Sea

He sees her first, and afterwards he sees her eyes avoid him. She is young (they usually are), a little stupid, and wary as hell. He is a fine man but looks suspicious, and she has been taught to avoid people like that. She keeps her eyes trained forward mostly, but for a brief moment, they slip slightly and the two make eye contact. It is only a split second—she can tell he has caught her looking, and hurries past where he sits on the low wall, takes the stairs up to where the chairs and grass and picnic tables are. 

Fortunately, one split second is all he needs. He now closes his eyes, leaning back a little as he wraps her mind around himself like a cloak, or a neatly pressed sweater, torn freshly from its packaging. 

It is a hot day, and she has come here mostly carefree, a takeout sandwich from the kosher deli in a paper bag and a Terry Pratchett novel in her purse. It is cloudy and grey out, and hot; a thick, heavy heat that she can feel surrounding and pressing in on her. It is everyone’s least favorite weather, which is exactly why it’s her favorite. No one comes out these days—they’d prefer to stay indoors, with the AC turned high, wishing it was sunny or less hot. It is the weather of young, burgeoning storms, still developing and growing in the womb of the atmosphere. The heat is almost, but not quite, oppressive, the humidity high, and flowers are blooming, big fat white ones that the gardener sowed however long ago, spilling their heavy scent to the world. 

She was not planning to come here originally—she wanted to eat inside the deli, where it is cool, but she didn’t like the way the old man in the back corner looked at her as she was ordering her turkey-and-swiss, and so after paying she absconded directly, now seeking a new place to set up camp. She considered the benches nearby, but they are too open air, a place where people may come by. She instead chose the field with its many chairs turned away from the street, devoid of people because the day is not suitable for picnics.

He can feel how nervous he made her, but she forgets him straight away as soon as she unwraps her sandwich and opens her book to where a worn ticket stub to an old, mildly successful romcom is nestled. She settles back, kicking off her flipflops and curling her legs under her, doing her best not to drip honey mustard onto the book, which she got from the library a few days ago. 

It is only June, but she has steeped in summer long enough to be used to the carefree luxury of the open days, and that means her guard is down. 

He turns her life over in his mind, considering it carefully, weighing it. 

When she returns, sometime later, she takes a new path, ignoring the sidewalk that leads to the stairs and the ledge where he lies and opting instead to go through a small patch of trees, her feet brushing past chunks of crumbling bread left long ago for the birds. It is the path that takes her furthest from him, and he watches her go, noticing the neatly folded but nowhere near empty bag, the purse with its zipper just a little undone, the way her stomach now protrudes just enough to cause the already small tank top to ride up a little bit, revealing the smallest area of skin between the hem of the shirt and the top of the shorts, which are barely clinging on to her hips. On anyone else that bit of sandwich—because he knows she did not finish it, nor did she even make much of a dent in it—would not have mattered, but on her skinny form it is like a pregnancy, and she is starkly aware of it, sucks in her stomach and straightens her back once she remembers to. 

He raises a hand to his forehead, a pain growing there like a small, wriggling seed. 

For a moment, she hovers at the crosswalk, ripe, trembling, like a fruit ready to be picked, a coin balanced precariously on a precipice, then steps out. 

Officials afterward would not understand exactly what happened, but would consider it a case of mutual negligence—the girl was not paying attention, nor was the man in the SUV. Later he would describe a fog that clouded his mind momentarily, but had seemed (to him, at least) not much trouble. But when it lifted she was in front of him, and it was already too late to do anything but press forth. She had looked at him, he said, and time had seemed to slow around them until, very suddenly, her eyes cleared and she suddenly was looking right through him, her gaze piercing like a clear blue spear right into the very center of him. In that moment, he said, she was everything. But then, of course, it was too late. It would flee her eyes as fast as life when the car finally greeted the body. 

Now the man in the SUV gets out and screams, and suddenly everywhere there are people, and police cars, and lights and action as the curious wine red spreads across the street.

Unmoved, the blue eyed man hops from the wall and resolves to purchase a sorbet from the store down the street. The flavor today is ambiguously pink, like fresh meat, and he enjoys it immensely.

1

Quickly

I just wanted to say thank you so very much to the new followers I’ve garnered recently… I’m not sure where you came from (perhaps my promo post on author bat) but rest assured I appreciate it so so very much <3

Control

i. taken
she seized me in the night,
gripping my hands like a vice
and whispering conspiratorially that
she would leave if i let go. i wrapped
my hands around her larger ones,
encasing them.  
i mumbled words,
clever things, gutted attempts at humor
and gauged her reaction,
wondered if the assuaged itch for healing
would tide her over till next week,
feeling the way her fingers squeezed in,
trapping me
with their animal
desperation.

years ago she told me what
she had tried to do, and
i didn’t believe her—i didn’t
believe a lot of things then because
i had only a model of myself
to go off of, and i tended to assume
that everyone lied
as much
as i.

she is here now,
or—
there is someone. someone
like her. and it is her.
but not.
it makes my head hurt, imagining.
wondering what i should have done
instead. why i let her get away with it.
where i could go if i needed to find
her,
and punish her
for what she has done to me.
what i need to do for her to forgive me.

i ask her please to let go,
but she says no, and that is final.

take my sympathy, girl
your heart is mine and
it is the coldest comfort i can give.

Read More

1

Found Poem: Lord of the Flies

Part of an English project. A couple tenses were changed, and some “and”s added where there previously were none. Other than that, everything’s direct from Lord of the Flies. (A found poem, for those who don’t know, uses words and phrases from a source.) Each phrase from the book is on its own separate line, so nothing goes “Piggy said / bla bla bla / and then hopped on one foot”, it would just be a whole line. That’s the briefing on found poems. Whoo.



go back, child
evening is advancing
the air is ready to explode
 
he smiled jeeringly,
and
flashed upwards with a witchlike cry.
the shattered, golden sun
flapped higher
towards
the taut blue line of the horizon
 
there is
a sudden bright explosion
then
there is
a figure dropping swiftly
 
he fell forty feet
back into
the sea
 
what makes things break up like they do?
 
a streak of phosphorescence
blackened their lord
strange, moonbeam-bodied creatures with fiery eyes
smoothed everything with a layer of silver
 
it was
grey and cream and copper-colored
and silent
like
velvet

1

Ladies of The Shifty Eyes

i was listening to music
and there was this song, it played
for me and i hadn’t heard it in so long
but i sung along
and it took me back—we were behind
our old school—we played on the swings
for hours—it was like we never parted ways
with pigtails and long brown hair and rivers
drawn in the sand—like we were rewriting ourselves
into each others childhood—

Read More

The Amateur’s Guide To Illness

It will hit you hard, and when you look back you may or may not be able to pinpoint it to the exact time and place that things changed for you. You may think it happened when you were in Tokyo and you blamed it on the water, or maybe you just ate too much candy on Halloween once and broke yourself forever. Maybe it was only last year when you got sick in the airport and you missed your flight and everything before that was just a prologue. Frankly you are not sure. You wish you knew so you could go back in time and black out that day forever.

The first time it happens you will be a bit nervous it’ll happen again in the next few weeks and that might make it slightly worse. You might believe you are sick when really your stomach is just churning because this self-fulfilling prophecy you’ve set yourself up in is just too much for it. The second time is bad, but the third time is the worst. You will become concerned there is something wrong, but don’t know what to do. You will turn to your friends online and tell them everything. They will pour in sympathy and tell you to go and see a doctor but you won’t be sure they really believe you. You will want to tell someone else but instead you wait.

It will go away eventually, and you will try and forget it ever happened.

It will hit you again, though, but it will be shorter than last time. You may panic but this time you’ll keep it to yourself. It will make you angry, and your heart will fill with fear and you may snap at your friends. When you take them aside to explain in a quiet voice that its happening again, they will nod like they understand but you will know they still think you’re making it up because you crave attention. Don’t mention it again and they will forget.

It will leave again. Breathe a sigh of relief, but prepare because the worst has yet to come. The next year will be a year of discovery. The first attacks will be few and far between but they will begin showing up more and more with increasing intensity as time wears on. You will try reshuffling your diet but it doesn’t seem to help. You will stop eating some of your favorite foods because you’re desperate for a cure. You’ll be late for school a few times but when you finally show up and everyone wants to know where you were you’ll mumble something about oversleeping or maybe eating some bad food last night. Your teachers may look you in the eyes and you will suddenly be afraid your story is written on your forehead, down your cheeks, scrolling across your eyes.

Eventually you will begin confining yourself to a smaller and smaller space of sanity. Your dad will buy chocolate chip muffins or Italian ice or doughnuts. It will become a mental battle. Don’t eat them. You will anyway. After three fruitless doctor’s appointments you will begin to lose hope that you will ever be fixed. This will bother you more than you will let on, and sometimes as you throw back your head laughing your stomach will grumble a little and you’ll want to stop, but you’ll keep going because you don’t want to have to see they way your peers look at you when you start mentioning it. You will grit your teeth and wish with every fiber in your being that you could be normal.

Your parents (together, for once in what seems like forever) will accompany you to one last doctor’s appointment. You will hear them mumbling about insurance as you drove there, but you will stare out the window and close your ears. You won’t be sure if the trip is covered or if your dad will have to shell out a lot of money for you. Guilt will hop up your throat, sour on the back of your tongue as the smell of hand sanitizer and disinfectant and some other vaguely unpleasant scent fills your nose and pools in your sinuses.

The doctor won’t perform any tests because there aren’t any tests left to perform. She will be an average sized woman whose lip liner is not on her lips, but on the skin surrounding it. Her lipstick will be too dark, and her eye shadow will remind you of a bruise you got once when you fell and hit your head on the corner of a table. Her smile will be radiant and when her eyes crinkle up the memories of the bruise may fade a bit. She enunciates every word with precision and dexterity, her tongue violently flicking off a t sound and her _s _hissing like escaping steam.

She’ll wait for you at the computer and type everything you say about what’s been happening. After an hour your throat will feel dry and your tongue heavy, like a wet sock. “I know what you have,” she’ll say, singsonging it like a taunt. You will look towards her, to tired to ask, but she won’t say it immediately. Instead, she builds up to it slowly. When she speaks the name it will seem so simple and you will suddenly remember laughing when you first heard of it. It’s a funny thing. You won’t feel like laughing anymore. You’ll just feel hollow.

She’ll write you a prescription that might help and gives you a link to some helpful websites with information and support groups. You will clutch at the papers as you leave as if they are some kind of life line. When you go to school you won’t know what to say, but you may stare at your torso and wonder what’s going on inside it.

The support groups will be too depressing. In a few months you will be at home when it hits. You’ll politely decline going to dinner with everyone else and go upstairs to lie down. You’ll open your book and start to read, but you can’t really see what you’re reading and a sudden burst of pain will make it worse.

Put the book aside, close your eyes, and take two pills. Imagine them sliding down your esophagus, dissolving and rushing to your aid. Keep your eyes closed. Tell yourself you are feeling better already.

2

Untitled 1 - WIP

i didnt
share my words
with anyone
that night
even though
i wrote them
to be shared—
when i volunteered
to share i just,
i just choked then
and there
put my heart on the floor
and said never mind,
its too rough.
but i wanted to say
im just too scared.
and they did scream
and ask for it anyway
but i could not find
the words
to say it…
in any case,
its not like
anyone would
believe a
little lost
girl like me

Shameless Non-Self Promotion ⇢

Aurora is amongst my biggest inspirations. Her prose and poetry (which I often have trouble balancing) is beyond excellent. Give her a look—she’s a really cool person in general.

1

Dibs (WIP)

And so the monster was given a name,
and although he cried to be known, it
was not enough to stave away his darkness,
rather, he sunk himself further into me,
burying himself in my desperation.
the woman who deemed him said,
as ripped at my stomach, that he
sometimes leaves when people get older,
and sometimes he is just worse. she
handed me a sheaf of papers and said
give a looksie. there are others just like you.
she shakes my hand, laughing, winking,
grinning behind darkdark lipstick,
her teeth flash. for your sake,
i hope we don’t need to see each other again.

i clutch the papers, some sort of lifeline,
nodding and smiling like i mean it.
thank you. no, thank you. really.
i walk beside my mother who tells me it
could have gone worse, right?
i nod, and the monster, his name withheld, purrs.

In Response To “At The Grand Café”

For what do I hunger? Well,
there isn’t much the Grand Café can do
to satisfy my hunger. I have a mind
to feed, too. And a soul.
And a bottomless pit of derision and cynicism.
What at the Grand Café is going to feed those?
I will eat anything you offer me, poet,
because I hunger for words.
I hunger for a thick slice of toast
with a bit of sense and a bit of nonsense spread
across it like marmalade. And I hunger
for sweet scorn like orange juice stinging my lips.
And I hunger for a bit of stability,
or a guarantee of good fortune,
like butter sleeping on my tongue. And like
muffins in a case I will look and hunger
and never ever take a chance. Instead,
I will watch, and write poetry amongst
the powdered sugar
while my lips drip syrup.