“Fascinating Things”

I am always drawn to those hours between midnight and dawn,
those hours when the wind has stilled and the night is reborn young,
only to grow old and die again.

The scars on people’s bodies and all the stories behind them.
The destructive beauty of fire and flame.
The flickering of candles as they’re lit or touched by the wind and
the crackle of a campfire as it eats away slowly at its supper of old logs and tree branches.
The contrast between dark hair and pale skin, green eyes and red lips.

Haphazard plans,
spontaneous road trips,
mistaken identities, and
anything that can lead to chance meetings.
Adventures where the characters
don’t even know each other’s names.
A little mystery.
The idea of angels,
not with white feather wings
and trumpets
and robes,
but as human souls
and guardians
and wise poets
who are older than the earth.
The idea that some people
may be more than they seem.

Abandoned buildings, especially churches and cottages,
with unkempt, unruly gardens,
where ferns run wild and willow branches make tangled walls.
The condensation that runs down a glass of ice-cold water on a hot day.

Guitar fingers—
rough on the ends and full of coordination.
Piano fingers—
long and slender and delicate.
When one person has both.

Old clothes,
ugly clothes,
baggy clothes.
Clothes with floral print and shoulder pads
that beg to be ripped apart and re-sewn
into something new and different.
Clothing with potential.

A secret kept so well that its unveiling is the truest of surprises.

The way the ocean waves slide along the shore
as they retract toward their mother, leaving only smooth sand behind.
The foam on the sea as it attacks anyone standing in its way.
The many shades of teal, turquoise, cerulean, sapphire, and
sometimes just pure, pure blue
that mix and mingle in the water’s depths.

The crisp smell of new snow as it blankets the land and cleans away its imperfections.
Puppies who jump, even when they’re told not to, because they can’t contain their excitement anymore.
Libraries, full of ancient books with musty pages, where people are quiet and no one disturbs you
if you’re curled up in an armchair with a crooked pile of adventure novels.

The way sleeping next to someone on a tiny bed
forces the two of you
to wrap your arms around each other so you don’t fall off,
and the way you can never be cold
when you’re that close together.
People who laugh whenever they want, as loud as they want,
with no regard for who their happiness is disturbing.
Squeaky laughs that sound like dolphins and
screeching laughs that pierce sound locks.
People who dance in the rain and sing in public without any inhibitions.

The wind when it tugs at my hair and tries to tell me all its stories and troubles,
even though it sometimes hurts my ears.
The sight of an angry goose chasing a small child down the river beach,
the child screaming and laughing and crying all at once.

Animals that mate for life,
like penguins
and gibbons
and swans
and wolves.
Even termites
and vultures,
who understand love better
than humans do.


The First Time he climbs her hair
c u r i o s i t y
The Second Time
e n c h a n t m e n t
The Third
c o m p a s s i o n
h o p e
t r u s t
l o v e
l u s t


(and so on and so forth)

but eventually
silk turns to hay beneath his fingers
catching & ripping
callused & bleeding skin
yet upward and onward he strives

forced to yearn
drawn to return
she is a witch, her beauty her spell
her mother has certainly taught her well

soon, he slips
stones mocking his fall
betrayed & confused
blinded, alone
cursed and calling her name

& hating all the while
he still only sees her
s m i l e


She collects green Skittles
In glass jars on the kitchen shelf.

It starts with a habit,
Leaving open rainbow bags
On the counter by the sink.
She barely notices the mess of ripped packets,
Spilling emerald reminders and cluttering spotless tile,
Until her sister suggests
With gentle sympathy,
(always gentle,)
That she tidy up.

But she can’t bear to throw them away,
To sweep them into the gaping mouth of the trashcan
Like they never existed,
Like he never existed,
So she puts them in jars, jars from his mother,
Watching grass and trees and Christmas wreaths,
Summer evening salads and autumn cider bottles,
Silky spotted ties and worn polo shirts,
Pile up behind the clear barrier,
Filling the empty spaces in her life with memories of
Green, green, green.