37 nights & counting
This morning I only shaved one leg.
No point in shaving the other, it won't see the light of day. Today, or next week or next month.
If only I could hide half my personality with a cast.
Scrape off the wretched hairyness of my flaws on one leg, and stride out into the world with it naked-baby-smooth.
Everyone's too polite to ask about the other, a shame because I'm dying to talk about its brokenness.
How the air left my body when it snapped, and the 37 nights I've spent dreaming of running.
Teabags make me think of tampons.
The slow oozing of color into liquid.
I watch you dip yours
into the hot water 4 times
and decide not to laugh
because I don't know if you will appreciate my sense of humor.
We stand 9.7 feet apart
(a respectable, explainable distance in case someone walks in).
The filthy urge to beg
for your hands around
is SO strong
I half-wonder if I can ever entertain the thought of love without pain.
4.3 feet apart
tea is going cold
on the counter
as we talk about 7 topics n 19 minutes.
We just finished debating the practicality of llamas as pets. It's our first stupid inside joke, and I feel a little less alone.
I'm still weird though.
Can you hear my heartbeat
when I'm 2.4 feet away?
I can almost taste the nervous energy beaming out of you.
It's not just me.
I pose one (1) hand on my hip
for two (2) reasons. Trying to be casually sexy
hiding the earthquake-level shaking it keeps doing
without my goddamn permission.
Damn useless shaky-ass disobedient hand.
I close the distance
as if there's someone invisible
pushing the small of my back.
1.3 feet away now.
She's part of me that wants this before I even know what
shimmies up onto my
Gravelly voice vibrates in my ear.
She loves the way you bite your lip
and tells me I can
talk myself out of this (if I have to).
And that's how it starts.
#contest #prose #freeverse #new #beginning #lover
Instead of filling the air with empty platitudes, we sit in silence for the results.
Another kind of rat race
squeaking metal on plastic
the wheel is a metaphor
rodents run at night
- the end.
My fists clenched as I thought about how easy it is for a coward to date someone who is deaf, and I wondered what she'd been saying all those late nights that I saw her smiling into the phone.
i, too, am a mixture of hot and cold
an unfortunate collision of chemistry
spoken about in hushed tones -
a few are crazy enough to try to
into my middle
(storm chasers )
only to learn that
the rain is just
a billion gallons worth of tears.
force of nature
spinning out of control
arms outstretched destroying everything in my path
(and not so innocent)
victims all the same.
I stared at the ceiling in the Reverend’s study as I felt his fingers encircling my neck and wondered if there was any possibility that God had ever existed.
This is how it began.
I first heard the word "whore" alongside my name inside the ladies bathroom on a humid Sunday afternoon at church the summer before I turned eight. There were whispers about my family and some shitty predictions for my future. They said I already looked like a 'fast one' and in my innocence, I thought they were talking about running. Sad, right?
A few years later, Reverend Carter asked to see me after school. I’d reluctantly agreed to stop by his office and got there late. My head was buzzing with the feeling that only mediocre high-school weed can give you. His uneven eyebrows fascinated me from across the desk and I stared at the four wrinkles on his forehead as he “expressed his concerns” about some things he’d heard from some respected members of the church. He counted out my infractions one by one on his hand.
‘They’ve noticed you hanging around questionable people.’
(Fine, maybe I had been. I shrugged)
‘You caused a distraction with the low cut blouse you wore last Tuesday to youth group.’
(Ugh, I hate the word ‘blouse’)
‘Parents are threatening to pull their children from the choir if you’re allowed to stay in it.’
(I noticed he was starting to sweat a bit on his forehead.)
In that moment I knew.
I held his gaze and lowered my eyelids just a little. After years of practice, I was a master at ever-so-slightly biting my lower lip.
He cleared his throat. He cleared it a second time and then loosened his collar (of course).
Flustered, he spun around in his squeaky desk chair to switch the air conditioner to HIGH. The AC was high, but I was higher (and I could still taste the blunt on my lips).
I flicked my eyes toward his belly button for just a second and could see hair under his wrinkled white shirt. I worried about what the stubble of his beard would feel like against my cheek.
I uncrossed my legs and leaned forward a millimeter more in his direction just as he too leaned forward onto the ink-stained blotter covering his desk.
The choir was practicing downstairs and as the sound echoed through the rafters I thought for a second that I could see the music floating up to the sky.
His hands folded and unfolded as he stuttered and stammered through a half-assed lecture about modesty and abstinence and purity. He droned on about the dangers of drugs and alcohol and the weaknesses of the flesh.
The weaknesses of our flesh.
As he licked his lips nervously I knew my time was up.
After all these years I could read the signs. He started staring more openly and fidgeting less.
I took advantage of a moment of awkward silence and looked down at the floor and smiled.
When I looked up again through my eyelashes he was starting to stand up. As predictable as clockwork, he declared in a booming voice that we should hold hands and pray.
Giving in has always been so much easier than fighting.
His sweaty palms gripped my hands and one thumb started to rub slowly back and forth across mine. I heard the anticipation in his voice as he put on his preacher's voice and asked God to watch over me on my path to righteousness.
It cracked as he got to the next part and tried to lower his voice.
’May the Lord bless you
and protect you.
May the Lord smile on you
and be gracious to you.
May the Lord show you his favor
and give you his peace.’
His hairy pot belly moved an inch closer to me just before he squeezed my hands at the end and said Amen (as they always do).
A few long seconds passed before he opened his eyes and looked directly into mine.
I started the countdown in my head.
The first veiny hand wrapped around my bare neck
The second hand wrapped around the first, almost tenderly.
I didn't even bother with a silent prayer for help.
By the time I heard the primal moan escaping his throat, I was already a million miles away.
teeth to bite you gently with
an absentee soul
Amidst the ruins contemplating...
How do I tell this child his whole family is dead?
mostly just nothing at all
living among stars
passing through quickly, unannounced
show up everywhere
flying far away
skimming edges of the sun
(kiss Jupiter's rings)
watching from afar
millions of light years away
never to belong
swinging back by Mars
make an effigy of Earth
nothingness is home