Black and White [fiction]

There it was in black and white, the feeling that drove Sarah mad—old tingles that used to come in color when she was a teenager. But the passage into adulthood had clouded the rainbow with storms, her eyes searching with a half-smile for the sunlight behind the clouds.

Marriage had been a shelter from the rain—his love for her as loud as thunder. But a meddling Zeus struck their tree of life. Its fruit only seeded twice before it died with the tree.

Damn the gods, she vowed.

Still, they tried new things to sow new gardens—all of which withered and died. They whispered hope to each other and grasped at whatever hunger and edge they felt. Sometimes they hoped too much; their attempts derailed like a speeding train on a mountainside, crashing them against bitter rocks, hurling them bleeding far apart, and their good times forgotten amidst hostile after-thoughts.

Some days she hid within the shadows of her walls, and days when she limped through life fractured and poured out, almost empty. Other days she awoke to bedroom curtains flapping from a desert wind blowing hope. A crack in Zeus’s armor. A rainbow on the horizon. A sudden tingle and a thousand syllables on her tongue and lips.

But rain came always and stole her color.

Dark.

Black and white.

And through it all, she held on harder than she ever tried letting go.

That had to be worth something.

Rain [poetry]

Rain on the windows paints calligraphy on his walls—

He recites verses
to music playing
where pear flower stars burst forth
in the multicolored bowl on his kitchen table
where he once compared nature with artifice
and made love to the girl with ornamental hair

That’s what happens, she says to him now, when tradition
and art
are sacrificed
for the preservation of book pressed flowers

When I A Boy [poetry]

When I, a boy, when I could,
I voyaged out into your cool company—
the coldness of boots pulled on at the doorstep
before walking that large solitude
of no cricket, no owl;
walking with silent snow feet among birdless woods
tossed among the taste of echoed blood
at such a time of the coyote,
invisible and dull by the snow.

My secret ice-making ice-haiku poems
driving me to the warmth of your breath—
letting me dream my dreams of romance
written at twilight by fire
in the hidden garden of no ordinary lovers,
letting me feel again the enticing light
that secretly guided me like the slow slipper of moss
to the doorstep of your excited hands—
when I, a boy, when I could.

Death [poetry]

When you are dead,
no one invites you over for a drink

Birthday parties are no longer valid,
and holidays are past pictures,
cards,
and fading memories

When you are dead,
no one sees what you’re wearing

No one speaks to you as someone alive anymore

No one notices the dirt beneath your nails,
or the dust that fills your nose,
or the ghost that you’ve become

When you are dead,
even the stones shut their eyes