14596908000_a7ea2e7d6a_mI am driftwood, imperfect, but good enough to hold onto tightly while you figure out the shape I was destined for–I know you too well, Puzzlemaker.

You are one who must make fit the pieces perfectly, lest your life be unfulfilled. So you place me in the vise, and turn, turn, turn. Hold me fast and examine my form.

Where to cut? Where to shave thin? How do you make me slide into place? This is after all, your love game.

Sweet Babe

I held a blue-eyed baby today. He was soft and quiet, head resting upon my shoulder. I rubbed his back, and he breathed deep and even. I relished the weight of him against my chest, young heart beating against old heart beating. His mother is so young, but I do not pity her; I do not pity him. I pity the people who do not know love. I pity the people who do not know the beauty of a babe, fragile yet resilient. I pity the people incapable of melting by the gentle touch of trusting infancy.



You and Me

Just between you and me, my heart does beat–no, it flutters–fftt, ffftt, fffttt…

Just between you and me, I cry–vent the demons; they fall wet against your chest.

Just between you and me, I laugh my hardest–genuine, childlike.

Just between you and me, I lie sometimes.


Through the Weekend: Sunday


The room was paid up through the weekend.

Sunday came.

4:30 a.m. Decimation was nigh. Two hearts bled; parallel trails of iron scented crimson stained the flooring as the lovers navigated the proper metropolitan airport terminal, hand gripping hand. Rowena mutely rehearsed a sendoff while fighting back the acid rising in her esophagus; Lucas blinked, and bit back tears, chewing open his bottom lip. The airport was practically a ghost town, and the calmness only added to their feelings of desolation.


One last kiss; the dive was bottomless and brief.

So Rowena watched her flame flicker through security, dejected. The further away he moved, the dimmer he grew. She watched him until he was no more, wholly snuffed.

Through the Weekend


Lucas watched Rowena back her black Monte Carlo into a first row parking space. “There’s my girl. Rowena Fanning, in the flesh,” he said to no one but himself.

Rowena didn’t notice his figure there in the single window; she was busy checking her look in the visor mirror. She was quickly beginning to feel sick with nerves. Her brain was shouting at her; what the hell are you doing? He could be a killer! She laughed at herself then, and said aloud, “Long goddamned way to come, and a fuck ton of money spent just to kill me.”

She closed the mirror and flipped up the visor. That’s when she saw him in the doorway; broad, and tall, chaotic cinnamon stick colored hair. He was leaning against the wide open door, looking out at the parking lot with a rapacious sort of smile. What the hell are you doing? She ignored the question, gathering up her purse and duffel bag—Rowena was a light packer. She took a deep breath and exhaled three bursts of anxious air before rolling up her window and opening the door.

Lucas stood stock still, taking in the approaching sight of her. She was wickedly gorgeous in well-fitted, faded jeans and tall black suede boots. The early morning winter sun reflected off her hair, blushing yellow light. And good goddamn, those eyes of hers, fiery ice. Her rosebud mouth smiled, and he felt his shoulder slip against the shiny door.


“I told myself I would be a gentleman.” But the scorpion was emerging, unzipping Rowena’s jeans, pulling them down to her ankles as he melted to his knees. “I can’t help myself, Lady. I want you too badly.” He peeled down her strawberry pink panties—brand new for the occasion—leaving them to stretch around her taut white calves. He breathed in her scent, and trembled. Rowena tried lowering herself to the bed, but Lucas grabbed her by the hips and held them firmly. “I like it like this.” He tasted her then, and he didn’t stop until she was goose-fleshed and quivering.


Lucas never once thought about his far away wife, had no feelings of sickness or guilt as he moved inside of his other woman—his preferred woman. He held fast to Rowena’s hips, pushing and pulling, pushing and pulling until his toes cramped, and he was breathless, dizzy with buzzing gratification. The thunder he felt in his ears, he didn’t know whether it was the sound of his thumping heart or the rumble of an airliner low in the sky. I can die now, he said to himself. He didn’t though, which was fortunate because the room was paid up through the weekend.

I See a Corpse

A ghost with living lungs, you are. But your lungs, they cough and wheeze. How many more menthol ciggies will you inhale before I’m free from the sound of your suffocation? Supposing your choking won’t haunt me.

A ghost with a functioning liver. Why are you still standing, but Aunt Denise isn’t?

You fucking alcoholics…

Mom, I’ve tried to help you. You’re killing yourself slowly. You don’t want help.

I know you want you to be cremated. You don’t want to be buried in darkness, lonely in the dirt. So, I’ll take you for a drive, and drop parts of you off in Tawas. The rest of your bits will be kept by Tara and me–maybe in fancy necklaces we will wear religiously. We do love you, despite everything.

My mother dearest, you’ll be burned before you ever lose your mind, I’m sure–my sister and I will never have to worry about taking care of you, or putting you in an ‘old folks home.’ Your lungs will quit, or your liver. Or you’ll finally fatally crash–hopefully without taking out anyone else.

Every time I see you, you break my heart, because the woman I see is a walking, talking corpse.

Every meal we cook together is a funeral luncheon.









The Cast Iron Skillet

“Wake up,” said the Invisible. “They’re home, and he is angry. Be ready.”

The Invisible never lied. So she was awake, ready for the footfall, liquor heavy, and his maddened voice, heady. The front door opened, and slammed closed with a pitiless push. Photograph frames shook loose from nails. Shattered glass scattered. She heard her mother scream.

And she was awake, finally ready…

at the edge her bed with a cast iron skillet meant for his head.