arise, fair sun
there's light pressing down on my closed eyelids,
and the curtains by the window shudder with the morning glow.
there, in the east, where dawn awakens and birds flutter.
and you, my dear, are the sun.
If We Could Fly
"Paloma. Did you know that's a bird?" He lets out a breath, leaving it hanging in the chilled air between them.
She laughs, the sound forming its own clouds before dissipating. "You think I don't know that?"
He does; everyone knows the meaning and sound of their own name. "Would you fly, if you could?"
She raises her shoulders, her anorak rustling. The wind blows his bangs into his face. "Am I the only one? That can fly?"
He tips his head up and scoffs, boots crunching the snow beneath his feet. The sun is blinding. "You're supposed to say yes. Everyone wants to fly, theoretically."
"What if you're afraid of heights?" She pulls a hand out of her pocket to pull a lock of hair away from her mouth.
"Are you?" Her lips reflect the winter sun, he thinks, in the reflection of her lip gloss.
"Of course I'm not, I'm a bird."
His hand's somewhere near her elbow and she hasn't noticed. She's dipped away from him, further down the road and out of reach. He speeds up and finds her laughing. All the words on his tongue dry up and turn to snowflakes.
She catches one on her tongue.
"Are you going to tell me?" she asks, and his legs freeze up, icicles holding him in place. She stops walking when he does, head cocked to the side.
"Tell you what?" he asks slowly, his breath foggy. She's facing him, and the sun too, and she sparkles in the light.
"If I could fly, would I be the only one? Or could other people do it too?"
Their feet start up in time with each other, slowly pressing their footprints into the road. He glances behind them, just to see the path they've carved in the snow. "No, you're the only one."
She bites her bottom lip, watching the snow fall. He brushes his coat against hers. "Then no, I wouldn't fly."
He shakes his head and laughs. "What? Just because you'd be the only one? But it would be like a superpower!" He wants to knock his arm against hers, or push her playfully, but he burrows his hands into his pockets because the air's too sharp and cold.
"I think--" she looks over at him, and he stops breathing for a second. "--it would be lonely, if I was me and I was the only one up there. I mean, it's probably beautiful and everything, but I'd want to take people with me into the sky, right?"
"Would you take me?" he blurts out, and the cold has gotten to his face, because it's numb. He stops walking, trying to pull warmth from somewhere, staring at her, but being frozen from the inside out. Or outside in.
Snowflakes are in her hair, melty and glittering like stardust, and her cheeks are red from the winter air and her lip glossy mouth keeps outshining the sun and pulling all of his attention.
"Yeah, if you become a bird with me," she laughs, snowflakes on her tongue.
He watches his feet grind into the snow and finds the will to pull them out and make them step forward. They're continuing down the road, hands at their sides, walking, and his hand almost touches hers so many times that the wind knocks them together eventually, knuckle against knuckle and then cold again.
"I'd become a bird with you," he says into the wind. "Paloma." And she smiles.
rotating star sigh
- reaching into the sky and plucking out a star for us
- just past the mountains
- an array of snowflake misnomers
- sanctuary, puddle and snow / winding path with nowhere to go
- seeds scattered, drifting on the wind / finding a place to bury our sins
- ruthlessly omnipotent / and independently broken
- courtyard massacre / trembling hand
- real earthquake, forever / taut like rubber bands
- grapevine foothold / and all-seeing plans
- holding water to our lips / no one else understands
- fortune favors the bold / fortune favors the broken
- paint me in stained glass
- something to digest
- overgrown bushes / strings in my eyes
- two friends on a hotel bed
- star crown made for the head
- we were worthless / we were made of ropes and leaves
- built by robots and held together by the breeze
- copper shiny smile / and hoodwink eyes
- soft now, they say / or did they ever
- for they slept on the moon / just to feel better
- bats in the night / faster than rain
- slithering under the skin like pain
angles and planes and lines in between
repeating the painted lines
across my face
(turn left, right)
looking different at every
my words are shaped
different in different
(chin up, down)
when you see me do
you look straight on,
how many faces
can you see ?
rough draft expression,
my makeup's bleeding
into the skin,
three dimensional but
you don't think it
(eyes right, left)
every plane of the face
every color different
shades of lying
turn my head,
look into my
or are you
i want your
i want a
dance in my brain
rootcanal winter turret
shot through the heart,
proof that something's
in there after all or
on the walls
but not reality
just lift a finger
to my lips
it's not meant
like a street lamp
in places where
my teeth are
supposed to be
in time with
just in time like
i'm not going
falling off my
and into the
like a street
see ( unseen )
close your eyes
( what )
there's thread between
my fingers but I can't
in any case,
( it's golden )
when it touches
the ground is
when you see it
sinking its roots
into the grass
like a snake at home
( of course )
above and below
( hollow )
and the backs
of my eyelids
wintertime like gold residue under my skin
and never looking in the mirror, in the mirror
wintertime rocksalt and meadowlily skin
eyes that water like bluebells
Everything Goes on for Ages
She runs her fingers over the edge of the notebook and stares out at the water. It feels like the sky is watching, or the birds, at least.
She picks up and oar and rows the boat further out, abandoning the notebook by her feet for a moment.
The wind rifles through the pages, and she glances down. Pauses.
a million people before me and after me... what are the chances we'd meet in this lifetime? it feels like destiny. or as close as I could ever come to destiny. it feels so real.
She lets the wind tickle her forehead as she closes her eyes, listening to the cricket sounds nearby. The lake is so peaceful, so why couldn't her mind be too?
"Come here," he laughed as he caught her wrist, and she twirled away, knowing he'd follow after her. They chased each other feebly through the garden, until at last he caught her by the waist and tugged at the ribbon holding her hair. It fell free, and her eyes fell on his lips.
The water splashes, and she startles and watches a fish jump out of the water, then fall back in. The canoe rocks, more from her movement than the fish's, and she clings to the sides.
Slowly, she picks up the notebook, touches the edges of the pages. She doesn't dare read more. But still, she opens it.
his eyes I think I could drown in. is that cliche? I don't know what else to say it's just so great when he's looking at me with that look! like it's just me and him, spinning, spinning, and he'll never let me go
She tears out the page and drops it in the lake. The words melt in the water, the paper turning dark and fragile and tearing apart. She watches it until she can't any longer, then rows vehemently away.
Without reading the next page, she crumples it up. Feeds to the lake. And the next. And the next. She stabs them with the oar. She screams his name. She gets splashed and water gets into the bottom of the canoe and a bird overhead screeches.
he won't even look at me
The water is so dark.
there are moments i think he forgets i exist. doesnt even say hello. hates me. screams.
She plunges her hand in the lake, wondering if there are bigger fish down there. Ones who would bite at her hand, or eat up these pages, or swallow this whole boat in one gigantic tragedy.
he forgot to take his shoes. he set them out to dry, after he was in the rain. and theyre so wet sitting here in the foyer. and he's taken everything and left, and he forgot his shoes
She tosses the rest of the notebook in, and with the cover and everything it's too heavy to float. She'd be too heavy to float too. And it sinks.
She watches it, leaning over the edge of the canoe at a dangerous angle, until she can't see it. Until she's sure she can't see it.
Then the water is peaceful. Everything goes on for ages: the water, the sky. The birds call to each other. She picks up an oar. And continues rowing.