The work

Stop and start and stopfickle compulsions of the head making night-time final decisions based on a lucid dream. You think the work has feelings for you like a lover who leaves not love notes for remembrance but withered hopes and layered cuts. Flowers blossom faithfully in spring but never when we're looking change only perceptible after it's changed everything. It's a miasma of missing things even while doing everything it's never enough of anything stuffing holes with beautiful distraction. Pressure chips away at the beauty no one ever saw the potential we forgot to use the hours we'll never get back.

You've Never Felt For Me

Take me by the hands
Let us intertwine our
fingers Like our ugly
lives and Overlapping
toes Like the city we
love to memorize Up
here on the roof
Kiss me with everything
You've never felt for me
Then shove me over the
edge Let me spill across
the sidewalk Somersault
Into another dimension
You will be forgiven I will
be forsaken No one will
be alive to know What
happened But for you
And your uncrying heart
Please spare me from
Yourself My knees are
purple from begging
You who've molded
my theories Like putty
and Taken the sparkle
from my eyes To keep
in your pocket Where
it will live Even after
I'm dead and gone.

Dubai panorama. From the top of the world's tallest building.

Unhappy Endings

Written for Trifecta. The prompt is to use the third definition of "charm." When we could no longer talk, when comebacks grew superfluous as cheese-stuffed pizza crusts and apologies became lodged between the ribs, we walked. We didn't make contact with accusatory eyes nor spindly fingers. We didn't know how to live apart, and we fought like angry cats while together. We were wine and chocolate, frick and frack, sunlight and water. Together we tasted like divine pairings, we could accomplish so many things and be so many iterations of our best selves, and our worst.

We wrote a screenplay together in a day, each picking up where the other had left off, weaving the plot in ways no one could prophesy. We got high off of the imagined drama. The impossible love triangle, the precise professions made by the man to charm both of the women at once, the compromises each character made for their own unhappy ending.

Our trusted friend was the only son of a Hollywood producer, hot shot and loaded. After reading it, he couldn't speak through his elation. We stared at one another like mutes. I opened a box of wine and we clinked three glasses together. When we'd drained the last of the crimson, our friend moved his lips.

"Brilliant. Fucking brilliant."

We were going to make a movie.

My husband and I made love in the middle of the day and the middle of the night. We climbed mountains, settling upon the highest rock with a picnic lunch, only satisfied with the widest angle of the world. We dined on oysters and shopped using credit cards. We lived the dream like we owned it.

And then I changed my mind. Or perhaps my mind changed me. Changed us.

"We have to fix the ending."


"It's too sad. No one likes a film that's ultimately depressing. No one."

"We wanted it to be realistic, remember?"

"What's so unrealistic about happy endings?"

Everything, it turned out.

Everything to Lose

Written for Trifecta. The prompt is to use the third definition of "crack." There were no words in her mind, no being left to be, no imagination tugging at her lapels every time she laid down to sleep. Avery's talent had been siphoned away, like the bone marrow from a willing donor or the breath from a man who'd hung himself.

But Avery was neither willing nor suicidal. The sentences slipped out through the hole in her heart. Where everything important to her had once resided with vigor. The husband that disappeared, and the son with him, and finally the career as a writer. They called her promising. She abided by her dreams and built something from nothing. Until evil kidnapped her everything.

She sits in coffee shops and watches the people, the pages before her as blank as the first snowfall of winter lit by the dawn. They look so proud, climbing out of smooth shiny cars, faces pointing towards the sun like flaxen sunflowers. They beam at one another with nonfictional jubilation, they focus on their work when they sit, they curl their tongues and bite their lips and pucker their eyes. Life pours out of their crevices because they know they have everything. Avery wants to warn them, she wants to slip each of them a note.

If you have everything, then you have everything to lose.

She moves to Paris to write. Where cafe tables populate sidewalks and sidewalks meander into unmarked alleyways. Where children chain smoke and women with ripe round bellies drink glasses of wine. She buys opium from a street peddler with a chipped face and she smokes it over the electric stove in her rented white-walled studio. She hears words strung into run-on sentences. She presses her ear against a crack in the wall, but the voices aren't coming from the neighbor she's never seen.

The voices are coming from inside of her head.


The days of his life
Each one like the last
Partly sunny
Chances for a storm
A cyclone
A tempest
To spin it up and away
Into neverland
Quicker than it came
Upon the thrumming
Of time
Illusory yet predestined
A dream from which
He will awaken
With some relief
Fused with grief
Because he will never
Know his zenith
Not under these
Working backwards
Lost in the details
The crowds
The jealousy
Of what he thought
He always