In China he is eating dinner in a restaurant that the Zagat Guide picked out for him, and I am here arranging shirts in his closet. Beijing is a light map glowing underneath the glass of the many screens I have seen it on. He sends a picture of the view from his hotel room every night. He likes to joke that the buildings are multiplying and asks me to track the sprouting skyline until he comes...
He speaks a liquid tongue.
His voice is like butter melting in a pan over the stove. It pours over a room like hot oil lacing a honeycomb, and you want to stand under it like you stand under a cold shower on a hot day. He falls over you like a good rhythm, drilled into your scalp and shoulder blades like heavy rain. And every time he speaks, he’s drawing you a golden bath. You can see your face in the bathtub shining...
Some people buy easy-chairs, Jack, but all I’ve got is you. I’m ringing the doorbell at your apartment again in every dream I have after midnight. I haven’t been sleeping at all, but I have been dreaming of you. You look good in the moonlight. I don’t live in the house by the lake anymore. I think you are cross with me about moving to a well-lit street where you cannot pin...
The boy who sings happy birthday at your party is never the one who stays till all the balloons are breathless and crawling along the floor. He is never the one you’re in love with, and always the one you wish you had — had like a string of pearls in a box on the shelf in your closet. The person who waits to watch the city lights relinquish their glow to the sun rising outside your...
the trumpets exploded gold flames in her eyes and a blaring pulse to match he said, “Sunday Sunday, we’ll go swimming part the summer with our fins rip valleys in stretches of blue sky” and the dazzle drew her close, drew the yes from her mouth into the fold and under his shirt collar he was all invitations and silver linings woven onto his coat in buttons and bells whistled the...
You are at ease only when the sun has set — relieved that the daylight no longer obliges you to match the way it shines. You are no diamond after all. Now you’ve got yourself dialed up all the way to self-destruct sitting in the library. I’m certain they’ve got books on suicide and you need only ask the woman at the front desk where they keep them. But why trouble her with the decision of...
There you are, suddenly. Like always. Standing under the canopy of some store window as though the pavement dreamed you up. I wish I had a say in your coming and going, Jack. It’s your job to count all of the things that make my chest burn. You take it seriously. You hold your hands up and catalogue everything that has made my skin turn red as though the list-making will change things. You...
In an alleyway where the darkness is velvety, I am your cigarette holder. Not the cigarette. I don’t have the privilege of being the bad habit you can’t pass up. I am just the silver sliver that holds up what you really crave. It’s cold for a spring evening and bright, too — bright enough for the moonlight to make your cigarette holder shine like noise in an otherwise...
You’re looking at the moment where a dream comes true. You thought it would be fireworks. You thought it would be the sound of champagne bottles popping open. You don’t even drink. Not even on Saturdays. She’s wanted this forever. She’s your best friend, and somehow you can’t even pick her apart from every other robed scholar on stage. Her mother has asked you to snap...
Three Blocks South
He’s standing in the fourth floor hallway of an apartment building. It isn’t his apartment building. He lives three blocks north in a condominium with a skylight in the bedroom. His eyelids are pressed shut to keep his pupils from darting back and forth between the stairwell door and the elevator, both of which are threatening to open in the corner of his eye. He breaks into a sweat. ...
I wanted to spend the winter sinking my feet into the tracks you left in the snow you spoke in riddles and half-truths (and I liked that about you) your teeth like blank squares in crossword puzzles I thought you were the world’s grandest mystery but it was my doing that made you into a question I was the drop under the curve of a question mark that makes it what it is I was a black spot...
Conversations With The Real Imagined Boys (8)
“I’d sell all my books if I could trade them for just one girl like you.” “You of all people should know that people can’t be bought.” “Maybe not in that way, but with diamonds, and flowers, and flattery, I’m sure it has been done.”
There it goes. Slipping away like the drinks slip down all of those tossed back heads. You’re seeing the world in strobe-light smudges with a throat as dry as the backs of your hands in winter. Some boy’s gone and spilled his drink in your lap, and he’s breathing a liquor-laced apology in your ear. You’re in the restroom with your skirt under the hand dryer when the...
Anonymous asked: His Careful Words.
Soon I’ll be carrying the bits of your bones in a canvas bag. I’ll drill holes in them and turn them into knicknacks to sell at the flea market. I am going to break you so there is no need to be shy about it. I am going to break you a hundred different ways, a million different ways, a thousand different ways — the number doesn’t matter. It’s all the same to your...
enemy soldier with a bazooka slung over his shoulder “ammunition,” he says he opens his mouth to say it again and you are the speeding bullet shot down his throat before his lips close over the ‘mm’ in ammunition
Memory Lane is a dead metaphor.
If I walk back far enough, I will eventually have stopped at every place where my sleeve caught on a winter-bare branch, at every place where my ankles were cut on broken bottles in the playground, at every place that has a banner hung over it with my name, every place that I marked and has marked me. Over there is the place where I learn that ‘blue’ is the name for the colour of the...
Anonymous asked: Hi, do you do story prompts? Someone gives you an idea, you write it?
Backstage at the Beauty Pageant
“The world will scream for you if you’re beautiful, you know,” she said. She declared it to me as though I had no idea that I could be beautiful, or that there would be any value in it. I smiled and asked if she would let me take a picture of her. I did not tell her that I was well acquainted with how much attention people pay to beauty. You can’t take photographs without being aware of that....
You move too quick for comfort.
rakkan: Maybe it is your fault for loving her. Yours. Yes, you. You, fiddling with the withering strap of your watch, and missing your stop on the subway line. It is your fault for staring through subway compartment windows and not really looking at anything. It’s not as though you don’t know how to look at things. You look at her very carefully. You were watching her only moments ago. She...
lamarionnettiste: My skin itches before the start of winter to let me know that it’s going to be a cold one. This week has been cold like it used to be when I still had recess. Now there is no such clear division between work and play. Now, I am always doing, doing things I want or have to do. Sometimes I cannot tell the difference. It seems that it is possible not to want what is best for...
I go south in the winter.
Jack, I think about you when I am crying about an old wound that has fallen open like a lock box that I forgot to turn the key in. When I pick it up by the handle, the bottom hangs open and spills its contents onto the floor. I like to imagine that it makes a clattering sound, but I don’t know whether anyone would keep change in a lock box. So I try to justify the noise in my head by...
Anonymous asked: how many followers do you have?
I’ll be mostly inactive for the next week because I’m leaving for New York. I’ll have more writing for you all when I’m back. =)
Fall in love and you will watch every man become your man. You will find the outline of his shoulders around the slope of every other, dotted like a secret presence that only you can find by drawing your line of sight through them. The world becomes your activity book as you colour in every man’s eyes with his irises and scramble the letters in subway advertisements to spell out...
She told her shrink, “If you are going to be one of the bubbles on a Scantron sheet labelled A through D or E, you’d hope that you’re at least the question that gets answered first.” You don’t know where you went wrong. You didn’t see it happen, that’s for sure. Maybe it was when she was putting on a pot of tea, or taking clothes out of the dryer. Either way, you missed it. Now she stays silent...
at couple’s counselling, they ask the pair to share what matters most and he writes Emma Emma Emma Emma while she makes a list of priorities.
She’s counting matches from her mother’s matchbox. I’m not supposed to tell a soul because she stole it out of her purse. She’s lining them up on the coffee table — an arsonist’s tally. I don’t know how to light a match, and she told me that there couldn’t be a better time to learn. I met her in the girls’ washroom. She was applying mascara...
Tell me something you haven't been able to tell... →
Remorse is a bully carrying around a first-aid kit. He’ll beat you senseless before unpacking the band-aids. Then he’ll patch you up real nice. Feel better, buddy. Get well soon, doll. No hard feelings.
verrloren asked: Your writing is absolutely lovely! Thanks for following me. :)
What she talks about when she talks about love.
rakkan: Love like a swollen rainbow. Love like a purple bruise that refuses to part with your skin. Love like a cyst about to explode. Love like the death of a star. Love like a nebula. Love like every particle of dust. Love like a blanket of cobwebs. Love that fills and love that takes over and love that takes away. I want none of this for you. Love like lighthouse rocks. Love like an anchor...
Taking the easy way out.
It’ll be fun, she says, like the Beatles song. Day Tripper. We’re packing our bags in the hush of a house where every other person is asleep. I’ve got a list made up somewhere of everything I’m supposed to pack, but I can’t find it now. She’s putting my entire closet into a duffel bag and my head’s spinning too much to stop her. You’ll wake the...
Conversations With The Real Imagined Boys (7)
“You can be awfully cynical for a romantic, you know.” “The romantics make the best cynics of all.” “How so?” “When you know how to live on the rosiest tip of something, you also know how to dance all the way to the other side and imagine the same scene in ashes.”
Our mothers would have been ashamed if they saw us now — sons and daughters hanging onto telephone cords like lifelines. We wait for lovers who are never going to call. It’s a bartering game. Five more minutes and then we’ll call it a night, but fifteen minutes later we’re still counting all of the sweet parts of loving someone to make up for the bitterness of coffee and...
prybehindthebookshelf replied to your post: I’m glad you were featured or else I’d have never found your work. I love it. (timeless-nonsense here) You are amazing. You got featured?! Yay! Congratulations/well deserved <3 Thank you! I’ve only been able to keep this up so long because of the constant support of people like you. I really appreciate you sticking around until now, and...
simplymisread asked: Your writing is amazing!
late-arrival asked: I'm glad you were featured or else I'd have never found your work. I love it. (timeless-nonsense here) You are amazing.
literarynerd replied to your post: An Ending Delightful. Thank you very much for the compliment and for the feature that I’m assuming was your doing. =)
I convinced myself that I was in love with you when the slow song crackled out of your last-breath radio that night. There’s something romantic about feeling as though every sound you hear is going to be the last. I think that urgency sent me grasping for your heart as though it was all I had ever wanted. I met you when they were taking the big top down. It was the last day that the circus...
They’ll tell you that you’re only good for half-smiles on camera. Turn the charm on. Put on something outrageous because it’s fancy-dress. You’re a poster-girl, and I’m the boy buying all the wrong magazines. They tell me you’re a lukewarm fantasy and that I should move on to some wholesome oatmeal girl with a more holy sparkle in her eye. You’re the...
I am standing behind St. Mary’s Cathedral telling you that I can feel my heart folding up. It is like I am sixteen again sitting inside a hotel half-closet with my head between my knees and nobody on the other end of 911. And all the effort of screaming is only sending something just shy of a whisper into my phone. Can you hear me, Jack? Of course, you can. You don’t have a car,...
How do you begin to apologize for all the ways in which you have betrayed someone? You can start by counting them. But the weight of all of your negligence is heavier than normal numbers can represent. Your missing conviction is the whole in your lover’s back. A knifeless betrayal, and the worst kind, because you could not even love her enough when you stabbed her in the back.
Ashes - Part Two
We had a fight only three days in. She didn’t speak to me for a week. I felt like the whole world had given me the cold shoulder. I shivered walking through the hallways, hoping she’d be around every corner. But she never was and I was always standing in an empty, locker-patterned corridor when I should have been in class. I missed everything they taught for five days. It was like she...
I’m walking to the drug store for some odd life necessity or habit. I pass by the churches and restaurants on either side of the same street. Through the windows of one I can see nothing. They are painted over with stained glass. I wonder if God visits on some days and nobody knows because you can’t see inside. The windows of the other are clearer. I can see everything and not very...
I like to go down to the docks in the mornings. The mornings feel the same in bitter winters and balmy summers. There’s something nice about that, though I couldn’t pin it down for you. I like to watch the sky flood with sun all at once. You always seem to think that you can manage to catch the moment when it happens — but you wait and watch and suddenly all is light. My eyes...
Ashes - Part One
She made my blood rise. The red inside of me stood and clung to the ceilings of all my veins and arteries as though it had been magnetized. I never could do anything but hold myself to the ground, and I swear it was enough effort to have left divots in my shoes where my heels dug in. She was a force. She made things happen as though everything was under her command. Turned her head and...