Monday, January 31, 2011

100: Echoless

She stands on the building’s roof, God’s view of an empty city.  Flags rustle in wind.  No cars.  No people.  Clouds scatter overhead, lost kites eastward to barren places.  She awoke and someone had taken an eraser to the world.  Except her.  Why?  She screams, echoless, chases the descending sun.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

99: Animosity

We’re at sea, hanging onto the splinters of a sunken boat. Minutes before, we fought, a routine battle in our ongoing epic.  Then the sinking--the ocean itself bored of our conflict. The sky grays, the water swells, soon we’ll disappear.  But who goes first?  I want it to be you as I’m tasting seawater, feeling my legs becoming cast iron. I’m sure you feel the same.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

98: Monarch

She remembers a white room, a blank grid of tiles.  There’s an itch in her mind, dreams of surgery, procedure, other people’s nightmares.  Her father will stare right through her and she’ll think she’s glass, her soul tunable to the right notes, her mind property of the faceless.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

97: Pilgrimage

Today is the day we all took off on boats.  Land disappeared.  These weren’t precious times.  But we kept our spirits when the world became ocean.  We have supplies. We wave to friends in nearby vessels, as the wind breaks apart our happy cluster.  Our parting words—the world turned land would be far worse.  Smiles and stiff chins, we sail into despondent fleets, flotsam vagrants sulking, as we make our pilgrimage over submerged holy lands.  Instead, we travel elsewhere, the golden roads of our hearts. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

96: Nitpickers Inc.

There’s a fly buzzing about.  What a pigsty this place is, it should be condemned.  My spaghetti with meatballs has too much oregano.  Send it back, burn the menus, hang the chef Mussolini style.  There’s a dust particle on the floor.  Don’t get me started. I’m losing sleep.  Mom calls, gives me grief about that pizza I burned fifteen years ago.  You ruined it, she says, I could’ve broken teeth on the crust.  Mom’s voice is like razor blades on chalkboard.  When are you getting married, she barks, the fifty-third time she’s asked.

Friday, January 21, 2011

95: Time Travel

The kid wakes up each morning, writes a brief letter to someone he doesn’t know. The name is ambiguous, could be either gender. He writes about his thoughts and days. He knows it’s supposed to be a secret, not even to tell his parents or closest friends. He knows he’s supposed to leave it on his window ledge each day. If he watches it, it just sits there, but if he leaves and returns, it’s gone. He has nagging questions. The world stalks his peripheral, yesterday or tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

94: Broken We Are

Broken we are, words from the poet reading his work, and my mind drifted to that day at the river, where there was only us, abundant fish flapping shiny, gentle lapping of waters, rustling of leaves, endless sky, healing of bleeding cracks.

Monday, January 17, 2011

93: Propping Up the Walls

He comes in the front door, says, the sump pump must be blocked, water’s spraying all over the yard every two minutes.  Outside was snow, whistling blasts of ice, howling wind trying to deconstruct the walls.  That’s why there’s water in the basement, she said.  Unrelated, the dishwasher’s leaking water and mice are in the ceiling.  And it’s supposed to snow through midweek.  Constant, accumulating, unyielding.  What do we do, they say in unison.  Then they laugh.  Lights flicker.  Windows rattle.  They light candles.  They drink wine.  They keep the walls from falling.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

92: What's Missing

The camera arced a left-right panorama but could not see below or above. Jones, the station operator, told his visitors, here I see the world, not mentioning what’s missing.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

91: Waiting

The doctor said she was pregnant. But she wasn’t showing.  Weeks became months, sonograms became facts and still, nothing.  The doctor, draped in white coat and cross-legged on stool, said, your baby—she—is normal sized, but where she is, I don’t know.  The mother thought about the meals she didn’t eat, couldn’t hold down.  The times she and her father, occupying the same room, resided in different countries.  In the delivery room, she and her husband held hands.  Who will she be, they thought separately, waiting for her to become.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

90: Morning Fog

At the mountain house, he watches her through the window, her form ethereal like the floating shawls of morning fog, thinks, how he loves her.  Always, though, a chasm. In dream, his arms pass through her, unable to grasp flesh.  Nearby, a lake.  He fears she will walk into it.  One morning, she returns from her walk, hair and clothes drowned in water, her face erased.  He pulls her close, able to feel her, water pooling at their feet.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

89: Anything

He tells her, I’m fresh out of ideas.  I can’t write.  Let me think, she said.  Morning into afternoon into evening.  She’s frying oil and garlic in a pan, the seeds of dinner.  He enters the kitchen.  Anything?  She shakes her head.  I might be out too.  He opens windows, wine.  Dinner forms, aromas accumulate.  Well, we could stare at the ceiling all night, she says.  Maybe something will fall down.  Wine flows.  Food disappears.  Into night.  Anything?  No.  Light peaks at the world’s corners.  They sleep dreamless.

Friday, January 7, 2011

88: Carefree

The last time the wind blew I hopped on a leaf and soared.  Carefree, eyes closed, unconcerned where I’d land, what new home was mine.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

87: Prague

Walking through Prague was strange déjà vu.  Everyone he saw looked like ghosts from before.  Old teachers, friends, relatives.  His companion said, Prague has been washed by fire, astronomy has recessed into dream.  Now, dust has resettled, a familiar blanket.  He felt a wind like elementary school.  In the sky, clouds broke like drifting continents, revealing yesterday’s moon.

Monday, January 3, 2011

86: Blue Baby

He said to everyone he knew, I was a blue baby.  There was no other context.  He looked normal, not blue, not stunted in development.  The information was offered not in conversations regarding birth or childhood misfortune.  It was just there, like the weather or ongoing wars.  One might be compelled to ask questions, as his face hung in mid-air, waiting for affirmation.  One might not say anything, pretending this was normal, as if all of us were in some way born blue. 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

85: Simulator

You fly in an aircraft, I told them, that simulates zero gravity so you can be weightless.  Then you’re floating about the cabin.  Then you’re flying.