red ride


come pick me up

laugh hard, it's a long way to the bank.

 It was Monday. You were holding the produce in one hand, grocery list stuck to your opposite palm, when I thought to ask, “Why are we doing this?”

“What, shopping?”

“Yes. It’s Monday and we’re shopping.”

“I know,” you eyed me critically. “We shop every Monday.”

“Exactly,” I said, “We shouldn’t have come to the store today. We should be out doing things.”

You pocketed the grocery list. You always were a good listener. “We should be falling in love.” I said. The corners of your lips twitched with the suggestion of a smile. My face immediately turned red. “Not with each other.”

You were wearing my shirt, and when we left the house this morning I must have noticed it, but only now did it begin to feel all wrong.

“It’s dark outside.” you said. “How can you possibly expect us to fall in love with no sunshine?”

I couldn’t tell if you were making fun of me. You suddenly looked impossibly sad.

“You’re wearing my shirt.” I said, finally.

And then your face bloomed and you smiled so your teeth showed, as though all your monsters had been put to rest. As though you’d looked outside and suddenly the sun was rising.

“Okay.” you said. And you took your shirt, which was mine, off in one motion, right there in the grocery store. And you grabbed my hand, softly, and led me out into the night time. The produce lay forgotten behind us, in the middle of the aisle floor.

It was going to be a beautiful Monday.

  I’ve always thought that if he were to touch me, his skin would feel either uncommonly cold, or surprisingly warm. He’s in my passenger seat, fingers pressed to road maps, his mouth a thin line. It’s a warm day and no matter how many turns I take, the sun seems to follow me. Light makes its way through the clear crystal that hangs from the rearview mirror and projects a prism around the car.

The back seat is a mess of chatter, Michael and Jack speaking vibrantly over Alice’s head, which rests tipped back on the middle seat as she sleeps soundlessly.

“Turn here,” he says, pointing.

“You’re sure we aren’t lost?” I ask.

He shakes his head with conviction, the hint of a smile on his cheeks. He’s always so serious. “It’ll be just fine.” he replies.

Michael used to cut lumber for my father, but he could never stay in one place for very long. He would take up baseball for a week; abandon it to begin searching for the perfect rock in the river. He played drums in Jack’s band and much of the time it seemed that this was virtually his only constant. Even now, his legs fidgeted and one hand tugged at his seat belt.

Jack and Alice were dating when I met them at one of his shows. I saw her run up on stage at the end of the set and Jack lift her feet off the ground. I knew Michael already, then, and talked with him as I watched his two friends hold each other. I remember thinking about how beautiful those few inches between the tips of her toes and the stage were. They broke up soon after, but Alice still went around with a look of wonder in her eyes, perpetually in love. Not with anyone in particular, but with most everything she came across. Even as she slept in the back seat she was surely, vividly dreaming.

The boy in my passenger seat was stern for his age. I’d known him a long time. I knew now that he would never touch me, not even accidentally. He was more conscious of his body than anyone I’d met before. I used to joke about the way he looked at Michael until a day last winter when I saw them kiss in my back yard and I never spoke another word. I felt now that this was our relationship, me driving and speaking little, him keeping secrets and showing me the way.

The rainbow makes a checkerboard across my forehead and when he gives his next direction I almost don’t hear it. I stop abruptly, and I hear Alice begin to stir. “What?” I say aloud, brow scrunched as I try to identify something familiar beyond the windshield. The boys in the back seat have settled and begin to unclip their seat belts. The light leaves no shadows on any of our faces.

“We’re here.” he says.

Worlds Left Behind
red ride
 (A Sonnet.) 

If I were a sailor, I do believe
Days, I might write love letters to my crew,
And lay down drunk nights, read them to the sea
As sleep of sleeps untied my boots, soaked through.
I should think I would sport a handsome stare
And cut my hair down to the very scalp
So men would sail the course I charted there
While drifting women wait lips in, hips out.
Clear weather and I’d turn into pure light
Too bright for mornings spent safe, in cover
Weighed down by anchors, this imagined life
Past oceans soaked with love letters, and over
A thousand dreams of worlds left behind
If I were a sailor, broken and blind.

A Dying Industry
It's summer now, so I feel that I no longer have an excuse for not updating. I think I'm going to start posting stories that didn't make it into my chapbook, but first I wanted to type my all school writing day essay, and I decided to post that, too. I think it's the only in-class essay I've liked enough to want to digitize.

Like my ironic title?Collapse )

Anyways, it won school wide.

Re-Creation from our second reading assignment's vocab
red ride
Would you believe me if I said
  my skin is tinctured?
Covered in a thin layer of fixative?
My body will bleach in the sun,
  blacken when the light gets in
  develop like film when it rains.
Would you recoil if I told you
  this satchel carries flowers?
They lace the lining and make marks
  as I trundle down the road.
The flowers are not ordinary
  but grafts of flesh and bone
  hidden under turmeric and sage.
Would you laugh if I proclaimed
  I was happy this way?
Wandering alone, lost in a transom,
  my skin fading and my
  backpack dripping blood?
I'm not scared because my sunset
  plays circus music,
  and you have carousel eyes.
If I say very still,
  would you dance for me
  as the stars came out?

Re-Creation, Naomi Shihab Nye - "Valentine for Ernest"
red ride

Because the grass grows tall here
And cuts our ankles
We run faster
And fall down
Foothills, faster into dirt
Into Mud
We run and gasp at treetops
At spirits
At the ever-decending sky

And when the forest 
Consumes us
We will meet at half past
Every whisper
And run until these spirits leave us
And we are left gasping 
Only for breath.

When we lay side by side
Shoulder and ear deep
In dirt
I'll let the words consume me
Because the grass grows tall here.

Letter of Introduction
red ride


This was for my career portfolio. Collapse )

red ride
There is something about waking up to heavy water drops on your head. Rolling over, and finding your sheets soaked, your blankets accumulating puddles. And this is nothing new, so you get up and lay towels over your bed and try to sleep.
There is something about trying to sleep and becoming suddenly and acutely aware of the methodic tapping of a dozen water drops on your carpet, soaking tiny discolored circles over the clothes you wore the night before and the textbooks fanning out over the floor. It makes you sit up in bed.
There is something about the familiar feeling of running back and forth from your kitchen to your bedroom, carrying plastic bowls. Until you can sit in the middle of twenty or thirty and multiplying, as your roof begins to rain. It is a Saturday morning and it's not yet ten o' clock.
There is something about the feeling you get when everything in your room is pushed to the left side; when you are holding a cloth to your wall to prevent all the pictures from soaking. When you are constantly finding new pools, and all your letters are bleeding and your alarm clock is dripping and your little brother is taking laps up and down the hall, screaming, "Thirty-two! Make that thirty-three! Make that thirty-four! I forgot the bathroom -- forty!"
There is something about being in the middle of a roofing job and being asleep on a Saturday morning and being unfortunate enough to encounter the rain that wasn't supposed to come until tomorrow. And it absolutely feels like any second now, the entire house will cave in and collapse on us.
This isn't poetic, but you guys, this really, really sucks.

red ride

red ride
it is nights like this that hallow out my ambitions and stretch my hope thin across a skyline which will loop back and collapse into itself a thousand times over,

as every solemn dip of my spine and cheeks and skin is pulled free from the confines of these bones and strewn across centuries,

only to be accreted in a single moment of absolute certainty and twisted and strung together like the red fruit and clusters on Christmas trees to form the sound that echoes for every selfish moment,

for the tight-skinned masochistic forgotten who watch their souls fade away in the smoke,

for the yellowed and peeling walls of darkened apartment buildings where anatomies press and cast shadows which sometimes speak,

for the flickering light against youthful faces reflecting low volume and the first shuttering rebellion,

for seconds before midnight spent on the balcony of a place seen only in picture books and remembered only when regret collides with serenity, 

for every fallen film star choking on nineteenth century literature and sweet Spanish wine as he smirks through reticent despair,

for first tries and second chances kept a fragile secret,

for the kiss on the corner of Mrs. Darling's mouth and the pixie dust childhoods which pick us up and carry us away on nights when we cannot find solace or sleep,

for floodlight melodies and late-night traffic on highway one at daybreak,

for rolled-up sleeves and starch white cuffs stained with love that belongs to the drywall and parking lots,

for the scrape of shovels hitting a fresh sediment of earth as men throw back dirt into piles illuminated by headlights on the car with the screaming trunk in the middle of nowhere,

for every moment i have spent clutching tightly to a jar full of wind only to wake up with broken glass in my empty bed,

for the plummeting sweetness and absolute joy in the sudden sensation of shoulder brushing boyish shoulder,

for mountain tops in Africa and box tops in careful pillars cut from cardboard on the kitchen table,

for dearest friends who instead spilled their utmost insides out to strangers,

for lack of meaningless qualifications and lack of sanitized modernized conduct and lack of judgment,

for the tire tracks and cigarette burns on asphalt left for decades as the sole reminder of what once was beautiful and innocent and without shame,

for virtue spilled over in cups of reds and yellows and blues which vibrated in time to the swell of orchestral cellos and drums,

for every dream differed and left to rot in the jim crow south,

which stand in solitude as a great and unified discouragement against further generations bearing any merit worth surviving for,

as the skyline is clipped free of confinement to this Earth and i feel the innermost minerals of my bones ache to dissolve and ascend along with it,

but resolve to emerge as nothing more than fleeting doubts and reasons to remain moving forward,

for all things yet to be endured,

on nights like this.


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