Dead

Intuition.  Bohemians, outsiders, cherish intuition.  That insight, that awareness, that…knowing.  I knew when I saw him.  I knew I loved him.  He wasn’t shy of the other women in the gallery and he wasn’t disdainful.  He was watching people look at art which was so evocative.  He saw me and I forced myself not to turn away.  I wanted him to know that I was staring.  Staring right at him.

“So how often does he brush his teeth in a day?”

My mother’s voice.  My mother was dead.  She died seven years ago but she never left me.  I loved my mother and I love my mother but she was getting in the way at the moment.  I felt my shoulders begin to tense waiting for my mother’s voice to sound in my ears again.  I wanted, needed, the deep background music of love to sweep over me as I looked at this tall, slender man, dressed in a somber dark suit.  I need a moment without questions.

“I suppose he reads in the bathroom.  He looks the intellectual type…”

“Mother,” I hissed and stepped away from no one.  A few people looked my way.  Did he see me talking to myself?  I took a deep breath willing my shoulders down and imagining my own face serene and unhampered by anything but the art surrounding me.  He must come to me because he is compelled to come to me.

“Well, he is a tall drink of water, isn’t he?  Your father was so short, God bless him.  He would certainly provide the tall gene our family so needs.  Of course, your kids would probably come up to his navel.  Wouldn’t matter if you had girls.”

I whirled around infuriated with my mother.  She was dead.  Dead.  She needed to get out of my head at the moment.  I stomped back to my chair the man of my dreams forgotten and grabbed my hand knitted alpaca wrap.  I swung it around my head and let it float gently down upon my shoulders.

“You haven’t even looked at the exhibit.”

I didn’t turn around.  “I know.“  A friend of mine was the artist and I felt my voice tighten in a sobbing disappointment.  Great, I was going to cry over my dead mother’s assessment of a guy I didn’t know.

“I suppose your mother is a little jealous of anyone who connects mentally with you.”

“She’s not a bad person,” I said instantly defensive.  “She worries about me.”

“Hmm.  Yes.” He stood there, tall, beautiful, mysterious.

“She’s been dead seven years,” I said gazing up at him, his bright blue eyes clear and without judgment.

“Your wrap is beautiful.  Did you make it yourself?”

I nodded

“Did your mother teach you to knit?”

“Yes,” I said quietly.

“Have a glass of wine with me and let’s walk the gallery.”

“How did you know?”

“Intuition,” he smiled down at me, handed me a glass of red wine, his hand was blue-ice cold.

The Nervous Kid

He scared easily.  He had always been nervous and when his “friends,” needed to feel superior (which was often) they would devise ways to scare him.  You know the usual stuff.  Keep him distracted and then one of them would fall asleep with the inability to wake up.  You know, the nervous kid would eventually panic after telling them to stop it and quit screwing around.  They knew the nervous kid would always succumb because hey it could happen.  One of them might fall asleep and one of them might not wake up.

You know the scenario one would slump over, pretend to sleep but actually fall asleep while the others distracted the nervous sidekick.  Maybe the sleeper was wrapped up too tightly or got too warm or board and fell asleep.  Sure, that could happen.  So, the nervous kid is running around and when he has his back turned the others are sniggering and the guy who is supposed to be pretending isn’t pretending anymore.

Yeah, that could happen.  It’s like all the guys sitting around and yakin’ it up eating the nervous guy’s snacks while he’s sneaking around his parent’s house looking for contraband.  Yeah, that’s the way it could happen.  The nervous kid is going around his parent’s house looking for odds and ends of booze that he knows his parents don’t have the money to buy.  Sure, he might find his grandfather’s bottle of bourbon from 100 years ago but the seal is still on it, so no way can he take that down to them.  Or he might find some cooking sherry that his mother thought she might need for a recipe for a bunch of snooty ladies.  You know for that small little party where she planned to get to know his friend’s parents.  Yeah, they showed up but it was just real stiff.  None of the other moms invited the nervous kid’s mom to the garden club or to tennis lessons – not that she could take the time off work and go, right?

So anyway, here’s this kid, he’s sneaking around the house and his buddies are like snickering and laughing and then take a swing at the sleeping guy and the sleeping guy just sort of falls over,  wooden like.  Of course, they laugh and tell the guy – hey he’s in the house looking over his lousy parent’s cheap stash of booze so knock it off but the sleeping guy’s expression is like frozen on his face.  He’s like looking at the person who sees hell coming.

The nervous kid’s buddies sort of sober up but still start knocking the sleeping kid about a little.  What happened, they joke with the sleeping guy, did the nervous kid’s snacks harden your arteries, or did they like numb every nerve ending in your body?  What crappy food, where do they shop the dollar store?  Still nothing but a blank terrified stare from the sleeping guy.  The sleeping guy is like looking but his eyes are not moving but you get the impression that he is seeing and hearing everything but he just can’t move.

Then there’s that moment when everything is quiet and all the guys say nothing.  Absolutely nothing.  There are no noises in the house, not even the sound of the nervous kid shuffling around in his parent’s dusty cupboards looking for something that they all know isn’t there.

What the hell, right?

So, these guys they start whispering all at once and calling the sleeping guy by name and they notice their voices don’t sound like a bunch of rich smart asses in a middle-class home.  Yeah, now they sort of sound like a bunch of whiny, tall skinny guys in a shit load of trouble.  Did he have drugs, what’s his parents going to say?  Hey, man I didn’t give him shit.  Should we go, we could get out the window and blame it on the nervous kid – hey where the hell is he anyway?   Yeah, that’s what they’d do, ditch the sleeping guy and blame it on the nervous kid – he could explain an overdose.

So, they start gathering all their stuff and wondering how they are going to make it look like they were never there and then they think about a plan that they left early.  That the nervous kid and the sleeping kid hung out after they left.  Yeah, that’s what they’d say.  The nervous kid he had some wicked stuff and these pristine assholes didn’t want any part of that because you know, what would their well to do parents say to that?  Yeah, so they left, maybe it was wrong, maybe they should have called the cops right away but hey they were friends.  Friends don’t do that.  Right?

So, the nervous kid comes down to a trashed basement and a wooden looking guy curled up on his parent’s couch and the back windows open where his “friends,” crawled out the window.  The nervous kid shuts the windows, cleans up the mess, even sweeps the floor.  The nervous kid’s mom comes down and check’s the sleeping kid’s pulse and looks into his eyes.

“It should wear off by morning.”

“Did you call his mom?”

“Yeah, told her he was staying over tonight, that you were playing video games.”

“So Mom, what would you have done if they’d had not tried to stiff me?”

“Oh I was pretty sure they would run like scared rabbits but if they had tried to do the right thing I’d have slipped him the quick cure.  He’d have puked and shat for a few hours but they’d have blamed it on our “crappy food.”

“Look, I think he’s actually falling asleep.”

“He won’t remember a thing in the morning, might have a slight headache.  Do you think we should tattoo something on his ass?”

“Nah, I prefer the subtle dump.”

 

Sing and Paint For Me

Paint for me, my love, the sky a deep sapphire blue and smudge the blackest blue about the rounded horizon.

Be frantic in your work and sing to me at times while praying that the stars shine upon the patch of open forest I sit upon while watching you.

Sing away the fear that night brings to me and remind me that the darkness is sacred even now, fallen as we are, sing while painting the sky.

I will pull out of my cocoon that I had shaped just for me and me alone and spread the heat of my body upon the ground enough for two.

Along the edge of the forest I will build a hearth of stone and from deep within me call up a cool and heated blue fire that my mothers left for me to share with you.

The world is crowded, striving and loveless.  I see the nakedness of the children and the despair of their mothers and do not wonder but grieve at their demand for death.

Won’t you pray for the stars to shine a burning hope within the darkness you paint?  Won’t you sing to me of stories of hope rather than the obvious pain?

Look, I’ve stretched out what is left of me here, upon this patch of open forest floor and know God sings over my faith.  Bring your talents to me.  Sing and paint.

EVIL

It’s just the high cost of maintenance, ya know?

The color, man you would not believe the color.  I know that red is red but red is not red in nature.  The almost white pink that defines what must be the lack of oxygen and the deep scarlet that means the screams of down and out terror.  I knew a woman once who, when really afraid, would try to scream and nothing would come out but this raspy, I’m-gonna-die sorta sob.

Then you have deep red.  That almost beautiful black, bottomless red that exemplifies eternity.

Eternity man, eternity.

And it is swirling around my head like music you used to like but now hate because like anything good, I mean sound busting good, they end up playing too loud and too often.

The high cost of maintenance in livin’ too long.  When will you live within our means?  I need a pulpit, I need a stage, I need a spotlight and I need to cry it out: “when will YOU live within your means?”  I’m not talking money.  Money is something that will be here when you are dead.  And dead.  Money can be earned, stolen, begged or inherited.  In whatever way you have it, you don’t have enough and your pissed-off about it because that’s how people are.  What I’m talking about is living within your means.  Your means.  Your means.

Can’t you live with what you’ve got the backbone to take?  Can’t you look at the woman across from you and say, hey, I love her because I don’t have the guts to go ask that beauty queen for a date.  You know that’s what women want.  I mean real women, they want you to ask and ask politely.  Why do you think you see couples that are all wrong together.  Well, I’ll tell you.  Some fast talking, skinny, sweaty guy hit the girl up just when she thought she’d die alone.  So she grabbed up what she thought was her last chance when all along there were men that would have died for her if they had had enough backbone to tell her so.

What the hell does this have to do with several shades of red?

Let me tell you.

I’m the son of a bitch who doesn’t care about you or the girl or if you live happily ever after.  I’m the guy you hate forever because I live forever.  I’m the guy that your sweet girl longs for but realizes that when I take the living force right out of her I’m evil.  I’m not romantic, I’m not misunderstood, I’m evil and that’s what makes the taking so good.

But the maintenance is high.  It’s very high because I have to keep moving, I have to stay out of the sun and I have to put up with the slow-witted and the whining world that doesn’t believe in evil until they meet me.  I guess it’s just become too easy.

The Wedding

“Do you remember our wedding?”

“Do you want to dance?”

“No”

“Why not?”

“I’ve asked you a question do you remember our wedding?”

“Honey, of course, I remember our wedding. You wore white, I was in a rented suit and the man who married us hated me.”

“My Grandfather married us.”

“Exactly.”

“Really, you are sure Grandpa hated you.”

“Pretty sure.”

“Nonsense!”

“No, no, it’s okay. I wouldn’t want to marry off my daughter or granddaughters.”

“But if you were marrying off our son?”

“Well…every son should eventually be married.”

“Uh-huh.”

“Do you want to dance?”

“No, I’m pretty much danced out.”

“Don’t want to dance with an old man.”

“No, I just don’t want to dance.”

“Well, at least you will be seen with an old man.”

“I’m sitting here.”

“Ah thank you. Especially for sitting next to me for nearly 25 years. “

“You’re welcome.”

“Woman, has it been that bad?”

“Being married to you?”

“Yes, being married to me.”

“No.”

“No…and what else?”

“Did you expect more?”

“Frankly, yes.”

“Well you don’t remember our wedding so why should I expound upon our marriage?”

“For the love of God…I remember our wedding. Your Grandfather married us and your Father gave you away. All three of your brothers were either ushers or standing next to me. And we all knew that before that night was over I’d convince you to step out of that frilly white dress you wore.”

“My dress was not frilly!”

“God help me.”

“Were you really that nervous? I would have thought you would have been over that. I already said yes.”

“Yes dear, you said yes. They didn’t.”

“Well for Pete’s sake, they didn’t threaten you or anything.”

“How do you know?”

“All right that’s enough.”

“Well, you won’t dance with me and you won’t tell me how you feel being married to me so what am I suppose to do?”

“Hmm. You are at a disadvantage aren’t you?”

“How do you mean?”

“You actually have to speak to me, sitting here, don’t you?”

“Now what is that suppose to mean?”

“Well after 25 years you’ve become accustomed to being around me. Relaxed enough to spend hours in your books, write, putter in the garage with your wood working…it’s been some time since you’ve asked me my opinion…well on you.”

“Oh, I see so I’ve become a bore.”

“I don’t recall calling you a bore.”

“I sound boring.”

“You may sound boring but not necessarily to me.”

“Okay, I’m a little confused.”

“Did my Grandfather wear a rented suit or his black suit?”

“His black suit with that white color of his.”

“Did my Mother wear the lavender suit?”

“No, she wore that apricot looking thing – your Father was furious at her for buying two dresses for one wedding.”

“Do you really want to know what it’s like being married to you?”

“Yes…really I want to know.”

“I like being married to you.”

“Well, that’s a relief, why?”

“Because when I walk by you while you are reading, you’ll gently take my hand and pull me to a stop and say “listen to this.””

“Any book you prefer over another?”

“No – I prefer the sound of your voice.”

“Oh.”

“And lately I’ve come to appreciate that you don’t shave on Saturdays. And you don’t seem to mind that most of your beard has turned white. I kind of like the way it feels when you kiss me.”

“Really? I can probably manage that a few more times a week…”

“No, once a week is fine but I appreciate your quick response and willingness to expand.”

“Oh, well anytime. Anything else?”

“I appreciate you cleaning out the cat box every Saturday.”

“The cat box? You witch! You had me hook, line and sinker.”

“No, really you have me hook, line and sinker.”

“Really?

“Really.”

“And when did that happen – I mean when you decided you loved me?”

“I don’t know it just happened sometime between year one and 25.”

“Not before?”

“Possibly.”

“Hmm… And no regrets about Jeff Smith?”

“What do you know about him?”

“That I had a pretty close call with you, because of him.”

“Robert, when did you decide you loved me?”

“The night you put your suitcase in Jeff Smith’s Chevy.”

“What are you talking about?”

“The night you ran away. You were sick of this town, your over protective family and terrified you would work the soda fountain at the pharmacy for the rest of your life.”

“I told no one about that.”

“You lied to your mother, told her you were with Lydia that weekend. You’d see her at church.”

“Robert, I told no one about that.”

“I watched you leave and about cried in my hymnal Sunday morning when I saw you in your usual spot.”

“You saw me leave. Knew I was gone. You asked me to marry you not too long after that.”

“I really didn’t want to watch another Exodus.”

“You fool!”

“Why?”

“Well – how did you know – well nothing happened?”

“I didn’t. And frankly, I was a little shocked on our wedding night – well when everything was intact.”

“Robert!”

“I was pleasantly shocked.”

“Robert!”

“Why did you come back?”

“I don’t know.”

“You don’t know.”

“Really. I cried like a baby 20 miles from town. I remember he tried his best to convince me I was doing the right thing…but I couldn’t stop crying.”

“It took him a full 24 hours to get you back 20 miles from town?”

“He dropped me at my Grandfather’s.”

“I thought you said you didn’t tell anyone.”

“And I didn’t. Grandfather never asked. I fell asleep, exhausted on his couch and he fixed me scrambled eggs and sausage the next morning.”

“Hmm”

“Yeah, hmm.”

“Listen we are at this wedding, there is dancing. We don’t do much of that sort of thing, so would you like to dance with me?”

“No…I want to go home.”

“Why?”

“Because today is Saturday and you had to shave.”

“So?”

“Well, I think tomorrow the world can wonder where we are for a day and you can catch up on your reading.”

“What else can we catch up on?”

“You’ll just have to wait and see.”

Like Eden

When I speak of simple, I mean simple.  Simple has been distorted.  When I say simple, people nod their heads sagely and agree while thinking of quick and cheap.

Granted simple, today has been reduced to finding and recognizing what’s left of, well, simple.  If you look hard enough, you can find simple.  It’s the age of the entrepreneur (which rhymes with manure) who built their factories and made their millions.  They built their factories over the drained cornfields that were once the greatest gardens in the United States – the Limberlost.  There are traces left here and there on the surface, and the Limberlost strengthens beneath the rusting facilities of man, trust me there.

Can you follow me at all?  Simple is one table and one chair with no roof and no window; especially no window that picture frames nature and worries man into thinking that everything must remain the same.

Oh, and by the way, simple cannot be taught, you need to remember simple.  You won’t by the way; you will lament the idea and live on anger, confusing the whole concept with fate.

We still have the rich and the poor, the foolish and the wise, the extravagant and the simple.  Nothing has changed in humanity, and nothing has changed on the earth, it all just looks different; that’s what makes deception successful and immortality work.

One hundred years ago most would shake their heads and think me mad (I am) and walk away, but today I am patronized even admired.  I don’t care what they said one hundred years ago, or yesterday, I’m the living proof of immortality waiting on the rise of the Limberlost.

“We all have our own truth man; I like your style.”  I hear “truth,” all the time.  Idiot-speak, but I keep quiet being immortal.

By style, most admire the table and chair I made from using the wooden slats and rusted nails that were thrown into a heap outside the back door of some RV manufacturer.  Thanks, by the way.

But immortality and what the hell does that have to do with the Limberlost, right?

Well, let me explain.  I believe in God, but we had a falling out some time ago.  The mortal believes in God only as a pacifier because they cannot withstand change. So, they grip God in a subconscious dive at death.  I think that those who believe in God and any and all representatives of God long for death.  Trust me on this; I see it all the time.

That belief is not for me.  Though I believe God exists I’ve chosen to ignore Him and live forever.  I can you know and I will, with the tangle of the Limberlost and the sure knowledge that I’ll have the blessing of all those who believe God is a transcendental force, like the gone Limberlost, like Eden if you will.

You know it wasn’t my intention to destroy that place, I just thought it would be better without the human factor.  Still do, and I’m gaining.

Simple.

Immortal Spaniels

Maudlin music and less than red linen made for soft people she felt, yes felt, which was beyond knew and just before faith –

In oneself.

Her red was of the blackish kind and her curtains blocked out the sunlight and opened to the rain of days- she was content.

She knew that was it.  She knew.  The world bloomed red in small startling places and she searches for the sear and pucker of it in the dead of winter

This proved effective to draw her attention away from the doggish way he looked upon her.  He had a spaniel that she liked and wished was hers

But he wasn’t.

They were well sheltered within the stonewalled cottages that were between a farm house and just shy of a manor house — and the walls encompassed them and there they lived.

Her looking for scarlet and he looking at her.

The spaniel was immortal and sighed often.

Magicians were not allowed through the gates and witches could fly over but the breeze was constant and she could not tempt fate with this or that bauble of love.

A nod, not even a sur name offered when they met upon the cobbled street, she always with her eye on the corner of a stone building looking for red.

What could he do?  Learn to dance?  Pray for drought? He walked the dog and they spied her over the scarlet rose of autumn.  Embolden he walked to the place and bent his head to smell the flower.

He looked back up to see her gazing out upon the horizon.

“Stay,” he said, “and the dog will dance until you see the famous scarlet sunset.”

She stayed and as the sun played out the light of evening he whirled her round and the dog barked and gamboled about their feet.

And the scarlet of sunset reflected against the once stone walls of their lives.

Alone Too Long

I’ve been alone too long.  I have become the silence, the shuffle, the witness of depthlessness and to invite you in would build walls of contentment that, though pleasant, would stifle me.

Me.  Sounds so selfish and unreasonable.  For most of my life, I felt the weight of wanting to be alone but hating the loneliness.  I spent my nights dreaming of being beautiful and spent my days close to the walls trying to obtain invisibility.

My clothes were always tight or loose or scratched or were too soft or revealing or concealing or…wrong.  I would feel myself burn into embarrassment and would cry alone.  I listened to music with whispering wind and blowing trumpets and voices that rose to clouds and cathedral buttresses.  I cringed at drums and guitars and lyrics that repeated.

I met a gentle stranger.

God help me it was the books, the books, the books that went about and about and about my head and in my hands the weight of words, the smell of dust upon yellow pages that crumbled and revived my heart.  My heart that no one noticed but him.

I had no one to lean upon, don’t you see?  I had no one except my faith in the words a stranger left for me.  I was fucked and dumped and left to care for someone so much like me.  That gave me the determination to hurt anyone and carry on and write the hammer that comes down on the hands that reached out to me.

I had one to protect and I did and I have and I will.  Alone.

The stranger still gentle has opened up for me the library walls and laughed at my perplexity.  All the languages of history do not mock me anymore; I have all the time of eternity to learn.  I have come full circle.

I am still alone and cradle the feeling of lonely as my very own.  I have been alone too long.

 

Photo by Elisabetta Foco on Unsplash

Marrying a Friend

“So, then I asked for some guacamole.”

“Why?”

“Because I was hot.  Hot.  You have no idea how hot it was in there. “

“But…guacamole?”

“It was a Mexican restaurant and I needed something to cool me down, so naturally I ordered some guacamole.”

“Naturally.”

“So, this waitress, she asks all sweet like if I want chunky or smooth.  Now, I’m hot and the thought of anything chunky made me wince, so I said smooth.”

“Wait a minute, why didn’t you just get up and leave?”

“I couldn’t, I didn’t pick the restaurant.  While I was begging for smooth, cold guacamole and sweating into my clothes, she is sitting across from me as cool as a cucumber and happy as can be that she only spent $10 on her dinner.  I shared my guacamole.”

“Why did you share your guacamole?”

“Because it was room temperature warm and tasted like they opened it from a glass jar.”

“Well, they probably did.  How many times do I have to tell you not to go to a cheap restaurant and especially on a week night?  If you want to go cheap go on the weekends, at least the microwaves are in good order. “

“I’m telling you I didn’t pick out the restaurant I had nothing to do with it.”

“Dude, are you in love with this chic?”

“No, no.  I’m not.  We’ve been friends since our freshman year in college.  We were paired up together in Spanish class. “

“Spanish class.”

“Yeah, we needed to learn as partners.”

“Man, you are monkey shit crazy. “

“Why?”

“You’ve been putting up with a friend who gets happy over spending only $10 for a meal?  This is a friend?  Someone you are supposed to be happy to see.”

“Well, I was sort of happy to see her.  She actually spent $10.18”

“Okay, I’m leaving. “

“No.  No.  Don’t leave me, man.  I told her I was with you tonight and couldn’t meet for coffee.”

“Coffee?  Checkin’ out the coffee at McDonald’s?”

“It’s not bad.”

“I’m gone. “

“Listen, don’t leave me.  I’ll buy the next brew, not a problem.”

“One’s my limit on a week night, you know that.”

“Then help me forget about that meal, I would do the same for you.”

“Dude, how do you want me to help you forget a meal?  I have no words to describe the idea of you sitting there in the blazing sun, expecting guacamole to help your predicament and you eating a quasi-cold Mexican meal that probably came out of a box.”

“I’m scared of her man.  She orders water with lemon and no ice.  No ice.  Then she had a plate full of food and I spent $17.58 plus a four-dollar tip because I had lemon aid and guacamole.  What if we get married.  I’ll have to retire early with a woman like that.”

“You just told me you didn’t love her.”

“Yeah, but I’ve got to marry someone one.”

“Okay, this is what I’m gonna do.  For you, I’m going to have another beer and I’m going to pay for it.  Then I’m going to take my time drinking it while I describe for you the excruciating torture I will put you through if you ever propose to that woman.  They’ll never pin your disappearance on me man because your Mom loves me more than she loves you.  Then we are going to get up from these chairs and go make idiots out of ourselves with that group of women over there as a sort of cure by fire; a cure for picking terrible dates and for even considering marrying a friend.  You got me?”

“I got it.  Thanks, man.”

Photo by Pawel Kadysz on Unsplash

Dead Today

So I read today that you are dead.

Are dead, and were dead, and was dead. Ah the beauties of the English language, each statement reflects for the audience who I am…well to hell with them.

How long are we dead Missy? A moment, a flash of time that encompasses exquisite pain and then – what? Do we remain in a paroxysm of memory or do we go blank a sudden release?  And really, old friend, what is worse?

Your obituary was short and brief; no viewing, no opportunity to submit to your favorite charity – the abortion clinic, the woman’s homeless shelter or possibly the city’s club for user men. They put you in your grave and since weather permits a “brief” family ceremony is allowed, graveside, where the dirt hides their mess now. At last, my friend, your very own address.

And what dear, is the ceremony about? The children that don’t know you because you were unfit or broke or worse, deceived into believing you were too much of all the above?  What of the son who was raised by your parents, the same parents who smiled at our girl scout uniforms and told us both we were communists? What, would, will, shall, it be about?

And your “companions,” will they be there? Yeah, I know dear and so do you, if they slept with you then they loved you right? Tell me, did you ever get over that notion? You know, being able to brush your teeth, look in the mirror and say, ‘I am more than an easy lay’? Or did it ever occur to you that possibly sex, no matter how intense, is not love? Did they ever give you the time?

Maybe, I don’t know.

Missy, I always thought you pretty; your smoke-blue eyes and blemishless ivory skin, even young as we were, I thought you pretty. It was always you who ran from the boys on the playground — they showing you their crotch and yelling, “sharpen my pencil, Missy, sharpen it for me.” On the playground, God help the early-developed girl.

Later we watched the boys, who stood up straight for the blond prom queen’s father. While they fawned over future wives, they made sure you knew their intent; making you blush and me shudder. They snickered in their Christian youth groups and pondered you. We fooled ourselves into thinking that their gold crosses meant something to them. But they were raised right and condoms were always ready in their pockets and roomy back seats. For justice’s sake, I wish them daughters with large breasts and low self-esteems.

As for me, I wait for the dead to tap on my windowpane, and for someone else to tell me their name. Today it was yours and in a swirl of green girl scout uniforms, hobo Halloween costumes and trampled prom dresses your blank, smoke-blue eyes, look back at me, no more questions just perhaps surprise.

 

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash