Tag Archives: romance

paper fires

you string me up

like paper flowers

 

you –

 

sandpaper fingers,

your hard work makes territory

of my skin and still I turn my mouth

upwards in slow motion.

 

I read my future

by the soft light of you.

 

recognition pours from your bones

and uncurls me like paper fires in reverse;

I’d spent years digging through the ashes of my

childhood only to find my voice in your chest

 

that splintered, vulnerable thing

that lets me thank you every morning

when we are nothing more than a

confusion of limbs and braille lips

 

barely ever necessities we are,

but I won’t bother with words when

I can read you with my eyes closed.

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picture this –

 

we are

silent on an

escalator in bad

fluorescent lighting

wearing out our

mouths with

to-do lists or

sips of cold

coffee I am

staring at the

other faces that

are like melting

butter and thinking how

easy it could be

just to step left instead

of right blink three

times instead of four

and just as I am busy

imagining the scene I’d

like to make but won’t

his hand moves to

my waist as

preprogrammed as the

rest and I am smiling

like a fool

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Unremembered (Part 8)

 

Just now joining the Unremembered party (or need a refresher)? Click here to start from the beginning, then follow the link at the bottom to part 2, etc. And don’t forget to watch out for more installments!

***

 

I didn’t hear the ringing at first, my head was buried so far beneath a tower of pillows in an attempt to stop the spinning in my brain. My skull ached with regret as I replayed the kiss I’d planted on Jamie the night before.

The caller didn’t let up. I fought my way out of the tangled sheets and somehow made it onto my feet and to the phone on the dresser. He was clearing his throat as I picked up.

“Hey, Detective Mills,” I started.

“Mr. Hamilton. How are you?”

His usual, pointless greeting. I stood up a little straighter, waiting to hear what “incriminating” evidence he’d found while tearing apart our home. A lock of hair? A mysterious foot print? A kitchen knife that looked a little too dull?

Then my mind flickered to the person who claimed to know what happened to my wife, and suddenly my knees were made of jelly because I couldn’t believe that in all my scrambled thinking and the hurricane that had recently become my life that I had somehow tucked away the single most important piece of I don’t know what, and right then I was angry, so very angry that Detective Mills had failed to mention more past a single obscure phone call just before he accused me of murdering Lily. And now that it had all flooded back in my heart was sinking and so was I, right back to the floor like the first time.

I think he sensed it, knew all the questions that had just now started seething from my chest. We were both silent, for minutes, I think.

“That other person,” I started, choking on the rest of the words.

“I was beginning to wonder why you weren’t more curious about that,” he said. The calm in his voice sent a warning jolt through my stomach.

“I guess it fell to the bottom of my priority list once you asked me if I killed my wife.” My mouth was a desert.

“She claimed to be a friend of Lily’s, went to college with her. Really pretty girl, a blonde. She said this isn’t the first time Lily’s gone missing, and probably won’t be the last. I thought it was a little strange but her story didn’t really lead anywhere, so we tossed it.”

Jamie. I muttered a thanks, a goodbye, placed the phone on the receiver and threw up in our clothes hamper.

***

Continue reading here with Part 9.

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Unremembered (Part 4)

Only joining now? Click here to start from the beginning.

 

It felt like hours had passed before I peeled myself out of the chair in our living room. My body ached and I felt hollow and strangely hungry, though the hunger pains were quickly replaced by nausea brought on by the idea of actual food. The room was empty now except for me. Our parents had skittered off to various parts of the house to run their fingers over objects and dab at their eyes with wrinkled tissues; nothing productive, nothing helpful.

Yet I couldn’t bring myself to feel anger at their blaming of me, or even at their unwillingness to make frantic phone calls or attach eight-by-tens of Lily’s face to utility poles. The police had promised to explore every possible lead, comb through every area of town. They felt small and helpless, so instead they shrunk into corners and pointed fingers until someone else could make it all better; and slowly, reluctantly, I accepted that it was all I could do, too.

I spent the next few days like a child feeling for a new, comfortable routine: wake, shower, dress, eat (maybe), make a phone call grasping for updates. The other end of the line was always the same officer, sighing in the same way, feeding me the same empty words he likely presented to all families of cases that seemed to be going nowhere.

I’d already scanned Lily’s side of the sheets at least fifty times, sifted through her end of the closet, checked under the bed; I had no idea what I was hoping to find, maybe a clue, maybe my sanity. I retraced her usual jogging route, sat again where I’d curled into myself and released a siren in the underbrush. When the sun had fallen and risen so many times I’d lost count I found myself scooping toast crumbs into a zip lock bag, the ones beneath the toaster left from her breakfast the morning she disappeared; crazy, grieving things.

It was a Wednesday when the phone rang with forcefulness, a tone of urgency I hadn’t heard before. I was in the bedroom closet dusting Lily’s endless collection of shoes when it began, and something told me to drop everything and rush downstairs before the answering machine – that still chirped her voice – chimed in.

“Hello?”

I was slightly breathless after a mix of inhaling cleaner and rushing down the staircase. I knew who it was before the voice on the other line even started.

“Mr. Hamilton, how are you?” Standard, even though we both knew the answer.

“Fine, Detective, thank you.”

A pause pulled taught, longer than usual. My knuckles whitened around the phone. Deep breaths from his end.

“We have someone here who claims he knows what happened to Lily.”

I stumbled backwards, slid helplessly down the wall, pulled my knees to my chest.

***

Click here to begin reading this series from the very beginning.

Go here for Part 5.

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all the best pieces of you

 

 

how would you feel

if you knew

I take all the best pieces of you

and put them into

tiny frames

 

they aren’t always perfect

sometimes the edges

don’t fit

they reach out

all excess

 

so I trim them

with the poultry scissors

beside the kitchen sink

ignoring the wrinkles

behind the cheap glass

 

the extra

falls

down

the garbage

disposal

 

I turn it on

crank the water

listen to the

blending of

foreign objects

 

“that doesn’t belong in there”

you’d tell me

but you’re outside

clearing the snow

from the driveway

 

I excavate some pushpins

from the junk drawer

I scatter them like

playing darts

across the living room wall

 

you’re back inside

the cold sticks to your skin

and I am standing

hands on hips

admiring my handiwork

 

“this one’s crooked” you say

pushing upwards on one frame

with a gloved index finger

I smile and thank you

I put a finger to my lips

 

you are on the couch now

silent,

gloves still on

watching me move my hands

watching me tip each frame

 

I stand back,

you laugh,

“that’s more like it” you say

“that’s it” I say, smiling

“bad parts and all”.

 

 

 

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Shaking Your Face From My Fingertips

A coffee cup on a kitchen counter makes quite a different melody when no quiet breathing from behind some wall works to fill the space between the snapping of my lighter and the static from the radio. Where do I set my plate when your elbows aren’t spread like wings so rude across the breakfast table? The last thing I remember, when your voice was still fresh in my head, I was cross-legged on a snow pile in a mall parking lot; pay no mind to the crazy woman with her head between her knees, melting the ice with her eyes. No one looked at me. I knew even though I never looked back.

Somehow I was back in our home – my home now – feet curled to one side like I should have been reading the latest romance novel with a cup of earl grey in one hand. Instead I curled fingers around a paisley printed box of tissues while distant family cooked dinner in our kitchen, not knowing where we kept the silverware. They roamed like tourists. When someone handed me a plate I abandoned my fork and wrote your name in strands of spaghetti.

“Eat,” a voice said. An uncle? A cousin, maybe. My chin rarely stopped kissing my chest. I moved in increments of someone twice my age and continued to trace your name in entrees and desserts. Eventually everyone held their plates above bent arms, an ethereal beauty about the living room in splashes of marinara red and apple pie tan calling for me to forge your signature. A hand on my shoulder begged get some rest but my artist’s mind was twisting through a snow storm.

Like a cinematic fast-forward I am having lunch years later but it was yesterday you died, and quietly I am ordering another glass of red, shaking your face from my fingertips.

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Waves of Actuality

intertwined tree

Your breath is my breath

 

running fingers down bones

you count the whole of me

in pulse, in strings of light

in waves of actuality

 

we read secrets through closed doors

we feel burning buildings in twilight

 

the sirens in your tendons grow

and I am scratching at what no one sees

but I feel you in my blood

 

but I feel you on the backs of my thighs

 

and you are wading through the red

and you scream out, “I am fine”

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all bones, all life, all love.

best-ever-hands-love-mine-Favim_com-141743

all tissue

all tendons

all mine, all mine

heartbeats and heartbreaks

breath and sighs in thin skin

break the clock and stay here

will you stay here?

fingertips on lips remind me

of an ocean where I’m

breathing underwater

there are layers of you

in me

can you feel it?

you are nothing but tangible

all sweat and blood and

sweet, sweet flavor

summer in my hands

summer on my tongue

it’s on me now, it’s mine

it’s in the grooves of you

the pillow to the right when

you’ve left for the morning

in my arms, in my head

you’re here, you’re always here

all bones, all life

all love.

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Daily Prompt: “Because it’s the halves that halve you in half.”

Take a quote from your favorite movie — there’s the title of your post. Now, write!

I thought I understood it, that I could grasp it, but I didn’t, not really. Only the smudgeness of it; the pink-slippered, all-containered, semi-precious eagerness of it. I didn’t realize it would sometimes be more than whole, that the wholeness was a rather luxurious idea. Because it’s the halves that halve you in half. I didn’t know, don’t know, about the in-between bits; the gory bits of you, and the gory bits of me.

This movie makes my eyes and nose leak every. single. time. Young love, first love, long-distance relationships, this film covers it all. The soundtrack is beautiful, the actors are amazing, the hurt in her voice when she calls just to hear his…just thinking about it gets me choked up. We’ve all been there. After I watched it for the first time, I turned to my best friend as the credits began to roll and found we both had the same look of dumbfoundedness on our faces. We didn’t know whether we should hug or laugh or continue to sit there with wet cheeks. I grabbed us each a tissue and ran upstairs to hug Joe very, very tightly. That’s how worked up this movie got me – still gets me. ::sigh::

There is more to love than that wholeness of it. That wholeness is a stage of love, before it is ripe enough to slice down the middle, to inspect the insides. Those gory bits are what matters most; never perfect, hopefully worth it. Mine are worth it. 

 

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Romantic Monday – The Slack In Us

romantic monday

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s that time again! Another romantical Romantic Monday. As usual, click here to read our Ring Leader’s beautiful poetry; then scroll to the bottom of Edward’s post for links to other Romantic Monday posts. Here’s to love of all varieties!

The Slack In Us

I thought I’d drowned you out,

that persistent beating in my chest.

it’d be a tug at the strings

caught carelessly on your

back pocket.

but you couldn’t notice,

they were so long,

tangled in tiny pearls that

swung helplessly between us.

the landscape danced and

stretched before me

so I ran until my lungs gave out,

so you wouldn’t turn around,

bow your head in curiosity or

see me grabbing at the slack in us.

limbs windmilling, catching distances

I tore up the pavement trying to

catch up to the look in your eyes.

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