He doesn't write poetry anymore.He doesn’t write poetry anymore,even if he still collects it, reads it, saves it, treasuresfaded verses from his wife the way connoisseurssavor vinyl over metallic rainbows on disc.I don’t mind not knowing, but I can’t stand not asking.The record needle hits the groove wrong;he stumbles over words that aren’t there,rummaging for an answer he doesn’t really have.He doesn’t write poetry anymoreand his confusion is strangely endearing.But there’s a lyricism to his words that I love,poetic lines inserted between the daily grindof character names and who said what;voiceless boys in white and draymen carting the dead to saltwater lakes,elegiac undertones that haunt historians and forlorn painters.He doesn’t write poetry anymore –except when he does.
Caramel and AshesI named my first child after my favorite breakfast; Nichole, oatmeal sprinkled with cinnamon and cashew pieces. Sensible, but sweet, she wore turtlenecks and flats all throughout high school. My second, James, was like the lunch I had every other day in college – provolone and turkey on sourdough. Sturdy, hardy, jack of all trades. James could build a new clock just as easily as fixing the old one.People keep asking me to taste their names. Like names are ice cream cones, and I’m the only one that gets a lick. Strangers in the hallways know about the girl who eats names like potato chips and aren’t shy about asking how do I taste, Willow? Like I haven’t heard that innuendo before.My third, Willow, inherited my gift. Willow was bittersweet; sea salt, caramel, a little rosemary. She’s a lot like her father. She named the cat Zion for being a combination of her favorite flavors – lemon-lime, vanilla, and grapefruit.I don’t know if the ta
SapiosexualI don’t know what I’ll dowhen the first fistfulof dirt hits the bottom.Maybe I’ll follow you to the grave.Or maybe I’ll prayfor a zombie apocalypse,so we can dine on eachother’s brains one more time.
SurrogateI stopped using his full titlebecause it started sounding too formal,and it’s hard to be standoffish with someonewho swaps albums and memories so generously,who loves German chocolate but hates the smell of oranges,who knows me by my boneless,drowsy form on the couch and by my words.And maybe one day he’ll askme to drop the title altogether and call him Brad,but I won’t.Because it sounds too much like dad,and I’m afraid of slipping up.
Butterfly SundaeMr. Dipple runs the ice cream shop a few blocks from the school. I like going there because the words and flavors mash up in weird ways. The word strawberry tastes like peaches; chocolate is cashews; pistachio is vanilla, and vanilla is oddly floral. It’s like getting a double scoop for the price of a single.Mr. Dipple tastes like butterscotch. I like that, because butterscotch is the same color as his mustache and the stripes underneath his apron. He’s Oliver’s grandfather, so that’s where he took me. Out, I mean. Like, not really a date, but kind of a date, you know? No hand holding or anything, but he did open the door for me and that’s kinda embarrassing but kinda really sweet too.He asked his grandfather to whip us up a sundae; I didn’t realize until it got to the table that it was one to share and that’s also kinda embarrassing but really sweet in every way possible. Vanilla ice cream, chunks of brownie, whipped cream, and what I knew t
Organic Produce OnlyGod planted a garden because Hestill likes those, and havingfresh tomatoes for spaghetti.
Cliches I Have Datedi.Anna collected stardustlike pennies, exceptpennies are worth something.ii.Claire had inkrunning through her veins; dead,from an unsterilized needle.iii.Robin had birdbonesstrung together on windchimes.iv.Sarah’s eyes were alwaysto the sky, and neveron me.v.Lizbeth took my breath awaywith every punch to the stomach.vi.Rosalie had too many thingsin her ribcage; emotional adrenalinetriggered her arrhythmia.vii.Emily left mefor a boy with starrier freckles.viii.I am one cat awayfrom a stereotype, or one girlcloser to a happy ending.
Academic InterestYou’re all grace and intellect, lazily standing off to the side of the podium, one hand in a pocket, disinterest visible. Years of bored students have worn down your enthusiasm. No one even knows your name anymore; everyone just calls you Professor. But I’d like to learn your name, your first name, and write it down in my notebook next to mine – I want to write a paper with you, Professor. I want to impress you, bring a little spark back to your eyes, and maybe then you’ll know my questions are serious interludes born from curiosity.You run your hands through your hair. It really completes the absent-minded-professor look, but there’s nothing absent-minded about you; tired, yes, in need of coffee, but not lost in your own world, so distracted by love of history that nothing else gets through. Yet, my raised arm brings nothing but a feigned half-smile, like you’re only humoring me.I want to slam my assignment down on your desk and read it to you mys
treasureI watched beauty die today.She said, "I've lived too longand now nobody knowswhat I really am."
Morpheus Hexi.I am the moon walker,the black coffee athletein the star-dotted evening gown.I am young, but I feel old,like an antique withfresh paint.Sleep lives in my shadow,a morphine caregiverwith gentle hands,but I dare not fall into his arms.There is a sad knowledgein his eyesthat I do not trust.ii.You left me behind,but my pillow stillsmells like you,and now my bed feelslike a fucking coffinwithout you in it.iii.Nights like thismake me wonderwhat it feels like to die.It bothers me thatonly the dead know,and they refuse to share their secret.One day I will find outthe truth for myself,and that scares me.iv.Three a.m. teaches youhow to suffer quietly.Sleep pulls on my sleevelike a black-cloaked child.He tells me everything will be alright(but by morning, I knowhe will be gone, andI will be alone again).
jillianshe's eight.the girl never stops moving,climbing the tarnished metalof the jungle gym wildly, limbs swinging,eyes alightwith a childhood joyI shed when I passedthe port of twelve,thirteen.she is knotted curls,long silken hairwith infant-blond ends.her fingers grabher doll with the frizzy hairand painted face,and she's eager to winhide-and-seek,checkers,Mario Cart.I am old enoughto recognizethat she will not last this way,that she will grow,as all children do.every time I see her,she grows a little taller.she no longer likes Dora,I've learned,and I guess she thinksblowing bubblesis too babyish now.one dayshe will abandon her dollsfor makeup,leave her coloring booksfor boyfriends and college andlife,but right now,her world is simple:days in school, coloring pictures,nights at home,nibbling dinners and playing with her toys.right now,she's eight.
CardiganI liked your cardigans because they were as soft as your skinand they seemed to match the atmosphere when we would sit at park tables,eating our words with silver spoonsand sitting next to each other rather than across because we didn't like the rulesof platonic relationships.You were left handed and your fingers and elbows would sometimesaccidentally collide with mine and you apologizedand I said that it was okaywhen I really wanted to beg for more.The truth was that I only ever wanted to know you andtouch your jaw and your fingersand your elbows and your collar bones but that was notappropriate for park tables and silver spoonsand you only wore cardigans around people who you thought of as just friendsand nothing more
lessons in rising abovemy spine cracks from whereyou once snapped vertebrae; Iturned my back on you.
star gazingyou did not look away.that is what i first noticedwhen i chose my mind over my heartand you held your gazelike you were seeing the beach for the firsttime.i always knew i was too logicalto understand lovebut now maybe one daywhen someone finally admits that they hate me,i will smile like you,and never look away
stellarhe loved you to the moon and backbut I loved you past Saturn,swiftly missing the arrows of Orionand cupping my hands intothe heart of the Milky Way,running back down the stairway of heavenwith palms full of diamonds and fireflies.if his love was the light of the moon,then my love was the glare of the entire galaxy.
eggshellminimalist kitchen,old-fashioned in porcelainand linoleum tiles.grandma's snowy hairbounces in fluffed curlsas she stirs the antique bowlof creamy mashed potatoes.her knitted wool sockscarefully step overdrops of melted butter,and she whistles a tuneI don't recognize,her eyes milky with cataractsand her fingernails trim and crackedon the spoon.
She had never thought of herself as brokenShe had never thought of herself as broken,as missing, as unfinished, as incomplete.She used to think she was complete, accomplished;her flaws hidden, her heart healed and soul varnished.Her Creator had made her independent -she did not need her "other half" to be whole.HoweverWhen he left, a cold hand wrapped around her heart;she ached, trapped under the weight of missing him.She craved his presence, his arms around her waist,his hands in her hair, his eyes locked on to hers.She realized she'd simply been fooling herself -He was her "other half", a 'yin' to her 'yang'.She had never thought of herself as broken,until feeling broken was all she had left.~C♡