Wednesday, April 11


Some claim April rain
brings the blossoms of May, but
trees here are hasty.

This is the opening stanza of this month's format challenge over at the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads. We're writing a renga together, and I'm so excited to read the finished result.

Monday, April 9


My walls were empty, the balcony swept,
all paints the color of the white roaring noise in my head,
and then the epiphany of loss.
I poured ink and chalk over my shaking hands,
dolefully smudging signs in every color,
lyrics rising from the pale,
the hieroglyphics of my life without you.

That was the year I locked all the doors, pouring vodka into the cuts,
eating only the memory of your tears. I wrapped my bleeding limbs
in bandages and silk scarves, threw blades to the floor and
caution to all the winds.

Now I have been longer without than within,
and yet, in the scent lingering upon my hands,
in the sugar and ash upon my lips, you remain.
In the deep trough of the night where I lie,
rocked on sleepless waves, in the hollows of
my skin your shadow dwells.

Thursday, April 5

Après moi

The strawberries are red lips, glistening in the bite marks, freshly glossed and plump. She catches herself staring at the half-eaten one dangling from her shaking hand and sets it cautiously in the saucer. Her teacup is just to the side, sitting in a ring of milky runoff, the pale tan soaking into her grandmother's lace tablecloth. Scattered strawberry leaves, still attached to garish red chunks, discarded like a tiny pile of skulls on some barbaric grassland.

She would pour herself another cup of tea, but the pot is cold, and the cream jug is in shards next to the antiqued baseboard beneath meticulously restored sash windows. Instead, she wipes her berry-stained fingers on the ruined tablecloth and rises, bare feet whispering over bare boards. She steps out of the sunroom, onto the neat grey carpet of the parlor, and when her footfalls grow silent, she might as well be gone.

The note under the sugar bowl remains, edges ragged with haste, a mute affirmation of months of suspicion. The blue ink scrawl, square and cruel, rattles latches in the darkest hour of the night.

In the carefully-appointed guest bathroom, she puts her small fist into the mirror they bought in New Orleans, silver-backed shards sticking in her knuckles, blood falling into the sink. Just droplets, at first, and then the deluge.

Trust is not porcelain, shattered once but potentially reparable. Trust is a dam that holds back everything we would rather forget.

For the IndieInk Writing Challenge this week, Leo challenged me with "I trust you to break my trust in you." and I challenged femmefauxpas with "Please write a flash fiction story (600-1500 words) opening with a character stating, 'That's not enough,' into the phone and hanging up. There should be at least 580-1480 words after that opening. In addition, please ensure there is a clear ending to your piece. No 'to be continued,' no vignettes, no continuing characters."

Wednesday, April 4

clear skies

Old cat suns bones
on new carpet, already mottled,
Stippled with palm shadows.