Kaitlyn hates when I call her by her first name. “Don’t call me that,” she says, kicking me under the table. “I hate that name. Call me Phoenix.” I call her Phoenix. But two weeks later, it’s Willow, Buffy or even Xander. I tried calling her generic pet names like baby, sweetie and honey. She seemed to like it at first, but then the bruises came swift and...
I can’t think of one reason to be real. I like staying imaginary. I hide under your bed, inside your closet and by the night light. I can’t think of one reason why I wouldn’t want to make you sweat at night. It’s not just nerves. I’m there, not being real. I am a force so big, yet, I don’t exist. You can walk through me. You can yell at me. I take it all in and...
I don’t live a black and white life. I live in color. I’m neon pink, baby blue and teal. When I tumble, I leave behind rainbows. The only designer I ever cared for was Roy G. Biv. He’s also an excellent rapper, poet and painter. When I think about inspiration, I look up in the sky. Nature is not a blank canvas. It’s gray, black and blue. It’s purple, violet...
Todd ate flowers. Whenever he passed a garden, he stopped to graze, it often ended with black eyes. The florist knew him by his first name. He pretended to have a crush on the florist, but in the end, Barbara found out his secret. So, when he came in, she added hot pepper flakes to his bouquets. Barbara tried to woo him with edible floral arrangements, but Todd had no interest in her. He much...
When she melts under my thumb, I ask, “What’s wrong?” She doesn’t answer, because she’s only a puddle now. I soak her up using a paper napkin. I hold her close to my heart. I sing her a song at night, wrinkled on my dresser. I think she’s listening. In the morning, she’s evaporated. They always leave me.
It's Easier This Way
I disappear beneath the bubbles, cover myself in sparkles and reemerge a different woman. I’m fierce, strong and smell pretty. I wear Old Navy jeans, thrifted t-shirts and chuck taylors. I like to talk. I make gigantic hand gestures that accidentally slap you in the face while you’re carrying a tray of cocktails. I do not apologize. I laugh and laugh and laugh. Guiltily, I leave...
I can’t wait to hear you in the mornings. The flush, gargle and the sound of water against blue tile. The buzz of your electric razor. The swish of a silk tie. The floorboards creak under your shiny black shoes. You kiss my cheek goodbye, smelling like soap and Old Spice. You whisper, “I love you,” and I sleepily nod. When I hear the door close, I exhale and call my lover....
Tina opened her mouth one last time. She was about to scream. She was about to yell. She was about to get angry. Then she stopped. It wasn’t an epiphany. It wasn’t some sudden decision to do something better. It was a force. She tried again. Stuck. She stomped her feet. She flailed her arms. She kicked the wall. She punched the door. No one even noticed. She had the sudden desire...
One Last Breath
Her face a flame. Her lips tasted like red hots. Her eyes glowed like a supernova. Her candlelit cheeks kept me up at night. A night light I never wanted to turn out. During the day, she outshone the sun. I weaved my fingers through her shimmering waves. She put Edward Cullen to shame. Then she got sick. Her eyes dulled. Her cheeks flaked. Her sun went out. The flames from her eyes flickered. All...
Hello? Can You Hear Me?
When I whistle, my dog doesn’t come. No matter how hard I try, Lady never listens. She sits there, statuesque, as if frozen in time. I know she’s still breathing. Her stomach moves like a balloon at a children’s birthday party, slowly collapsing, only to be filled with air, again and again and again. I call her name. I give her treat after treat after treat. No dice. She...
Sarah’s breath smelled like french fries, her lips were stained ketchup red and her eyebrow was bleeding. I never asked questions. I just bandaged her up and sent her on her way. “Don’t you want to know what happened?” “Not really.” “Why not? It might interest you.” “I don’t think so,” I said, using up the last of my medical...
Tree of Life
Carol looked out her window, noticed the trees looking sad and asked, “Why are you so sad, tree?” “I’m sad because no one cares about us.” “I care about you. What is your name, dear tree?” “I’m Humphrey. This is Horace, Florence, Petunia and Greenley.” “It’s nice to meet all of you, but please don’t pout, trees....
Dorothy was five when she met Pete. Pete was 37, divorced and dating her Dad. Dorothy hated Pete. “Where’s Mommy?” she screamed, punching the rose-covered wallpaper in her room. “I want my Mommy!” Her Dad ignored her. Dorothy cried louder. The doorknob shook, but still no one appeared. Then a thud, a knock and a white rabbit stepped out of her closet. ...
Mimi didn’t want to marry a boy named Homer, Rodney or Fred. She was done with the generic has-beens of her former life. She would not have a Dave, Otis or Clarence. She no longer thought about Bob, Mark or Stephen. Her life left room for Pierre, Hugh or François. Something exotic. Something adventurous. Something romantic. Didn’t you need all of those things for a perfect...
One Last Time
I don’t think about you anymore. Not in that way. I think silently to myself, but you’re right there, in front of me and I’m nodding my head, pretending to care what you’re saying. I like books. You like rock & roll. I take long baths. You shower once a week. I like flowers. You cut down a tree in your neighbor’s backyard for no good reason. I like...