Forever, the Little Girl

In 2015, I originally wrote a 750-word draft of a piece that is now quite dear to me. It is titled, “Forever, the Little Girl,” and after several rounds of additions and subtractions, this story has found its home in Burning House Press. Prolific poet Bola Opaleke serves as January’s editor, compiling works that illustrate faith, faithlessness, and/or divinity. Immense thanks goes to Bola for his consideration and acceptance of my work.

You can read the piece here. Thanks to BHP, I’ve grown more acquainted with experimental writers, and I’ve enjoyed encountering all sorts of life that sprout from the journal’s monthly themes. Give the journal a look, and have as good a time as the relaxing walnut photographed above.

-Kristine

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Why Does It Matter So?

My dearest friend is beginning to blog. Let’s give him a warm welcome!

RUMINATIONS IN F SHARP MAJOR

Tommy Cattorneyatlaw ponders; wondering why, feeling….

A rip of the heart,

a tear at the gut,

is it worth it,

as you pick the pieces up.

Maybe not, as they fall back in disarray,

swirling in the blood strewn about as it always was.

Spread about, disheveled as they always were,

a sanctimonious display in a horrid array.

Nothing changes, it just remains,

not trite, but glib, it stays the same.

Not the name and brutality omnipresent,

it’s sick, reality, & omniscient.

A vomit of blood, a resultant finding,

the truth not hiding, it never was.

A slap across the years, trying, never seeing,

not knowing the quest or even why.

How to begin, not whither, not die,

but far from within, so lost again.

A walk across, slain by inequity,

a death that haunts most painfully.

Is there no escape, no sanctuary,

or must it all gut reality?

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eyeing the caffeine

delays in good old customer
service, the batching of
work, duplication of minutes
across a pastel wall shielded
by obituaries for spiteful
clouds, rounded in their
tired introspection and moot
rebuttals, hissingly solemn.

first day back, eight tall
canisters of coffee burn
while the power goes out
and we look around, see
how many slips need a
home, a pinch, cardstock
in the brightest blue, my
coveted stamps finding
refuge in the bag of our
most reliable deliveries.

first-time consultations are
really just several prolonged
rounds of peekaboo, but we
often write up stories as to
why no one saw us, and why
no one sees us pouring life’s
catalysts the way pretty folks
do, poised and undistracted.

Cat No. 122 of the 500 Cats Project

typical attempts at rhyming

flowers do kneel, apt to reveal.

we love how the whites of
a suddenly swollen moon
crack beneath our shoes
as our laces become untied
with each shriveled conclusion
of another faulty argument.

what good does speaking
provide when raindrops
hit the old front porch
and flattened leaves bleed
to tell you as much?

the clouds are stubborn
like most bad memories
that won’t dissolve into
cups of lukewarm water.

break the bread, make our bed.

let’s repeat everything we
never learned to say
because homework wasn’t
cool to us in 2006.

I am the fuzz peeled away
when it’s time to eat at
the sour misconceptions known
to tie us down and placate
those who were never happy.

teach me to sit and weave
baskets while the line outside
spirals and cuts across curbs
that broke the skin left
behind by thrashing defiance
abandoned in a local flood.

all has been said, some misled.

Cat No. 119 of the 500 Cats Project

I was always good enough.

I usually never post these kinds of things, but you should know that there is at least one person who believes in you and your capabilities.

I have spent so many years doubting myself. Consequentially, I’ve held myself back from doing things I’ve always dreamed of doing, solely because of silly feelings of inadequacy, that I am not deserving or good enough.

I’m done with being my own worst enemy, my number one longstanding obstacle. I’m done with refusing to acknowledge and take accountability for my maladaptive behaviors, thought processes, and refusal to properly address how numerous things of my past have impacted me.

Since I was ten years old, I’ve wanted to be an attorney. I still want to be an attorney. And I will become the attorney I’ve always aspired to be.

When applications open up this fall, I will be re-applying. I was admitted to law school before. Let’s forget about all those things that contributed to a derailment of several years.

I know that I have what it takes to achieve my goals. I have the desire, and I have the endurance.

Next year, I will go to law school. And I will be successful, despite my moments of self-doubt. I will be that assertive, headstrong person I was once perceived as, the person I know I still am.

I was always good enough. Thank you for helping me see that these past few years. And with that, I will be taking an official hiatus from the WordPress community. All the best.

– Kristine

letters from North Texas

you promised me letters and yes,
they were delivered.

so much meaning to a girl who
never had a birthday party, as
birthdays near Christmas bring
enough cheer as they come to
recover snowflakes’ edges so
rounded and spliced within life.

you had a point when you said
I could use a spine, and not the
kind between glossy covers with
cherry blossoms, peaches, the
hope that graced my evenings
before you came home to speak
of yet another disappointment
that could only emerge from my
off-white inexperience, marred
further by old crayons I still hide
beneath my almost-bed, these
almost-goals refusing to say they
are done with me, my failures in
following through with plans that
look so pretty on the porous face
of “Thank You” cards I wanted to
send, and for some reason, I did
feel that I owed you one, as well
as the signature that no one could
read in high school; they told me
to re-write it, or simply provide my
initials because we weren’t signing
anything the President reads, just
like I would be folding your grayed
boxers dusting every inch of some
up-to-date gadgetry you felt you
were entitled to, as entitled as men
should be to that perfect woman
I was, wasn’t, but could be if I only
took it easy on that small bright pint
of cookie dough ice cream, and all
the sugar I thought would stay, atop
my tongue that welcomed and asked
you to stay because you said I was
different, and I thought that this alone
was enough to fall asleep, a grin so
wide and hands enjoying the calm
of two admired breasts, awaiting an
admission of your follies and a pledge
to be yourself, to do away with deeds
you’d only distrust as an obligation.

I tore up each and every letter today,
realizing I’ve had enough time.

some dehydrated thought

there was once a time when I thought hazelnut
truffles fell from the sky, and I asked in the
middle of downtown morning traffic.

who am I to even mention traffic? I haven’t
had a car in years.

it’s an ethics thing for me, like not wearing
wooden square-bead bracelets showcasing
saints striking ten different poses.           don’t
press the gas if you can’t turn the wheel.

and don’t start conversations about certain
people who’ve received the same amount of
confidence you’ve placed in your sad self.

I watched a documentary on husbands who
can’t feel.           They mumbled their vows as
their mothers cried, like the brides would in
several months. occasionally, I stare at the
ceiling, crumpling napkins in colorless fists.

I wonder if I’m anything like these men, if
I’ve ever really wanted anyone.

undoubtedly, I’ve always envied the act of
being, but I’ve never met someone who
taught this.           pedagogy is a loaded word
long hallowed by some who can’t order fries
without leaving behind some slap-worthy smirk.

the hazelnut truffles rest on my countertop
that begs for Clorox, just as my eyelids
calmly give up their strained resolve.