she catches snowflakes on her boots
as she steps through the trenches
flakes of shimmer gliding across the frozen ground
a gloved hand tucks a lock of blonde behind one ear
exposing skin to the harsh wind
but allowing her full view of the landscape
fingers clench and writhe in their soft homes
eyes squint and blink against the blinding light
lips grow dry and cracked with the frozen wind
and still she walks, one step at a time
trusting the ground beneath the snow
to hold her weight and cushion a fall
taking in the world around her
fresh, new, offering a clean slate
for her to make into her own
She strained every effort of her mind to say what ought to be said. But instead of that she let her eyes rest on him, full of love, and made no answer.
as the sun sets i cross the border into the city
watching the light fade across the skyline
i’ve been chasing the sun all day
and am glad she’s finally decided to take a rest
sweat and dirt lightly cake my skin
creating an extra layer of tan on my no longer fair skin
the miles have been fading and blurring with each new day
and i long ago stopped wondering whether i would begin each day fresh
and stop searching the horizons for signs of my companion
he began as a figment, a mere projection i could see in the distance
he was a mark for me to follow, the reason i put one foot in front of the other
he kept me traveling toward my yet unseen destination, elusive and engaging
eventually, i caught up and we traveled as one
the sun rose and fell as we laughed, talked, made love, and walked
until eventually i no longer had to see him to know his thoughts
to see his face
to know he was there
one day, i stopped checking
and i find myself traveling alone again, chasing a figment, a mere projection in the distance
Exhausted, she sinks down onto her bed, pulling a half tucked-in blanket over her still, clothed body. Closing her eyes for the first time in too long, she feels calm sweep across her, the relaxed state that only comes when someone has been pushed too far for too long consuming her. Laying in the quiet, darkness of her tiny fortress, she hums silently, allowing the music inside of her to lull her to sleep, not caring that her shoes are still on, that her teeth have not been brushed, that she really ought to shower. As moments pass, her hums shift from the rhythm she carries within her, a sleepy, lyrically absent beat, into something more tangible. Realizing that her own body is coming to life, she shifts over from unconsciousness and takes a glimpse at reality. Music, stringy, tenor-heavy music, is drifting across the landscape and through her open window. The music begins to feel its way across her body, testing each vein, each organ for signs of life. As it travels, each new chord finds a place to call home and her humming shifts, her body begins to dance, viscerally at first, with cells keeping time with the melodic voice of the faceless singer now entering the scene, and then begins to manifest itself in her toes, one circling silently, another tapping against her leg. Moving slowly up her body, the music seeks to awaken her and she soon finds herself moving silently across her empty room, energized and renewed by words and instruments, finding something to hold onto in the world that she had almost fallen asleep on.
that you have lost your reality
you exist as a figment inside of my head.
i talk myself in and out of loving you
as a way of passing the time and testing my
sanity which in turn tests my heart
has time really passed so quickly that i find myself searching for
days for us to spend a part?
when they run out will i still be waiting or
will time speed ahead until the dust has settled
the tears have flowed
and lips have met?
dreams of reunion fill my sleep and i awake into each day holding
on to quiet truths and pushing my reverie of ecstasy aside
until another night
but in the daylight i will flutter between my sense of who you are
and the knowledge that you may no longer exist.
The sun was turning itself in for the night when the girl began making her way across the city. Hurrying along the sidewalks and keeping to the well-worn pathways, she kept her feet light, making little sound in the growing darkness. Pausing under a street light to dig out a cigarette, her face is briefly illuminated, dark patches and dried blood showing themselves off against her flushed skin. Passerby glance at her and scurry away, fearful that she might ask for their help. Acquaintances, the few she met darted down dark alleys and hid behind the newspapers they had stored away when the light had began to fade. She was alone, dragging on her cigarette and moving through the streets, but had it not been for the occasional glimpse at her face, no one would have guessed at her story. Tall, lean, the build of a runner, with glossy hair swept back and marred only by a nervous hand or a gust of damp wind. She takes long, even strides, grace and education apparent in her steps and in her dress; simple, dark jeans, knee high leather boots, leather jacket over a heavy sweater and red kerchief. With her slouchy bag strapped snugly against her side, she could have been a model, making her way across the street for a shoot for Vogue or Victoria’s Secret. Pausing at another street crossing, she glances around, her smoke-free hand feeling along her rib cage. She winces, body doubling slightly at her own light touch: broken ribs, too. Checking the street signs, she nods to herself, gathers her courage and resumes walking, destination unknown to those studying her. Laden with barely hidden injuries, head held high, she walks with purpose, with value, with a masked uncertainty.
swirling illusions fluttering pages
dancing words tantalizing phrases
terrifying emotions screaming worries
fleeting happiness dying stories
spilling ink shouting songs
empty promises replaying wrongs
hopeful flashes pleasing eyes
pitless lows forsaken highs
she tucks her bare hands into his warm pocket
he pulls out a pair of gloves for her to don
she slips her arm through his
as he slips into a store
she window shops and people watches
unable to find his equal
he gazes into the crowd
impressed by the beautiful people
she smiles shamelessly when he reappears
blushing when his eyes meet hers
his glance darts in her direction before gesturing
she dances along next to him
content into her deepest depths
as he finds more stores to dart into
leaving her alone.
"Dammit," Laney mutters, ripping open another slight damp, dead-mouse smelling box.
"What?" David asks, dreading the answer. This entire experience had been a nightmare. Who ever would have thought that the holidays could be this stressful?
"Look at this mess! Not only is this box full of mouse poo and shredded cardboard, but the freaking lights look like the electrical version of Pan’s Labyrinth." She yanks a mass of green wire and light bulbs out of the box. "And!! It appears that this is our entire store of tree lights, so we’re stuck untangling it until we either contract The Plague, or bleed to death from the shards of broken glass littering the mass." As she mentions the last part, loose bulbs fall off the strands and shatter on the concrete.
She looks so defeated but David braves a smile. Reaching a hand out, he takes the lights from her and shrugs. ”It could be fun. Let’s try to find the silver lining in this mess, okay? What good is a Christmas tree without lights?”
They had arrived in Seattle earlier that day (Christmas Eve) and had landed into what Laney fondly labeled “Chevy Chase’s worst nightmare.” There were no decorations up, no tree until about an hour ago when Laney’s brother had arrived with one (slightly decrepit looking), and everyone appeared to be feuding over the fact that the house had fallen into a deeper state of disarray and filthyness that anyone had anticipated. Laney’s mood had quickly faded from one of marked nervousness and anticipation to one of anxiety and apprehension,
"The whole thing just fits with what I expected, I guess. Every year everyone I know and love runs off to spend the holidays with their families and they do normal things and nobody fights and everyone drinks too much and eats too much and they all joke about it the next day. But, every year, like clockwork, my holidays end in a giant clusterbomb of fuckness. Every year, one more person backs out, one more item on the ever-shrinking "to-do" list gets forgotten, and I end up playing catch up/referee until everyone goes home. I’m just tired of it." She reaches up with both hands, rubbing her face ferociously, the sleeves of the over-sized sweater she’s wearing running down to her elbows. When she eventually looks back at David, her face is bright pink wear her hands had been, contrasting remarkably with her dark eyes and hair.
David wraps his free arm around Laney, squeezing her tightly. “Everything will be all right. I’m here this year, remember? Whenever you feel like exploding or yelling or screaming or crying or like you’re about to disown a family member, give me the word, and I’ll sweep you off your feet and we’ll drive off into the sunset together.” He kisses her head, breathing in her fresh scent and finding comfort in its contrast with the rest of the smells assaulting him. ”But, for right now, I want you to forget about all of the nonsense we’ve had thrown at us since we landed, and I want you to help me untangle these lights so we can put them on that lopsided tree your brother probably stole out of someone’s backyard, okay?”
"Fine," Laney consents. "But, if I get tetanus or start sprouting a nasty rash, you’re spending Christmas with me in the hospital."
And they sit down, cross legged on pieces of ripped up, rodent-ravaged cardboard, and begin methodically untangling the lights, their breathing becoming rhythmic and married, their hands moving in time, relishing in a silent moment born from disorganization and created by loss.
So, I’ve always had a bit of a love for plants- mostly those that live outdoors, but I’ve had the same Corn Plant since day 1 of my Freshman year of college. That plant (Daphne, as I call her), has been through some rough times, including a recent propagation attempt that ended in the death of her new “twin”. Oops. She has since recovered and is thriving on the outskirts of my bedroom window. Off and on, I’ve acquired a plant here or there but have lost nearly all of them, either from the trauma of moving a lot, negligent (or overly attentive) roommates, or have simply given them away to a friend or family member. Well, since my fabulous SO has deployed, I have gone a little… plant crazy. By “crazy” I mean that my 700 square foot apartment houses a total of 19 plants. Whoops. Some of them were gifts but most of them have been from cuttings given to me by one of my lovely coworkers (who has quite the green thumb and a fabulously jungle-like house). I can’t help myself. As time has gone by, things have progressed from a few jade plants and a couple philodendrons to many jade plants, several philodendrons (including a large and rapidly growing split leaf), a hoya, many, many spider plants, a zebra plant, two baby lemon trees I started from seed, a rubber tree, and something that I have no name for but that looks a bit like a crinkle-leafed jade.
Daphne sure has a lot of friends.
I think I need a new hobby…