behind the last pair of good shoes she has,
she walks down the pavement barefoot.
two shoes and a bad time,
the autumn air crisp against her red cheeks,
she looks up and breathes in freedom, tastes
something sour and sweet, just-ripe, new
to the world
a penny store candy and a white chocolate rose.
bold and clear,
cold and…[Read more]
and roll, the earth alive
tumbling in waves, an ocean of green and brown,
mud spilling up around exposed roots,
worms writhing, branches falling, birds screaming, we run for cover —
and roll, the earth awake
the sun blotted out by the black of the sky,
and who knows where we are going, who knows where we’ve come —
she pulls them down from the screen, line by line,
like they are something she can scrub out,
a life sentence she can undo:
a dream, a date,
a dry smile and bad wine, sat too little lingered too long,
all of it, she will pull down,
her fingers still stuck in the glue,
pulling apart pieces by the gum of their seams.
thumbs through the pages,
a slight widening of the eyes.
do you like it?
she hovers over his shoulder,
watches and fidgets and worries.
his eyes trace the words,
back and forth in quick, sharp lines
and the corner of his mouth twitches.
do you like it?
of course i do.
it was sticky and sweet and it stuck to her fingertips. he gave her a lopsided half-smile and reached out to dot her nose with it, gooey and golden and autumn-smelling, and she squealed, leaning away, batting at his hands.
it was sticky and sweet and didn’t wash out easily, but it was love and they both knew it.
“it’s a y, not an i”
your lips form a tight line but i laugh
and trace the “i” darker in the sand
with the sunburned heel of my right foot.
i don’t care how it’s spelled
i don’t care how i feel.
saltwater waves will swallow you whole, every consonant,
one misprinted “i” buried in sand-memory and time.
(in, out, breathe)
closes her eyes and
stretches up on the tips of her toes
as if she can rise to green-pointed tips of the earth.
he smiles as he laces her fingers between his
closes his eyes and
breathes in the musky nighttime forest cologne
that colors the air around them.
(in, out, breathe)
they are between…[Read more]
actually, i want pumpkin spice, please.
she fingers the candles thoughtfully and imagines him calling her name,
coming home to a living room of swirling autumn-scented love.
they’re on sale, chirps the redheaded salesclerk,
three for the price of one or ten for the price of five.
she closes her eyes and dreams him home and says,
just one, for now.
her eyes are glued to skylights, to airplane silhouettes, to stars.
she stumbles over untied shoelaces
and forgets her coffee mug on the apartment table
along with her goodbye kisses.
you’re always looking up,
he whispers, lips on her ear.
i wish you’d look at me instead.
she gives him a ghost of a smile,
dreaming of constellations,…[Read more]
she has a voice like windchimes, and he is dazzled from the moment she opens her mouth. his lips part and a smile curls at the edges involuntarily and he wants to lean forward and press his lips to hers, soft and pink and dripping stardust in every syllable she speaks, and when she looks […]
like an ice pop-
and she giggles as he licks the frozen cherry juice
off the tip of her nose.
hang in the frigid winter air,
their warm exhales of laughter forming clouds above their heads;
cupid’s arrows in frozen ice pops,
icicles in disguise.
chocolate ice cream and strawberries, a swirl of whipped cream and forty four cents (from her) three dollars (from him); two red-striped straws and breathless smiles, the smell of banana splits in the air and the jingle of the bell on the door, little children squealing, sprinkles and fudge sundaes and squeaky linoleum floors, breathless […]
row upon row of empty shelves, ghostly shadows of worn paperbacks, tattered hardcovers, well read and loved too long ago for dust to leave a trail behind. row upon row of empty stories, lives hidden between lines of crisp black ink, yours for the living when you get the chance. and i miss her with […]
and he is sitting so close, almost shoulder to shoulder, his hand resting lightly on one knee drumming drumming drumming and that smile that lights up the room (still drumming drumming drumming) and i am looking at him, trying to memorize every detail and line of his face every spark in his eyes, wishing i […]
two times two is four. four times four is sixteen. my heart times your heart? well, what’s that? nobody ever taught me why long division is any use at all and nobody ever taught me how love works in relation to the numbers i understand. looking at the back of her blonde pigtailed head, my […]