Stones

I was at the lake last Summer. I picked a mossy old bench to sit, when a group of adolescents gathered to throw stones into the water. For an hour they busied around, making loud gestures and arguing over whose stone made the bigger splash. They would try every angle, and then bicker about which one spattered out the widest, or which one sent the water flying the highest, and how could they agree on what they’d seen if in a moment it was gone? Finally they approached me hoping I would settle their dispute, but I’d not seen the water splash– they scoffed, frustrated, and went on their way, and I was free to continue watching the ripples that now adorned the surface of the lake.

Girl on a Train Asks About the Book in my Bag

“What’s that book you’re reading?” she asks.

Ernest Wattle: the story of a man who falls in love with the statue of an ancient goddess.”

“Sounds strange.”

“Depends how you read it. It’s also the story of Almendra, an ancient goddess who creates a man just so he would love her. But then, through prayer, he brings her statue to life, but she falls in love with someone else.”

A quaint-looking pig farm, like something out of a picture book, whizzes across the window.

“Everybody is inventing everybody.”

Little Room

A set of boots halt just behind Little Room door, mark a pensive hollow in the casted light on Little Room floor, peak an inch or two, bringing with them an ounce of sunshine more, and Little Room croaks.

The door shuts behind them; the sun is silenced again.

Little Room is home to feathered insects; bonsai orchards spring out of cracks on the floor, on which they perch and feed. A girl, sixteen maybe, lost her virginity there, by one of those cracks, to a crowd of cackling drunkards, tickled by the feathered pixies, and she thought it was a magical place, and she could never go back.

The Boots demand a double-shot of Jim from nobody in particular. Another girl, nineteen, ragged as a doll, but a doll, still, with hair frayed beautifully like a fractal tuft of burnt shrubbery, offers her body to The Boots, in her room upstairs, not for his money, just his attention. He takes the drink from her hand and tosses a coin and immediately forgets she exists.

A Bird by the Window

acu riousblue li ttlewing
i sawta pingon mywindow
like asif onstrings sheelin gered
glo wingsof tlyin thesun

sowith myfin geri tappedtoo
what afun andglad somejoy
theli ttleblue birdsang asong
tobuoy myheart andbring mecheer

not thenlong shestar tedflying
there andhere andca lingmee
pla yingcir clesin thesky
andsaid sheedlike toplay withme:

oh penup andcome outside!
oh penup and chaseme!

idlike tojoin itlooks likefun
but alas ican notopen:

oh penup youwill enjoyit!
and thebreeze isso inviting!
and thesun doesshine sobright-ly
and thetrees arein fullbloom
and thefruits andbugs and juicy warms
and the earth smells fresh like after a storm
and freedom
and freedom is a
freedom is the
freedom is to

Bursts

The first time he fell in love it was with a girl who always smelled like fresh laundry, and her name was Anna and it was love at first sight, or not quite so, because it wasn’t really all at once that he fell in love with her, but in little bursts rather, like the steps up a ladder, or grains of sand piling up at the bottom end of an hourglass, the first of which was him falling madly in love with her back, which was all he could see from where he sat, and all he wanted to see, entranced as he was at that moment by its smooth shape and tender flesh and by the contours of her spine and ribs, which traced sensuous grooves along the pink fabric of her tanktop whenever she took a deep breath, or spoke, or hunched over slightly in order to write something in her notebook, at which point long locks of black hair–black like tree branches after a forest fire–would fall and unravel, revealing for him, like curtains being fluttered by a morning breeze, which let slip a first ray of light into the room and wake the dreamer within from his slumber– yes, exactly like that, they would fall and unravel and reveal to him her neck, her perfect neck, he thought, which was the next thing he fell in love with, followed by her dainty hands, and then the freckles on her face, which she hated, which he loved, adored, and, this is true, that very same winter he even fell in love with a certain bubbly noise her nose was making because she was trying to be as quiet as possible when sniffling every so often because she had had a cold and a runny nose, so he offered her a tissue, but really it was just so he could lean close enough to smell her, and to look into her eyes, which, he thought, gazing, small and dark and rounded, were like an infinitely dark abyss that gazed also into him, which he knew, of course, because the only reason he had read that damn book was because he had seen it poking out of her bag that one time.

I Wouldn’t Mind Floating Downstream

“I would not mind floating downstream;
End up among the fish and whales.

Of the ocean waters, dark and deep,
I’m not afraid, for I do know
That, once you’ve lived among the corals,
The muddy currents, pebbles and rocks,
And parlous contours of the stream
Against whose tide you’d rather swim
Are banes you’ll gladly leave behind;

For deep at sea you’re not confined
By rocks and edges that grind and rasp–
The river’s water may be sweet,
But just as sweet, the river’s shallow;
I’d rather down its torrent follow,
Follow to the salted sea.”

(At this you quickly sipped your tea)

“Yes, in the sea I’ll freely trace
The peaceful ebbs of open space,
More free than any shallow stream;
As free as logic in a dream.”

Again you sipped, and leaned, and laughed,
Then played a moment with your scarf;
And I suspect you did agree.

Roomly I Dejected Your Enter

Roomly I dejected your enter.
We bedded on your sit;
Did you kiss to want me?
I wanted to bad you kissly, sure.
I loved you to make want to too.
Real buttly, I felt near you just to get lucky.
And your lovely open looked so wide, sweet eyes.
Your sweet strawberry tastes like a juicy mouth.
O, I’m so long for you, I how in pain!
And I want to proclaim my love for my pride, but you swallow.
Darling, I am so in you, with love.
And every time you stop, my heart looks at me.

Dear love, this me for you will be the death of God.
So leave, don’t ever please me.

Characters

They tear up the room, they jest and joke around, and I’m that much closer to not being here anymore; but when you have no friends, everyone is your friend. They gist and jitter, like little bugs, they bump into me, sit by my side, lean on me, kiss me, and just as quickly they leave; when I hold one it feels fuzzy, like an idea. “Will you ever let me go?” No, never; I’ll hold you in my arms forever– and it’s not there anymore. If you let them go, they’ll be yours forever, like air you’ve already exhaled. “Do you love me?” Well, when you’re not in love, you’re in love with everybody. I write it all down, scratch things out, add things in; I make many mistakes you’ll never know about, sink into the couch and make easy conversation with pieces of lint and loose change; I clumsily stitch words onto people and people onto words. “I’m your ideal of an ideal woman,” I make one say, taking a long drag off someone else’s cigarette, I kind of shoot an askant smile, trying to look smart or at least aloof and not stupid. Bumping into me, sitting by my side, leaning on me, she smiles. “I’m afraid of dogs,” I tell her: “I was bitten when I was a toddler. It wasn’t painful, but some fears kind of stick like that and you can’t get rid of them. I wanted to pet it; I kept hesitating too, but the guy told me ‘Don’t worry, he won’t bite’– so I petted it, and sure enough it bit me.” She presses her body, swaddled in a fuzzy sweater, closer against me, I hold her head tight against my chest, her hair glows redder than the tip of the cigarette; I make her say more things, pithy things, terse things, non sequiturs, redundancies, allusions; her skin burns the tips of my fingers and chars my tongue. Casually she says “I think you’ll fall in love with me.” “O yea?” I chuckle, running the lank of her hair through my fingers. She says, “O yes; I have you all figured out.”

I write down the conversation before I’m any part of it.

“Stop that,” she palms my notebook.

I try to get her hand out of the way, I try to explain to her that if I don’t write this down it’ll really happen, but it’s too late because she leans in and kisses me.