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A Light is Written

stars and ink they cannot mix

why copies of copies fade

before they go extinct stars a

moment longer and they span

the hours in moments dead

a light is written

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7 0 7

… … … …. ….

i kiss ten-

index to lips- when-

/

foot tall- quiet please- sunflowers

-where no one sees-

on the knees

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9 0 9

The Purple House

Love

Eros came out of heaven,

dressed in a purple cape

—Sappho

 

My house drives like a big purple Valiant with the suspension of a kids’ jumping castle. Floating is not an issue. We go many miles but move not an inch. I am sitting at my desk, typing. Deanna sits on the couch behind me, facing the other way, listening to music. The child in her belly is mine; this is supposedly a fact. But I'm in no way certain that it is. It’s not an issue of infidelity. No. It’s just a novel event, defying assimilation.

     There is no way to broach this appropriately... 

     …Even if I wanted to, which I don’t…

     The house seems to hit a few potholes. The ride is still pretty smooth and easy to take in. The walls are beige. The curtains are a different shade of beige. We've not hung much from the walls as yet, but there is one painting that sits directly in front of my desk. It's an abstract, and it conjures, for me, what the sight of a torn mind might look like, like a skull busted or shot open—blasted, blood-mottled black hair and splattered brain, lashes of dark universe and a spot of brilliant light, like the victim was killed at the very moment of conceiving the thought which might’ve saved the world. Dashed by unfortunate timing.

      Typical.

      'I'm going to the corner shop, do you want anything?' Deanna asks, suddenly appearing by my side and bumping her pregnant belly into me. I look up, she's smiling angelically, on the precipice of a laugh; the half-eclipsed ceiling light haloing her beautiful face. Thoughts and a feeling of bravado toward saving the world come to me, now, then rush away again in an instant, into the purple mood of the house.

      Typical.

      ‘No, I’m fine,’ I say. She leans in to kiss me. The house suddenly hits freeway. We are driving on clouds suspended on packets of air. I’m spinning my marshmallow wheels, accelerating. 

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3 0 3

Partial To Their Perfect Parts

(why
who)
draws
points 
with
infinite
stars (i
wonder
since
i’m
partial
to
their
perfect
parts) 

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1
1 0 1

the shadow of the spotlight

he always stood in the shadow
of his older brother.
never able to outshine him
because he wasn't as blessed,
athletically, as his sibling.

the elder moved on,
graduating into life,
as life takes us into her grim reality.

the younger saw his chance,
his opportunity,
and he worked hard to put himself
in the best place,
in order to be the one to shine.

concentrating and working
shaping and reshaping
tearing down and building
constantly rebuilding
until everything was right...
...or so he thought.

early on,
it appeared as though
it would be enough,
but he was finally run down
and beaten.

his place in the team...
lost
torn away
taken

not because he didn't work hard enough
not because if politics
not because he doesn't deserve it
but because he just wasn't fast enough

so now he runs with a chip on his shoulder
working that much harder
working that much longer
working that much more
to earn that spot back
and to get that spotlight back on him, again.

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7 0 7

Sixth Grade At Recess

the girls all played hopscotch and four square
while us men played kick ball
and chewed beach-nut wintergreen
i swallowed that shit when danny albrecht hit me in the back
on the way to first
i never did like that asshole

 

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7 0 7

A Toast for Your Wedding

the two of you make me want to believe in love. you’ve told me how you make each other feel, and by god, that’s great, but hearing it is one thing. i want to feel it. i want to believe it. i need to believe it.

i want to be believe that people are able to love despite distance and appearances and every other petty thing that comes in the way of really, truly knowing and appreciating someone. i want to believe that love transcends all boundaries and is an all-encompassing, unapologetic force that wrecks cities and moves mountains and shakes the ground. i want proof, proof that love is a natural disaster separating the earth beneath our feet. i can’t possibly know or believe or sing the praises of love without that. i need to be able to stand up passionately and push over chairs in a fit of rage in the middle of a dinner party because other people just don’t understand what i’m talking about.

love has never been all-consuming with or for me. i’ve never wanted to spend the rest of my life with someone because i felt like i would perish the instant they left my side. i’ve never needed to hear someone’s voice to know that somehow, the world was still turning. i’ve never relied on anyone else for comfort in my darkest hours that i could not provide to myself.

all i’ve known of love is the fleeting moments, like waking up before the person lying next to you does and feeling that quivering smile creep up your face because god damn, they are beautiful. like kissing the eyelashes of someone who you’ve just met, although you swear you could ghostwrite their entire life biography because the way they look at you through those eyelashes is something that only you can dictate. like running your fingertips along the bare skin of your lover, tracing out words and promises you wish you could keep, knowing that they’ll never be able to translate your touch.

i imagine that in those moments i’m falling in love, i’m feeling love, i’m knowing what love is and what its favorite color is and how it likes its eggs and if it will like it better if i wear the floral skirt or the jeans that make my body look like it’s good enough to be eaten breakfast off of. those moments fade quickly, too quickly, and i’m left again with just the uncontrollable want that no person or thing has ever managed to suffice.

in my experience, love is the most beautiful person at the party, the same person who kept its lips closed when i introduced myself. i found love alone in a darkened room, moonlight illuminating its profile. so many times i tried to initiate a conversation. i bought this dress because i heard that you adore the color, love. or hey love, did you hear that so and so is playing at the so and so because i know you’re into their last album. despite my attempts, love turned on its heel and walked through the doorway toward a larger concentration of people. at the most, i’ve overheard it’s hushed whisper with another person in another room, where i can hear it’s voice but not the words. i just want to stand on top of the catering table, one foot on the hors d’oeuvres and the other in the punch bowl, and scream i shaved my legs for you, love! why won’t you notice me? yet, when i gaze longingly at love across the room with my back against the wall, we make eye contact. love stares me for a moment and finally acknowledges my presence with the slightest start of a smile before walking out the front door, its hand interlaced with another.

i want nothing more than to believe you when you say that love is an earthquake strong enough to end a european empire, but i’m sitting alone on a beach in california, mistaking the aftershock for grains of sand rumbling beneath my feet.

please never stop feeling the tremors. please never ever let love leave the party with someone who will never call it back or appreciate it or make it soup and sandwiches when its sick and watch terrible movies you can’t stand but you watch anyway because love wants to. please, for me, for all of us, hold on to that.

congratulations.

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Tessa's Loft [novel excerpt]

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the good fight

 

people fight

for their ideas,

for their values,

for their honor,

for their families,

and for their nations.

 

others also fight;

but, they fight

for their next breath.