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Day 15 - SiltThere is a downward pull that begins slowly –
Forty years of fine red silt cease flowing through your veins
And settle like sedimentary rock.
Things, and you, begin to taste of copper.
Lavender mists condense as you walk out to fetch the paper
The kettle is whistling or the coffee roiling when you return to the kitchen.
Your lover is waiting, his beard and hair greying slightly:
Sometimes he still kisses you like he did when you were twenty three.
You start to spend your evenings in the ochre light
Of sloppily-painted sunsets which begin around the time the theme for Final Jeopardy fades out.
Coffee cups are washed, sinks drained.
Everything smells of earth and book pages with a hint of Pine-Sol.
The window is filled with the amber radiance of marigolds –he likes to garden,
While you are more careless, killing houseplants by neglect.
You promise to stop disassociating yourself, and to write less in the second person.
You get drunk less often and even jog once in a while.
Day 4 - QuietAutumn began and ended quickly
So now the sun sets early and I spend my evenings in the dark.
Today’s thoughts are quiet ones -
Where we love is where we live and die.
Day 3- North StarIt was dark when I left work today,
And I shivered as the wind slid around my bare legs.
(shouldn’t have worn a dress today, says the voice in my head.)
I try my best to ignore it. I always do.
I swear familiarly, angrily, when traffic is backed up at the bridge again –
This traffic congested tangled metal thing spanning the river
Like some kind of urban jungle gym.
But still it is the northern star of my commute and points the long way home.
I’m perched on a stool in his mother’s kitchen
With a mug of orange tea in my hands and a bowl of chicken soup with dumplings in front of me.
On the way home, my debit card is declined.
I try not to panic.
Day 2 - DetritusI squint my eyes as you kiss my freckled face
my sunstreaked hair out behind me like a banner
As I emerge from the lake with foam and seaweed clinging to my calves.
I make a face. You laugh.
Longing is a savory dish we must sit down to dine,
even as we cling together
in a tired knot with mouths that taste of lemonade and alcohol.
I whisper in your ear “I don’t want you to go.”
The night before we left a storm broke
with rain and thunder, and lightning webbed across the sky like lace.
I came to where you slept,
weaving myself into your arms.
This is the detritus of summer:
pearlescent driftwood grasped in hands worn down by sand.
Filling up our pockets with stones, memories.
A wall of tiny meaningful things we build to keep out the coming of the night.
There are no secrets here but many mysteries
And subtle, half-veiled truths waiting to be made known
Day 1- Cold HandsEveryone said a storm was coming but I did not prepare.
Perhaps I was too flippant or afraid to acknowledge?
Probably the latter –
Avoidance is my middle name.
The storm’s precursor:
Grey skies, and rain hissing its way up my windshield as the wipers, groaning,
Flung it away.
A low front settled into my chest midafternoon at the thought of leaving.
Now, I sit on the couch by the window, watching the rain fall
As the cold gradually seeps from my limbs and my fingers thaw slowly.
But isn’t a blanket a small comfort compared to you,
Immediate and present, mouth tasting of
Sour apple and blood?
Cemetery LaneDriving down Cemetery Lane
Steering wheel gripped tightly, top and bottom, taking sharp
As the radio host mourns the fate of Montana's coal industry.
We'd go behind the school with the Grecian columns
In a parking lot pooled with yellow streetlights, exploring
The darkness my mouth left on your neck.
Driving and breaking too fast
With the memory of the way each bend winds around itself
Like solemn ribbons around the tombstones.
Lying on a bed far from home
Pizza box kicked on the floor and the television flickering with the sound off.
I cannot forget the way your skin brushed mine.
MineThe past four years, I have been a nomad,
A snail, whose house is wherever her back is.
An hourglass constantly turned over and over, measuring
Time until I leave, time until I return.
I'm packing a bag with my toothbrush, my phone, and my fiancé's shirt to keep me warm
i won't be gone long, i only need a few days' worth of clothing.
Life doled out in miniscule increments like the vitamins I portion into plastic baggies
And forget to take when I am gone.
I've tired of living out of packed suitcases and half empty closets,
With a roof provided, but my heart somewhere else.
Filling out paperwork, what is my address?
When is the night where I can go to sleep and feel your arms around me,
Waking up to tangled limbs, tousled hair and no bed else to sleep in?
Tell me when I can put my bags away, throw out my arms and say
This is mine.
BrillianceI wasn't sure if I was falling asleep or drowning. Pastor Abilay had just reached the third point of this three-point outline and I was fading quickly. "The devil's 15 minutes," my father often called it. He would sit rigidly at the head of the dining room table after every Saturday dinner and warn us that just as the pastor reaches the place where Scripture is applied to our lives, we start to drift off due to the devil's influence. I always did, and it terrified me.
Pastor Abilay's sermons were an odd blend of clinical Calvinistic theology combined with the self-assured charisma of a leader whose word was law. His sermons always made me feel as if I were boxed in by walls of water and left me with a dead weight in my stomach. Just as I thought I couldn't take any more, he concluded the sermon and we moved on to the final singing. The presenter came to the front of the stage, hummed a few bars of the next Psalm, and we all began to sing. The song rolled in a rich four-part harmony tha
Come HomeCome Home
The leaves were just starting to fall as Alexander Bartel wheeled his bike out of the garage and left for work. They had been yellow and orange for a few weeks, but red veins had gradually taken over until today, when, at the hands of an incoming cold front, they began to fall like rain. The wind had awoken him early and when he woke up, so did his wife, who glared at him in the dim morning light and rolled back over. Breakfast had been instant oatmeal and instant coffee and half a glass of pulp-free orange juice. Grace liked pulp and he didn't, so they bought two separate half gallons every week. She was just waking up when he left for work but he made it out the door without her noticing.
On the whole, Grace was not very supportive. She acted as if she didn't believe him when he said he was going to work and had taken another job on the side for extra money. He always said he would help her achieve success as a writer but now she had taken the new job and rarely went to her
this is a warning.i.
The first thing you need
to know about people is this:
If you cut off our head,
we will grow two in its place.
We will divide and conquer
until there's nothing left
but tiny gaping mouths,
clacking and salivating
at the crumbs of an empire.
They tell me hurt is like
a paper cut:
quick and forgotten,
Hurt is the first step
off a balcony,
the first gasp
in a chain reaction
screaming from the railing
to beyond the pavement.
When I finally hit the ground,
I looked up and saw my halo
dangling from the edge,
He said, she said,
I wanted, he lost, she won,
I ruined this, I broke your heart,
he left me,
I miss you.
This is nothing new.
Your tragedy is always
what's it like to realize
every slash on your soul
has an identical twin?
What's it like to know
you're going to die
the same way everyone does:
scared and alone?
We are disposable.
The hydra g
Peter Pan EnvyWe molded pirate ships
from heavy storm clouds,
flags puffed up
and scooped out
like handfuls of sand
while the car windows
steamed in the cold.
You told me stories
of a boy in green
and his war with
the hooked man,
said they took
those like us
to the first star on the right
and straight on to morning.
You made me believe
and when life got hard--
mom hopped up on pills,
nights filled with demons--
I breathed wishes
to be stolen away.
No pirate ever darkened my stoop
with his wayward compass
or water-stained maps;
no fairy ever left glitter
smeared on my skin
like good dreams.
I look to the sky
when the wind blows
and hold my breath
with his name on my tongue
all the same.
War and CancerI want to go back
and meet us one more time,
before the war and the cancer
took up so much of the day -
before my father could no longer
remember what the present
was supposed to mean
and your mother
could still get dressed
without losing her way.
I want to know
what it felt like
to board a plane
to somewhere hidden
and not care
if our names and faces
to walk as long
as we wanted
without the sun and moon
creating an argument.
I want to feel you
roll into my arms
where I forgot to cut the grass
and you did not
water the flowers;
to hear you
watching the cardinals
unearth the spring.
And to know once again
how this place
started becoming new.
The Re-Prettify ProjectBreathing in silver filaments
will not make you pretty on the inside.
You cannot polish and buff
lung or aorta
until it is shiny and new.
If you have filled your life with toxins
and allowed your eyes
to cloud over with coal dust
do not, my friend, do not
seek silver linings from anything
but penance and kindness.
Throwing gold-dust over your head
will not administer you a halo.
thirstYou tell me to breathe in
the scent of my tea:
Apple Cinnamon Spice,
it is crisp and infusing
the aroma into my lips.
Honey coasts along my spoon,
apple biting into its
golden flavor. Cinnamon bursts
forth for a brief moment and I am
SeptemberThe summer was so hot
the dogs stuck to the sidewalks
with the newspapers
and the black metal cans
everyone left waiting on the curb.
You could smell it
in the glass pitchers
on table tops,
and the sheets that never
dried on the clothes lines;
the canvas beach bags
mothers dragged wearily
across the sand
and the ice cream trucks
melting across the highways.
Children felt it open
up the windows at night
and find a corner
of the bed to smother,
while fathers baited it on hooks
or mowed it down
in flat, dry stripes
as if begging each other
And the crickets just hummed
beneath the corn silk
and the dry mouth
daring the cats to play
hide and seek -
searching for September.
It was so suddenIt was so sudden.
It was so fast.
It was so scary.
We were so happy.
It was the best.
But the thunder fell.
And now there’s nothing left.
Note to SelfDate a librarian; they'll read you until your spine falls apart, and still love every page. They'll underline your highlights, your endless seas of profound poetry, as if they've mistaken your manatee appearance for a mermaid. They'll hang off the cliff of your chapter 15 and dive into the next page as if you're about to reveal what they've been looking for. And when they don't find it, they'll tear out your words letter by letter with a hush, asking you oh so sweetly to stay quiet. Finally, they'll bind your broken spine with tape and set you on the shelf for misplaced books until they forget you were ever there, but they won't be done with you. They'll never be done with you; even when it seems your pages, your rib cage and heart, is filled with nothing but dust.
The TrundlerThe waste land behind the fire station is always silent. No birds sing there, and even the wild rabbits and feral cats avoid it. Weedy wildflowers nod their seasonal heads in the breeze. Lying fallow in the midst of housing developments, shopping malls, the new movie theater — the vacant lot stands out like a knife wound on a woman’s placid face, shocking, brazen, ugly.
It is always empty. Except for one thing: a ragged heap of old trash, all nasty black tar paper and vicious snarls of rusted wire, car parts and broken glass and other junkyard jetsam. The embodiment of injury waiting to happen, an invitation to a tetanus shot... the city never hauled it away. No one ever wants anywhere near it; it radiates an eerie sense of calculating watchfulness.
And at night, it wanders.
When darkness falls, and the last cars heading into the hives of tract housing stop illuminating the asphalt with moving-picture shadows, it… unfolds. Bitter, broken tangles, grotesquely mov
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scheinbar is a much-loved and well-known deviant. Just one look at her gallery, filled with enchanting photography, will have you mesmerized. A deviant for over 7 years, Christiane can always be found posting inspirational features as well as regularly commenting on other deviations and encouraging and empowering her fellow deviants. We are inspired and insist that you too stop by and congratulate ... Read More