Monthly Archives: June 2018

Whole By Hope

Amber was a mermaid in that scene, blonde and pale, and a light made whole by hope.

Aquamarine tail splashed water on that sensitive elven boy, and she was too pure for the crown of twelve stars.

But elven boys make haste to excess and make no mercy for their queens, who fall short and lose all that hope.

A starry night, elven boys have that one grace period, that one soft kiss, before their hearts curdle into ownership.

On this hallowed 30th, she swims back to Lemuria on a dare if not hope, elven boys hanging from the gallows.

Drown In Air

The owl was an alien, all seeing and predatory, with it’s seraphim mistress in regal black and white.

They sat across from Constance on the balcony of her apartment, still lords of the earth on rusted, dull green lawn chairs.

Constance’s heart tried to swallow itself and drop to the earth, to drown in air rather than be taken by her tormentors.

All that could see spirits and That Spirit and knew of the energy beneath the flesh were often visited.

The owl, the grey face, picked through you tender thoughts to find the center of purity after innocence lost.

The seraphim, named Ange in all her forms, told the Demiurge what touches and pleasures would silence.

Cold soothes to dullness the desire for a lover, as the grey face picks you clean, and white lace blinds you with a kiss.

Before they take her, Constance sees the spirit of her unborn twin, still giving her strength in grieving.

Owl and Ange take Constance up, where all the demons live in invisible matter between the stars.

Once more she had to fight to stay herself.


Maisie was at her cousin Amy’s, on the outer edge of Farragut, as far west as Maisie would ever go.

Maisie had a hard time relating to Amy, 10 years older, still waitressing, with family responsibilities.

Maisie didn’t have that life, and knew Amy resented her for it.


Thirsty, coming up from the basement for ice water in the dead of night, unquiet dreams needling her awake.

Amy was outside, sitting on a swing on her children’s swing set, head cast down, her feet pushing her back and forth.

Amy was still in her waitress uniform, still in her big black parka, a cigarette burning forgotten between her fingers.


Maisie watched Amy, zoned out, not tethered to the earth, and not touching the stars, instead in an abscess.

Maisie wanted to go to her, but this visit had already been strained, already Maisie felt lime in irritation.

She got her water, and went back to the couch in the basement.


Later, she heard the closing of the backyard door, the rustle of the parka coming off.

She heard footsteps patting the stairs, a moment, then the shower starting. All seemed to be well. Maybe it was.

Maisie cocooned in the comforter, and tried to find some soothing in her dreams.

A Dull Roar

Margot felt the demon of gravity on her bones and heart and flesh, as she sat upon the hood of her past it’s prime Mustang that had once been her pride and joy.

Up on Foothills Parkway, above the city she used to look down on from here like a vengeful god ready to smite all that was wicked and cruel. 33, she hadn’t escaped, the town as shitty as ever.

There was a dull roar in her ears at all times, even worse in the quiet. The black tide that came sweeping in across her mind, that washed away all hope.

No time to make it to Domremy, or Petra, or even a weekend to herself and a lover, just the emptiness and fear and the gnawing sense that she’d lost the best part of herself somewhere.

Margot pulled a cigarette from an almost empty pack, and for a few moments longer, took succor from the calming poison, before heading home, where the walls choked all light.

Undead Days

The coyote lay down in the dirt, now cooled at the end of the night from the hateful August sun.

His head on his paws, he saw that spiteful star began to rise again, all that the men had built would be without peace for him.

A tiny den in a break between two concrete walls, he felt the sun, and heard the people, always the people.

The noise and the rush and their anger at him for being. Only the night, when they slept, was safe.

The hard streets and paucity of prey, and still the lights, and being demeaning fact of raiding their garbage.

All those nights and undead days, half sleep in a world not his anymore, where there was no peace.

The coyote watched the sunrise, and felt the weight in his bones, and let memories of ancient forests drift away

before slinking back to his den, to the dark that only shamed, and the dreams that drew blood.



Amy was sitting on the curb smoking, still in her waitress uniform, when I pulled up.

It was past where Friday night became Saturday morning, but she knew I’d be home and would be awake.

She got in my car, thanked me for the lift, and with the windows down and dream pop playing, we drove off.

She looked out the window, distracted, and I didn’t try to engage her, whereas in youth I would have fallen in love.

At a stop light, the night cool around us, an ethereal voice singing of loss, I felt at peace, and with what I was letting go.

I’d seen Amy so many nights at the pizza parlor, and of course I tried to make an angel out of another lost soul.

We were both lost and hurt and hanging on, and the world is burning, and those old dreams are ashes.

We make it to her rented bungalow, and she gives a quick hug, thanks me for ride, goes inside.

I drive, dream pop playing, and I try to dream of stars or empty plains or untold fears, instead of her.

Instead of hope.

Twirling Ballerina

The only music we still had was her pink music box with the twirling porcelain ballerina.

One sentimental items she’d saved as we fled the fires from the sky, the grey fog, the end of our world.

The music is twinkling and melancholy, like childhood, and outside our tent we sway to it’s eerie tones.

Her head buried against my chest, her dark hair full of the lightning of the reflected campfire flames

We try to make love hold us to life as the grey fog eats all life, and monsters hunt us, only afraid of light.

Should we just carry on, us two in a monstrous world, should we become a family, new children in this new world?

I kiss her head, the spinning ballerina now still, and we stop swaying, and the fire crackles.

What beauty is to be found here? What life thrives in this darkness? She kisses me, telling me to carry on.

Cabals and Secrets

Emma had been a flash of heat lightning on an August night, a quick flash of heat and light in the dark that dazzled you for a moment before the darkness returned.

One month, just as Maisie was coming out of her worst days, of outings and adventures, and being someone’s best friend, and all of the cabals and secrets to steal the moon.

They’d ridden on Emma’s little red scooter up to the overlook off Foothills Parkway, that sweltering and pink July evening. Maisie felt so safe holding onto her, the grounding of her weight.

As they watched the stars come out, Emma told Maisie that she’d enlisted and would be going to the war. This was the last night of quiet, of their childhoods, of uncomplicated grace.

The lay on the Batman beach towel in the grass, stars above and city below, talking of things that you can only speak at the end of an age, the one comforting kiss from God on our flushed cheeks.

Late in the night, one lone blinkered beam against the darkness, Maisie hoped the road would be swallowed by the underworld, and only winter would break her heart.

Emma never wrote after basic training, or after she was in country, or ever at all. Maisie does not know Emma’s fate, or why she turned away. God’s kiss burns the flesh in memory.


Hard Fought

Kirsten had really grown into her skin, and seemed totally comfortable with the 35 year old women she was, the victory hard fought.

We sat on the concrete steps of her patio, the front door open, smoking cigarettes as her 5 year old daughter laughed along with cartoons.

The old times, the young times, of all night binges of VHS dubs of the X-Files, obsessing over The Cure, planning our escape to NYC, were long gone past.

She told me her repertoire of funny daughter stories, and about what a dick the father turned out to be, and how it all worked out, and all was finally well.

I listened, offered comment, gave her the ear she needed, as I always had. It was not like it was in high school, when she was my whole world, all I wanted.

About 9, she got up, said it was her daughter’s bedtime. We embraced and then she went inside, to her simple and perfect life. Mine was a lot messier.

She really had found herself and her peace. I was happy for her, and proud of her. I walked away, down the sidewalk, the past lost, future uncertain.


Maisie sat crosslegged on her love’s bed, in plain, dark briefs and black tank top. Her love was a med student, and she held their stethoscope to their chest, listening to soft thrum of their heart.

Like an ancient quasar at the end of the universe, it’s rhythm called out to her from the beginning of things to this very moment, across ages and endless distance, to answer her quiet voice.

Maisie’s love smiled, placed their hand upon hers, and pushed the stethoscope harder against their chest, the thrum and beat going deeper into Maisie’s ears, the sound like their love’s embrace.

They lay down, side by side, face to face, and Maisie still listened as she looked into her love’s bright and tender eyes. If ever God had come close to her, revealed His light, it was in this moment.

Finally, her love took away the stethoscope and Maisie curled into them, ear to their heart, as their love stroked Maisie’s hair, until she fell into an innocent and dreamless sleep.