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day 17she dreams of the pink swing set under a canopy
of leaves, shoes brushing colours of autumn
of mud slicked steps, rusted spoons and clear
plastic forks turned opaque from grimy hands
of lard-filled jars and broken glass,
glittering teeth hidden beneath tree shadows
of scratchy hay poking ankles and, below, sharp
metal just peeking through faded itchy yellow:
day 3you said: there is just
something about myths.
i thought there's just
something about your lips.
tell me the myths of
your sleepy hometown
and the truths of hands
held proud in public.
i'd like to learn the
stories of your skin,
the loud silence of
heartbeats and bed sheets.
you don't sit beside me in class anymoreyou look like oversized sweaters waiting for
mr darcy vapid vanilla shows up late to
class with coffee cheeks flushed from cold
(but there's more than meets the eye. i like
the flush of your cheeks and last week i
wondered if you bite lips or lick them; if
you'd change my mind on holding hands)
gone is your floral perfume soft breathing
arm brushing mine proximity pulsing legs
crossing blurry profile in peripheral
(but now i almost like it better this way. it's
easier to follow concentration as it moves
along your features and i have always been
more comfortable with distance anyway)
lost in space1
there were words once, listen:
quiet, soft, like fingers brushing over the fabric of a sweater, tickling your ear, warming, small gusts of heat that spread to your toes, a glinting eye, a curved mouth, a promise.
there were words once, listen:
hard, rough, like metal scraping over concrete, bruising, marking your arms, legs, ribs, even your spine, purple and black blossoming on dark skin, yellowing until silence, an apology.
there were words once, listen:
now there are no words, only the deafening roar of silence.
there are words now, listen:
the old stars whisper to each other. they have discovered the secret of patience, a conversation lasting the ages. a single word may take years upon years to travel and you have to know which way to send it. careful, precise, or you may tell a stranger you miss them.
you can hear the sound of these words, like fast cars on a track, restless and enduring. the faster they travel, the slower time moves, slowing rapidly until it sto
sharp nailsthere is a pattern of
veins on my right thigh
that looks like the long,
blue bones of a hand
sometimes these thin,
spindly fingers crawl
up my veins and
arteries to clasp around
my heart, tug on the
back of my eyes,
dotting and blacking
they scrape the nervous
system and i think i
used to pray to settle
from 3429 ft.two years ago from paris, saskatoon looked like a small solar system, hazy with rain and cold. three days ago from toronto, it is midday and foggy, a thick blanket of grey masking tiny grey buildings cut by a tiny grey river. but the feeling is the same and i want to reach across the aisle to hold my sister's hand much the same as two years ago, russell reaching for my hand, any hand, two changed souls unprepared to face the sameness of home.
but the feeling is not the same. we are not two changed souls: we are just happy ones, 'satisfied with the trip' ones, and i do not hold hands when i am happy.
may 3i press tissue paper to the skin
above my ankle, apply pressure,
try not to think about the red and
searing and the itch in my hand.
i decide i want to cover my body in
ink, beautiful and expensive.
my grandmother asks me why i
want a tattoo.
i tell her, "i think they're
five years of thinking pass.
birds fly across my wrist and i trap
beautiful and expensive.
reverberationshey skinny boy, you walk like you know where you're going
and when you kiss me, i don't know what to say
( and it sort of
reverberates between us, doesn't it? )
parenting 101when our children wake up screaming in the middle of the night
or crawl into our beds, we have a list of reassurances:
"it was just a nightmare" and
"it was just the shadows" and
"it was just your imagination"
until they, too, are desensitized and locked in a cage,
condition themselves to be blind and sane like the rest of us
Fall of ManI remember thinking: if this were a story, it would be alright. Even tragedies have meaning when someone else holds the pen. But this is not a story. Unless it is.
There was me cradling you in the wreckage of a building; and in the distance, the sounds of running and screaming and alarms of ambulances, everyone calling for help, and there, another building collapsing.
A snowflake fell on your forehead and for a moment it seemed more important than the blood, more important than bombs falling from the sky, the war that had begun. Blocks away perhaps a television was somehow still on, perhaps it screamed propaganda. All I knew was you had no reason to be punished.
People can’t run with broken legs, and you also had a broken arm, and when I heard another woman scream for her beloved to come back to life, I knew you would die.
I should have remembered what you whispered to me, but the planes above were too loud. If I had heard your last word
Flying Dreams“I don’t know why I love you.
I just…can’t stop thinking of you.”
said old Mr. squirrel slowly caressing
the nut in his bed beside him.
He pulled the glasses from face and set them down
on the nightstand beside him
letting out a sigh. A picture of himself
and another sitting beside him.
He rolled back over and kissed the nut
falling into a deep sleep.
Mr. Squirrel dreamed of flying,
just as his cousins could.
Flying from tree to tree.
Like an overextended wonderful leap.
Safe from danger. Safe from the predators below.
A dog snapping and growling. He paid it no notice.
He was free and happy sailing through the trees.
Through the clouds. He could reach out
with his paws and touch them.
SO soft and fluffy
just like her…
He awoke from his dream startled.
It took him a second to catch his breath,
and he played with his graying beard hairs.
He had been much younger in the dream. So much younger.
“It’s a dream my sweet. Nothing more then a drea
Ageing Superhero (FFM 24)Nathan always imagined he’d go out in a gunfight, cape fluttering; a hero’s death in the pursuit of peace. Turns out, he was only right about the “gun” part.
* * *
Mr Cuddles weaves around Nathan’s ankles. He’s purring loudly, and shedding fur all over Nathan’s slightly-too-tight bodysuit, but Nathan’s attention is fixed on the tinny voice coming from his mobile.
“Look, your international days are over. You’re getting older, and I know you’ve gained a few pounds. No, don’t try to lie to me. You wear spandex, Nathan. It’s pretty unforgiving, and you no longer have a six-pack. The world events, the foreign villains, you can leave them to the newbies.”
Paying no attention to the plaintive-sounding agent, Mr Cuddles hunts, unnoticed as he follows Nathan towards the safe on the landing.
Nathan’s carrying his guns one-handed; he’s only half-listening to his age
It's Burning Down Anyway"You shouldn't play with matches," she said. "You'll hurt yourself."
I lit a cigarette - with a lighter - and remembered Annie Venter telling me that in the eighth grade as I lit matches behind the school. I had stared at her and lit the whole matchbook on fire, and then I had dropped it in the grass. She made me stomp it out.
I stood on the porch of my apartment, listening to the rain and staring out at the fog and the clouds and thinking that somewhere out there, Annie Venter was probably sleeping, not thinking about the time she told some stupid kid not to play with matches. I flicked the lighter on and off a few times to see if it would feel the same way the matches had all those years ago, but it didn't.
The smoke curled above me in the cold air, a visible metaphor for addiction as it hung off me. Everything in my life smelled like that anymore: like ashes.
I dropped the cigarette on the deck and I stared at the small red ember, letting it burn and smoke, letting it become
NebraskaHe called her Nebraska. The first time he did was in a Wal-Mart parking lot with August humidity pressing the air from their lungs. It also happened to be the first time she saw him. “Whoa there, Nebraska!” he’d said as the blue shopping cart got away from her and rolled right into him.
She apologized profusely. At least it was empty, and hadn’t got a chance to gather much speed. Besides, what the heck was he doing standing in the cart return?
“Why the heck are you standing in a cart return?” she asked him. He was tall. Lanky. He had a military haircut, and she should have known then. He was young; she likely had the long side of a decade on him. But when he smiled, everything just felt better.
He vaulted out of the pipe enclosure and held something up between his thumb and index finger. A nickle. He grinned again, and his green eyes crinkled, “I dropped it.”
“Well that explains it.”
“And now,” he said, “I ha
PhotogenicPeople have often said I'm photogenic. From what little I've seen, I haven't liked many photos of just myself. But there are a few sentimental, spontaneous portraits, taken by people who saw the beauty in me when I didn't, which are definite exceptions to the rule.
There's that one that Jordan took of me, sitting under some trees at the Great Sand Dunes of Alamosa. I'd been crying over an unexpected altercation with a friend, though few can tell that by looking at the snapshot. "Can you smile and be pretty and love me?" he'd asked. In his mind, I'd done the latter two things; all I needed was to do the first. So I smiled, because I felt loved.
Then there's the picture that Thomas took of me, lying in the lower ring of what Texas A&M students call the Modern Art Sculpture. "People here do this all the time," he'd told me; I felt like I was blending in with a completely new culture--Thomas's culture--and it was exhilarating. It was my first time visiting campus, and I was in awe of a
[TGB] Leave The Light OnIt seemed only natural that she found him.
Her paws had been weary, her mind restless - home no longer felt like home and he .... he had always had a calming presence upon her soul. His smirking blue-green eyes soothed a fire in her soul and made everything shift when she hadn't been aware it was askew in the first place.
He held her steady, whether he knew it or not and right now Arya felt like a leaf in a thunderstorm.
"Fancy seeing you again - if I didn't know any better I'd say you missed my dashing looks."
Perhaps it was in the way Arya fumbled for an appropriate response, or perhaps it was how her grass eyes misted over with unshed tears - full to the brim with emotion Arya usually kept hidden from her companion.
"Arya?" His brow furrowed slightly and he took a hesitant step forward. His firefly was strong ... for her to be so shaken ...
She wasn't sure when the tears had started, hadn't noticed their slow descent down her cheeks until Idek's nose was touchin
My Knee Hurts and I Hate David BowieThey're at it again.
I've grabbed the broom and smacked the handle against the ceiling, but the neighbours upstairs take no notice. I think about calling the police, but I hate doing that without at least talking to them. Everybody deserves that chance, I think. Still, the prospect of standing outside their door and talking to them isn't one that sits comfortably. When I think I'm going to explode if I have to listen to another second, I give in.
I power up the stairs like nobody's business, and pound on their door. I'd knock like a normal person, but if they can't hear the broom hitting their floor, they won't hear a knock, either. Finally, after what feels like an eternity, the door opens and sound washes over me in a wave that's all but solid.
The figure in the doorway looks like a reject from an 80's concert. He's got a blinkin' mullet, and he sparkles... but he's got nothin' on the fella behind him. Bloody queer's wearing a dress, and more makeup than an entire row of beaut
Strawberry Plush FFM28A woman sobbed on the subway, clutching a strawberry plush toy, a folded photograph, and a business card. I pulled out my phone and pretended to text. In actuality, I was analyzing her. Boyfriend? Likely. Girlfriend? Also likely. I spotted the picture. It was a woman. Girlfriend.
Now for the strawberry plush toy. I ran over the possible meanings. Most likely a gift from that said ex. A toy won at the carnival for her? Maybe. Or maybe it’s not an ex? I was just going to say it was an ex. No one bawled that hard over a person who wasn’t a recent ex. So, the plush toy. Bam: “I’m Berry Sorry.” She was holding an apology bear. Were those tears of joy? No, no, no. Her berry sorry strawberry was old and used. It had holes in the arms. Old breakup, wounds reopened.
The business card read “Real Estate”. She was moving. She probably was packing and happened upon a box from when she dated that girl. She found the strawberry plush and the photograph, and w
the lonely sea monsterThings hadn't been the same since Marty kicked the can. Marty, an old manatee that liked to
trick sailors into believing he was a beautiful stranded woman singing sad songs, had just
dropped dead one day. They said that he choked on a fish bone, but Kassie was sure it
had been the humans.
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