, I did never blink.

Makeup and water or makeup and tears
some may never now, as I
that lonesome, quite autumn night*
Though I lastly found with my poorly sight
that under my lids there were, well how to describe?
- I lowered the towel and looked even twice
Nothing as makeup were pouring down my eyes
but a still, matte
constant.


Sorrow

Now what about tomorrow?
I blinked and I shrank as I lowered my head in the sink.
Oh but never were I capable of washing off ink.
*referring to my poem "midnight dew".

— The End —