The Wish

I remember the stars the most–
how bright they looked against the
black sky,
and how fiercely I wished upon them.

I remember, too, the waves as they
wrapped around my ankles.
The water was warm, and the
swell of the ocean was as
steady as a heartbeat.

As breath.

The shadows stretched innocently
across the sand,
like children.

There is a sadness to them now,
perhaps it is mine.

I was so young then–
so foolish;
I should have wished for something
better.

The Girl

Hidden away
in a deep dark wood
lives an odd little girl
who is up to no good.

Her hair is in tangles
the color of stone;
her eyes are like sapphires–
her name is unknown.

Although often content
in her cold netherworld
this odd little girl
began to grow bored.

Without the diversions
of a book or a bell
our strange little orphan
began conjuring spells.

Now, in her defense,
how could she know?
That those nonsense words
would fester and grow?

Evil awakened
and quickly slipped by
his rage flew like daggers
from red beady eyes.

Destruction compounding
like flames in a fire–
our girl caught in the maelstrom
of mischief and mire.

The wood was ablaze–
its creatures lay dead.
At the foot of our orphan
lay a deer, with no head.

And when it was over,
the blood thick like plaster,
Evil strolled towards our girl
like a pup to its master.

He bowed deeply before her
in a low, humble bend
and our orphan discovered
that she now had a friend.

These two, for the most part,
keep hidden away,
but when days grow too long
they come out to play.

So beware when you travel
past the deep dark wood
because you might find a girl
who is up to no good…

St. Louis, 6/25/16

The earth spins

The sun rises.

Our days are a cluttered

kaleidoscope of tasks

and chores;

the relentless drudgery

of responsibility.

But at heart we are all

travelers

shuffling through daydreams–

marching towards Possibility.

The Car Show

That summer had been particularly hot–
the humidity thick and oppressive.
Leather-skinned women with oiled bodies
sat sprawled in beach chairs,
clutching tiny battery-operated fans
in wrinkled hands with yellowed nails
stained from a never-ending chain
of cigarettes.

Even the ocean–
the hallmark for which the town was named–
offered no relief;
its abundant seaweed slowly coiling around
legs and arms
as sinister and unnerving as a serpent.

The weekend of the car show was the
hottest on record.
Out-of-towners flooded the streets,
crowding the already crowded town.

The tourists brought with them
damp body heat and a stench of sweat
acting as a siren for the rage
that had been slowly building
under the surface–
a deep crimson rising
like the mercury in the thermometer
displayed outside the general store.

Nobody is quite sure what started it,
and in the end it doesn’t much matter.
The summer had been ripe with reasons:
the heat had turned rational into irrational;
indifference into hate;
disagreements into wars.

Like a flame exposed to air, the mundane argument
rapidly spread through the crowded town center
blanketing the town with
trash from overturned bins,
shattered glass,
blood from broken noses
broken teeth
broken bodies.

Eventually, it subsided.
Loud sirens from police cars and ambulances
tore the brawlers from their anger-infused haze.
Some went to hospitals
some went to jail.
Horrified children ran home and the
leather-skinned women shook their heads
on their way back to the beach.

The abandoned cars stood out
among the rubble and disarray–
a rainbow of bright colors
serving as a brilliant contrast to the
dark mood of the day.
Their hoods had been propped opened,
showcasing immaculately manicured engines
and transmissions,
exposed like the organs of a
sliced cadaver
lying on the cold slab of a morgue.

Oscar

She was never the same–
there was a vacancy in her
enigmatic gray eyes.
Death had greedily collected
her happiness,
potential,
vitality,
along with the life of
her brother,
twin,
best friend.
She became solitary,
withdrawn.
By rote she completed
what became mundane aspects
of a previously brilliant life.
Each day spent in a fog
until nighttime
when she would go to his bed–
curled up;
as though completing a puzzle
created in the womb.

I’ve been trying to write the story of Oscar and Alphonse for two decades now, so much of this has been taken from previous attempts to describe the lives of the close, ill-fated twins. In early childhood, Oscar proved herself to be a temperamental tomboy, which earned her the unflattering nickname that would stick throughout the remainder of her life. Her brother Alphonse was gentle-tempered, frail and prone to illness. His death in their early teens permanently altered the trajectory of her life. What happens to them has yet to find its way on paper. 

 

In the room

I was in the room, breathing so softly.
Watching as she took the pins
out of her long, silky hair.
A smile on her tired face.

She kicked off her heels when
I was in the room, breathing so softly.
And she stepped out of her dress–
letting it gather in gentle folds at her feet.

There was desire in her eyes;
a coy cocking of the head as
I was in the room, breathing so softly.
An unquestionable invitation.

My love. My obsession.
She turned to him and fell into his arms,
as I slowly lifted the gun and pointed.
I was in the room, breathing so softly.

Inspired by CC to try a Quatern. It’s a little dark, even for me, but I just can’t help myself…