Shaky hands please calm
Upset tum please settle now
But please don’t leave me
Shaky hands please calm
Upset tum please settle now
But please don’t leave me
“‘S’cuse me ma’am. I’m lost.
I can’t find grandpa nowhere.”
“Funeral room five.”
Rosé before noon?
Puppies, plans, lunches with friends?
Oh! Vanderpump Rules!
Coffee, pen, journal
I told the page a secret
Blotting out the sin
Ridges cleave open
Sun screens burn to smithereens
The moment he calls
I want to be by his side
Like how a leash works…
If love is a hotel…
And my love is on the top floor…
What gets me in the door?
To the front desk?
On the elevator?
With a key to the top floor? (Of course that floor is locked and guarded by fearsome goons.)
To the same room on the top floor?
And into his arms to save his life?
With clanging whirlwinds
Still meditating—no breath—
My own voice unheard
Crystal ice like shells
Once we fall through, won’t we freeze?
Scurry back laughing
I stir the cream into my coffee. The sky is lit with the moon and it keeps me awake enough to race with my thoughts. “Compatible,” I think. I keep getting hit with this word when I least want to hear it. When I make a play for permanence, the other party starts their doubts. “Is it me or her timing?” “Is she consistent?” “Is she looking at me right now?” I don’t want to make them uncomfortable, but I do. And then they hit me with it. “Do you think we’re compatible?” And the next move is crucial. Because once they ask, there is only one correct answer.
Knock, hinges, then light
Gentle, cold touch as bill mounts
“like to go home please…”
I knew you were true so I boiled inside just looking at you.
Content believing anything outside an adulterer was a solid significant other.
Though, while you were here, I was so so sad, finding myself trailing the house like a sleepwalking phantom. Too exhausted to remember not to be found where I ought not. You married a ghost–a ghost that is so fitting for your temperament.
An eclipse of my whole self.
The listlessness an appropriate darker side.
Where you vowed to stay forever and guard it.
A flag on a shifting side of my moon, determined to be in shadow. While the war on earth began.
The trumpet marking the start of carnage was all of humanity showering my sunlight with arrows. A few billion lanses.
I tilted my head forward a few inches to feel heat cloak my face and steam roll down to my collarbones. I inhaled the fiery gas and it burned through my nose hairs and throat. Like something more than water going through me. Looking into the shiny steel pot I saw flesh double over and whine. The meat would be nearly finished soon so a half sprig of thyme would need to be thrown in. Perfect timing!
“Hon, will you hand me the thyme from the cabinet?”
“What would you have done had I not come into the kitchen?
“Please. This morning is sweet. Just pass the thyme. Please…”
She passed it, but not without something to say about it.
“I’m wondering about that shelf you mentioned a few nights ago. The floating bookshelf?” She pauses waiting for me to respond to something that isn’t actually a question. “The one with the marbled plexiglass?”
I loathe that, regardless of being told a million times over, she insists on believing that if she simply inflicts her tones a certain way, she can goad people into answering for things like a guilty child. She intends to make me speak like a toddler on display because I have frustrated her by something as simple as dry herbs.
“Well, all I’m saying is you look like the proper lumberjack. It’d be nice to get some handiwork out of you is all. Not that I don’t enjoy you making organic food for the dog. It’s just…”
This little dance was the most tiring. I didn’t mind the mother-in-law-like nitpicking or the insinuation that me taking a while to build another bookshelf in the house that I built from scratch with our contractor made me less of a man. And of course I cook my dogs food from scratch. He’s a pure breed for goodness sake! But as is the nature of the storm that is my wife, a purposeful drip can be more uncomfortable than water boarding.
But I told her the same thing I told my sister and mom when they asked. “Hon, you are worth every drop of effort.” And it remained true as long as I kept saying it out loud. One day I wouldn’t have to say it at all. That’s my hope. Everyone married over twenty years says it just gets easier after that. We’re six years in and I’m wishing I could time-lapse the next fourteen years. “And you look hot as hell today!”
That seemed to please her and she waltzed out of the kitchen. If it weren’t for the way we level out in bed, I don’t know how long I could’ve kept this up.
“Honey, I’m here for you,” I call after affectionately.
“Well it’s like being here with a ghost!”
All the while we snooze
Sorrow billows, tears…. pillows
‘Tis better to have…
Clouds move, but don’t pass
Clung to me with “I need you”
Darkened day and night
She told her father
But he couldn’t disannul.
Head hung, she went on.
I hope this email finds you well. You must understand I feel the obligation to report anything out of the ordinary. There’s a young girl who expends a great deal of energy trying to go unnoticed. She moved into the building, maybe it’s been a year and a half, and probably would have gone just so—unnoticed, that is—if it hadn’t been my job to take notice of her. But then on Thursday I noticed she got out of an F150 around 4p and this time a young guy was with her. Not the type I think she’s usually with, but he got out with her.
Now, what happened next is just my biased interpretation of what I remember and I am sure you’ll have more than a few people call you about this, but I do not have time to double-back so I have to send this to you while I can still remember detail. So please do as my wise aunt says and “take the meat and throw away the bones.”
My memory is cloudy as it all happened so fast and emotion caught me by surprise being at home. Also this girl is how my daughter (one day) will be after I can teach her how to notice things. Anyway the girl and the young guy approached a car on foot from about 40 yards away. The girl knocked on the window, crouching down to the driver within at eye-level. The engine started running then. The guy moves the girl away and stands in her place. Eye-level. He motions for the window to come down.
No movement and the engine was still running. The guy handed her something, she started to puncture the tires one at a time and the guy stood at eye-level to the driver the entire time. Engine off after the third tire. The only tire untouched being the driver front tire. The girl hands the tool back to him and the person we’ve all been waiting for steps out of the car.
The young man must have been as tired and angry as he looked because he couldn’t deal with the dialogue. And do you know… even now, as I write this… and every time I think it over I am more and more sure that young man is exactly the man I think he is.
In that trunk—they made the driver open it up—was a dog in painful condition. She had to carry the dog out of the trunk and brought to health from there, but it took all night. Luckily the vet is a mile and a half away, but it shouldn’t be this way.
Anyway the young guy looked like he wanted to carry that girl. The same way she needed to carry the dog. I just couldn’t believe any of it. The world is so strange. I’m exhausted now that I’ve written it all. If you need corroboration, Sam saw it too so I cc’d them. Be safe and keep the neighborhood safe.
– Torrence Oberlin Jr.”
Today, I’m at the freehand on Ohio (19 E), feeling fortunate that I can leave
somewhere to sleep the same night
my need to rush the gauntlet where people (are meant to) battle to meet (but ultimately fall short of) my lofty expectations
negative ruminations behind
and a mind to be sure when this happens next time…
I’ll end the war in a loft
some place more than just “somewhere to sleep the same night”
What do I have a spare tire for? I don’t even know how to drive.
I told my friend I didn’t have friends and he agreed. I wanted to meet new people, but then I couldn’t find any good reason I’d leave my place to meet people.
Out of the tumbling of earth,
Has become me
And swallowed what was once stumble.