Leaning against a brick wall like some kind of fashion model, he glances toward the biggest building in the city and flicks his cigarette so nonchalantly that it makes smoking look like sign language rather than a bad habit, and now he's got me wondering what I can do with my own hands, how I can turn movements of a hand into words that will make him squint and then smile.
She held me like the baby I used to be and told me that it was okay, that
everything was going to be okay, and that she would forgive me if I could
And then she weeped into my shoulderblade and I think I thought I felt the
clenching of her teeth, that's how hard she was weeping. I weeped, too, while
scrolls of parchment leaked from the back of my brain and melted into the front
of my closed eyelids.
These are the words that appeared on the parchment, which was yellow in color
but mostly white:
"No matter what you do, I will always love you. When you're feeling alone and
empty and your heart feels sore or swollen or sickly, I will still love you.
When you feel like you need to call me, call me and talk to me and I'll tell you
how I love you more than you might think sometimes. When you need to be reminded
that you were born into this world with ten fingers and ten toes that were
capable of healing the world, you come on over to my house and we'll have some coffee . . ."
The parchment is torn at the bottom. I open my eyes. She is gone. I am alone,
but as full of company as I'll ever be. As full of company as I'll ever be. As full of company as I'll ever be.
Let me borrow your lips. I could kiss you and kiss you and kiss you and kiss you and kiss you and kiss you and kiss you and kiss you and kiss you and kiss you and kiss you. So don't stop kissing me back.
I've got a smile on my hips. I'm quite convinced that we could spend our time wisely. I would gladly save any seat that you leave. I think that musician . . . I think that musician, you know, I think he wrote that song for us. Play that song again, on the jukebox. Play it again, for us.
Let's talk to Father Time, make arrangements for weddings and funerals and years of happiness. But mostly the latter, which is two letters away from the ladder that I will climb to decorate our house with those tiny colorful lightbulbs just in time for the holiday season. Come be my Merry Christmas. Let me call you my birthday. Open that wine, boy, and give me a free tour of your tongue.
I don't know why I fell in !ove with that beautiful excuse of a man. Maybe it was his hardwood floors that were flat like this___________________. Maybe it was his glorious :) and the way his front teeth (which looked like this , but just a little bit smaller and less rabbit-y) smelled when he leaned into my ear and whispered a secret that had a "la de da, my whisper has a perfect pitch--vote for me" type of melody. My best friend thinks that I just adored his + necklace because he was religious and knew the Lord's Prayer. He also made the peace sign a lot and the way his fingers trembled when he made that sign--maybe just picture this V shaking a little, if you would--seemed to say a lot about him, and the world. I try to tell myself that I just followed the * that was somewhere in the skies of my little fist of a heart. But then again, I suppose I fell in !ove with him because he turned the first letter of that word into an exclamation point, and made my life EXCITING, AS IF MY ENTIRE WORLD WAS ON CAPS LOCK!
"Becoming a writer is not a 'career decision' like becoming a doctor or a policeman.
You don't choose it so much as get chosen,
and once you accept the fact that you're not fit for anything else,
you have to be prepared to walk a long, hard road for the rest of your days."
- Paul Auster
I write because I feel compelled to make my words tap dance upon the page and harmonize with one another.
I write because I once used a whole box of tissues in one sitting and I want to feel better soon.
I write because I get my heart broken quite often as a result of living in a world full of too many people who don't care enough.
I write because I enjoy observing people--welcome to your biography.
I write because I have jumped rope, hackey-sacked, jumped those sweat-inducing jumping jacks in gym class. I write because I am scared of spiders and Alzheimer’s. I write because I survived high school and pimples. I write because I panicked when my six-year-old fingers got stuck in a Chinese finger trap during a roller skating party. I write because a handicapped man in a wheelchair once held the door open for me as I entered a grocery store. I write because every year on Mother’s Day, I watch my dad kneel at the grave of his deceased mother.
I write because I am a chosen one, handpicked by God himself.
I write because I live; you live; we live; they live, and this is my proof.
Your hairline is your headline. Your eyes are your byline. Your nose is your lead.
Your lips are your sentences. Your chin is your conclusion. I’ve got your story
memorized, line by precious line. Read mine?
Close your eyes and trace your lover's hands on a piece of construction paper that you can buy for free from your generous eyelids. Draw each crease, each vein. Highlight all the wrinkles that form his knuckles. Don't smudge the ink. Keep drawing. Pay attention to the curves and sharpness of his fingernails and the skin that forms the topmost part of his fingertips. You forgot to sketch a light crease on his left hand. Now color in those knuckle wrinkles. Make his hands become a universe all their own. Keep your eyes closed. Finish sketching his cuticles.
Fold the piece of construction paper. Frame it. Let it remain folded and framed for years and years and years. Put it up for sale, but never sell it. Say the price tag was a mistake because the value of your art is as valuable as the constellations in his eyes. You'll draw those next time.
“Hey, I found the safest place to keep all our tenderness, keep all those bad ideas, keep all our hope / It's here in the smallest bones, the feet and the inner ear / It's such an enormous thing, to walk and to listen.”
-The Weakerthans, My Favourite Chords
When he expressed interest in me, I wanted to see what was inside, aside from blood and veins, capillaries and organs, oxygen and white blood cells. And part of falling in love with him involved falling cranium over calcaneus—head over heels—with his bones.
The flexible bones in his hands are the ones I admire most.
He’s got five fingers on the steering wheel, his other five fingers on my knee, as we drive
past a bakery and through a yellow light in the city. Up ahead, he’ll use his phalanges to point my eyes toward a stone cathedral. He’s volunteered to be my tour guide; he knows this city like the palm of his hand, where those faint lines represent streets that run parallel or intersect.
He doesn’t need a palm reader to know whether we should turn right or turn left. I don’t need a relationship expert newspaper columnist to tell me that he’s the voice behind my heart’s GPS. We don’t need anyone in this town to tell us that the bar on the corner has been shut down. Cheers! We’re on our way to the place that sells gelato instead.
As we walk side by side, his Pumas keeping pace with my Converses, our palms suddenly meet and his fingers collapse tightly against mine. We don't even bother to look up at all the flickering bar lights. I think to myself how particularly fond I am of the bones in his pinky finger. He has used that pinky finger to make me promises that he could keep--promises that have helped our relationship grow. Pinky promises are to
growth as calcium is to his bones, I think, as he orders two scoops of dark chocolate gelato.
My mouth is a house and you are my favorite guest. May I get you something to drink?
Take a seat on any of the white chairs that are my teeth or sit on the pink carpet that is my tongue. Make yourself comfortable. Tell me a story. Tell me about the first time you heard one of the songs in your record collection. Tell me about the second time you took a road trip to Ohio. Tell me about the last time you used the word “rubbish” in a sentence.
Remember the time you told me that clowns are the same people who start forest fires?
“They’ll paint a flame on your cheek, if you let them,” you said. But I tried to defend them. I tried to tell you that the animal balloons they create contain helium, one of the safest gases on our planet.
Remember the time you told me that it’s not always a good thing, to wake up thinking? Well, today I woke up thinking, and I was thinking about all of the musicians who have
changed their names. Bono was once Paul Hewson. Bob Dylan, Robert Allen Zimmerman. Elton John, Reginald Kenneth Dwight. And Anna Mae Bullock changed her name to Tina Turner. I’m not sure what I would change my name to, but I am hoping that someday I can change my last name and say that the change was inspired by you.
If you’d like a change of scenery, I suggest that we swing on the tireswing in the back of my throat. It is there in the backyard that we will find some fresh air that we can
“What do you say to the couple who shared their first kiss on April Fool’s Day?” I ask.
“Would you say that it’s possible to get the silent treatment from your dog?” you ask.
I laugh. Then I laugh at all the different ways we can describe how we laugh: giggle, cackle, snicker, chuckle. All the words that describe laughter are funny words.
Anyway, have you ever tried cutting your steak with a spoon? Have you ever tried pasting your heart into a Microsoft Word document? I’m sorry. I’m just trying to make conversation here.
We can climb atop the roof of my mouth now. Go ahead. Look down.
Fiction, poetry, and all that good stuff . . .