"Question"

Sometimes,
she’ll ask
me
a question.

Then in return,
I’ll give
her
an answer.

Bundled
in a sweater
with purpose
puncturing her words,
I hear her smart
yet sassy
inquisition.

(She never lets me down.)

It’s those moments,
where my heart
beats a little
too
fast.
But still…
I try to keep
my distance
(and curiosity)
at bay
for what her next
question will be.

She brings up
the clouds,
the mist
the breeze
trying to get in
through my window.

And I want
to open the window
and feel the sun on my face
because it is just like
her smile.
(But instead
I bury my head,
back to the calls
flashing on my phone.)

Every time
I see
her
there’s so much
to do
I want her to leave
(and need her
to stay
to make this
dull gray light
stark sunshine bright.)

Sometimes
she’ll ask
me
a question

(Too close to the truth.)

And I
won’t answer
her
at all.

(And we both
know why.)

Photo by freestocks.org on Unsplash

"Valentine's Day"

Chocolate hearts,
sweet tarts,
honey dripping
off your lips.

Written out paper card,
walking down the boulevard
not knowing where
but happy all the same.

Red rose,
bantering prose
nothing can ever
compare to this.

Cuddly teddy bear,
my mind without care
as long as you
are next to me.

Love of my life,
your future wife
doesn’t need
all these things.

Only you
and me too
together
forevermore.

Happy Valentine’s Day, my dear

Photo by Alejandra Quiroz on Unsplash

"Answer"

Sometimes,
I’ll ask
you
a question.

Then in return,
you’ll give
me
an answer.

Fastened
in a business suit
with logic
licking your lips,
I hear your polite
professional
response.

(Good for you.)

And I notice,
disappointment
and relief
tying my hands
behind my back.
But still…
I’m curious
(and struck)
so I change
my tactics.

I bring up the sun,
the air,
the rain brushing
the windows
near your desk.

And you say,
“It’s been so
so busy.
There hasn’t
been time.”

You are either
so absorbed
in your papers
or so disinterested
in everything else
except
your phone.

Trying to get
you
to look
at me
is my favorite
game.

Because,
there have been
certain times,
when I know
I’ve gotten through
to you.

Sometimes
I’ll ask
you
a question.

And
you
won’t answer
me
at all.

(And we both know,
you heard me.)

Photo by Tim Marshall on Unsplash

Living Life #22 "Mirror"

The shards were scattered all over the floor.

Each edge was jagged, and unlike any of the others. Of course they would all be different. They all came from different experiences.

The shard closest was derived from the boy who pushed her into the sandbox when she was five, just because she had been born a girl and for no other reason more.

The one to the right was one of the bigger ones. It was from when she was seven and her father had left. She thought it had been her fault. It was not her fault.

All the way to the left was a tiny chip, nearly in the shape of a heart. Nearly. It was from the eighth grade when the boy she liked had tried to set her up with his best friend.

Then all the way in the back, that piece with the most uneven sides… the piece with the sharpest angles…. that was the one from her first job out of school when her boss had tried to sand her down. That boss hadn’t liked the bumps on her skin, the angle of her eyes, or the color of her hair. That boss had balked at the smile she wore to work every day no matter how many backhanded compliments and disguised insults were said to her face. That was the girl’s favorite piece. That was the piece that cut deepest from her skin and made her never look back or question who she was ever again.

All of these shards on the floor were an important piece of her soul. So the image left standing in the mirror, after it was fixed once again, was a smarter and stronger girl.

Photo by Luis Villasmil on Unsplash

"Stay"

I want
you
to stay.

Please.

Don’t leave
me
with those
skinny
reckless
young boys
trying to catch
grapes
in their mouths.

Stay
with me.

Please.

They don’t know
how
to be men
yet.
And that
is what
I really
need.

Please.

Don’t
leave me.

I need
the man
who holds
the door for me.

The man
who notices
and helps me
without a word.

The man
who said,
“If you need me,
let me know.”

I need you.

Right now.

Please.
Don’t
go.

Read my mind.
Cause I
can’t
say those words
(the ones
I really mean)
with her
so near.

Please.
Stay with me.
I
don’t
want
to
be
alone.

Photo by Dan Gribbin on Unsplash

"K."

Photo by Alex Ware on Unsplash

I’m sorry
it had
to go
this way.

I hurt you,
I know.
But I don’t
regret it
still today.

No choice
was left
for me.
You made
that clear
and unfortunately
too easy.

I don’t feel
how you
do.

Caught
off guard
and alone
I had to
speak
the truth.

I don’t
feel
the same
way.

I’m sorry.
Neither of us
wrong,
just no more
to say.

In the end
it will
make us
both
strong.

Not now,
no,
not right now.

I answer
your text
with a
simple
“K.”

Then you got
the message
clear as day.

"Correlation"

Photo by Norbert Buduczki on Unsplash

I see him
every Sunday.
My dog and I
always taking
our stroll.

Bustling,
with a cloth
in hand
he cleans
and scrubs
until the windows
and blue doors
of that car shine
like diamonds
in the summer
or sapphires
in the winter.

Every Sunday,
he hustles
around that car
as if it’s a high strung
girlfriend
instead
of a means
of transportation.

As if it isn’t
our day off.

This is all
I know about him

and I wonder,
if he treats his car
that attentively
how would he treat
a girl?

Jumping
over puddles
or meandering
in the shade
of the sidewalk,
I look for him

and I wonder.

It wouldn’t
be normal
to see that car
without him there.

I see him
every Sunday,
and I think,
he sees
me too.

Living Life #20 "How Far"

(a collection of independent vignettes)

Photo by Eugene Triguba on Unsplash

Jenna didn’t know how this night was going to go.

Headlights appeared over the bend of the hill. Glaring and warning they careened off the low hanging branches of the trees and the concrete cracks in the road. When they reached the tombstones Jenna ducked low. But only when they reached the tombstones.

“I’m sick of doing this at night.” she hissed to the weeping statue of an angel next to her.

The angel answered, “As if we can do this in bright daylight.” Or at least it had the appearance of such before Jared stepped out into the dark. Dirt up to his knees, boots scuffed to his socks, and a scowl to scare a bear away. Her brother needed to take a chill pill.

“Well…” she drawled. “There have been dealings before when the sun was up too, ya know…”

“Yeah, as well as the rest of the world.” He pulled a pack from his pocket and in the next breath there was a cigarette already up and lit and in his mouth.

“People visit cemeteries.” Jenna argued haughtily.

“Not private ones…” Smoke snaked up into the night. “when they don’t have permission.” His footsteps made barely a sound as they crossed the grass over to her.

“Are you sure this one’s information is good?”

“We can trust him. He’s not one to go back on his word, and besides…” he flicked an ash at the fresh mound of earth next to the angel. “our end of the bargain is done.”

“My end.” Jenna looked down at her own hands, all smudged and grungy, and she wondered when the last time her fingernails had actually been clean. “You really shouldn’t smoke.”

Another set of headlights rolled down the road, only this time they scoped slow and steady, and eventually stopped as the bright shine hit the marble of the tombs. Finally.

Jared took a long drag, and responded, “It’s not like it can hurt me.”

Right now.” she hissed.

Jenna didn’t know how this night was going to go. What she did know was how far she would go. No matter how much they bickered, no matter how different their attitudes or ways of dealing with the world she knew how far she would go for her brother.

All the damn way. And back, if she had to.

As the man emerged from his car, Jenna came out of her hiding spot.

“I didn’t think you would actually come alone.” The gruff man barked, his headlights illuminating the slop on his shirt and the acne on his neck.

Jenna hardened her jaw. She was told that whenever she was in a bad mood that she scowled just like her brother. “I keep my word.” Jared took two pointed steps forward, though Jenna knew her brother was protective there was no way for him to protect her now.

At least not until this man told her what she needed to get him back from the other side. “Now you keep yours.”

"A New Year's Poem"

New year,
new me
so they say.
But now it’s January
and it’s still
the old me today.

Red solo cups
lying on the floor.
Curtains drawn open
to the rain
knocking on my door.

Another year gone
another day’s dawn.

But then
you
place a hand
on my shoulder.

Another year gone,
another year older.
I grip you back,
a bit bolder.

And then
I realize.
I’ve changed,
after all.

“Trick or Treat”

Waiting there
at my door.
Dressed up,
to allure.

A crown sitting
upon your head.
“I’ll be your prince
tonight.” he said.

Teeth shining
pearly white.
Not a cavity
in sight.

Flowing hair,
in Skittle red.
Carefully groomed,
not just out of bed.

Hershey bar
in your eyes.
Distraction
for all your lies.

Reeses Pieces freckles
on your skin.
Snickers remnants
in that grin.

Coins made of
candy corn.
Kit Kat laugh
turned to scorn.

Square jaw
with a strong bite.
A wicked Crunch
filled with might.

Will it be
a trick
or treat
tonight?