My back become one with the driver’s seat
and I knew they weren’t totally unhappy.
So many rosaries shook in the wind
while my coworkers’ faces poked inward, lips apart.
The boys next door were bleating
syllables melded as the spine to their books’ advice.
Looking past the twine on their wrists,
I noticed the cracks on our soft black couch.
The hairdresser warned whilst donating
that she’d also bring curtains if we were bad.
Nineteen, twenty, twenty-one,
we wrote on Hershey Bar postcards everything we would say.
Reconciling years of dressing our best
with some human emergencies not so designed and acknowledged.
I don’t ever see myself
giving beauty pageants
money, time, restraint.
However, I would admit
that I’d give in
if there were a talent show.
Fitted teal jumper
and black Mary Janes
to seal a sheer pair of tights.
Dancing like some robot
because I’ve always believed
in doing my utter best.
I could sing a song
by Arcade Fire
about mountains and quitting pretentious things.
There’s also the option
of “Human of the Year,”
but Regina wouldn’t like it.
This is what we call
a stash of broken dreams,
or the middle school essay.
But if there lives
at the cubicle’s edge…
It should be enough
to remind oneself
that she will be alright.
*The featured photo is of a door lacking a knob. I walk past it regularly on trips from work. The weathered wallpaper, images of protest, and of course, the shabbily graffitied message remind me of the importance of humility coupled with optimism when facing adversity. Truly, it is one of the most interesting and perhaps perplexing doors I’ve encountered, and I wanted to add it to Norm’s Thursday Doors collection. Check it out. The assortment is just as refreshing as it is thought-provoking.
the most beautiful part about scenic routes
are radical turns in the absence of rules.
but this is just a theory, as I’ve known
fractures and grieving to result from hurry.
I didn’t attend the viewing, but anyone who did
took the time to tell me just how badly
they wanted to kick the mortician in the face
and ignored my insistence that he did his best.
and we ate cake after the funeral.
the same headstrong teenagers who bashed the mortician,
imitating the pastor’s expected caveats,
establishing suicide was inappropriate.
she wanted the party if she were to go,
the only thing missing was a beach and a keg
full of strawberry-kiwi Snapple, and bursts of techno.
a reminder to appreciate each impermanent beat.
two weeks before it was time to leave,
and one day after her seventeenth birthday,
she told me to never give up on myself,
eyeing the pink of my goldfish eyelids.
raise my arms
and lower them
the full five miles
as I’d been late
the girl who thrashed
in dirty rapids
while Yoo-Hoo and
floated away from
our sunburnt yearnings
as my right breast escaped.
I’m beyond positive
that the guy
who saw me blush
was my chemistry teacher
from tenth grade
who smiled with eyes
belonging to a painted western Jesus.
*A fond memory of a summer day, tubing on the river while never fully admitting to anyone on the trip that I didn’t know how to swim.
eat three cloves of garlic,
rawness and refusal
of the fleeting comfort felt
through benefits of the doubt.
when she is sick, she’s a bitch,
infectious though she sits
no more than four feet away,
well aware of your favorite coffee.
crafting answers to fog’s smirks
and counting down days
when it’s safe to leave
may beautify, but doesn’t dilute.
you pace around, wondering
if she too got carried away
once the ivory brooch pricked into her skin
while your brothers hardly glanced her way.
My toenail just fell off.
I thought I’d tell you,
among those in my contact list
because you’ve always been
so openly curious about
monotonies of the week
and thickness unsightly
when I least expect it.
I am holding my toenail.
You never asked me
to stop talking
about my life and
its scraping edges
and you even asked
that I mention a fruit
with similar bitterness.
The toenail rests on my tongue.
I will admit,
that I pay attention
to you more than dozens
who aggravate my frowns
so much that I’d try
the tastelessly crude
out in the cloudy open.
Chewing, I remember my toenail.
*Dedicated to kingtopher27.
I’ve lost count
of just how many
milliliters of hot,
thick streams of stress
trickled down my earlobe
since 11PM last night.
no one needs to know.
in subtle frankness…
the person concerned
kept tally marks
of Dumbo’s cries
and pitiful kicks,
falls to the ground
that tore at the lives of tightropes.
his likely speciality.