Will-o'-the-WispWhat brought you here to my window?
Go away. My father is home.
I'll place my lips here, here on the glass
And you can kiss the cold night air over it, just
(Can you hear me? The glass is closed. I cannot speak over the wind. Read my lips, please.)
Yesterday, I was walking through the woods
And in the depths I found a house made of living trees.
It glowed warm through its twisted window eyes
And I thought it was a flame, someone there;
I entered the door. The house was empty,
Loud with life but only in the walls.
The flame was a faerie flame. I reached my hands out
To touch it, but it was not warm enough; my fingers curled,
And I pulled it from the hearth whole.
The house died. The leaves fell like soft black snow.
Beneath my feet, roots wept, and then went still.
I held the faerie flame to my chest in fear,
And into my heart the flame went.
(It beats like a drum, and flutters whenever you are near. What can I do? Let me spit it out.)
What brings you here, like
angel dusttiny bird bones
are his ribs, delicate flower arrangement, hands splayed, or
two beautiful white wings behind a stranger’s grave
-- we can see lines of purple river coiling his fingers,
tap his knuckles, and hear faint guitar picks strum pasty flesh
like an anthem to stupidity -- his bones are hollow.
his ribs are my favorite thing about him, i used to think, said
“your ribs, they are angels meant to fly” -- “you don’t make sense”
he replied, but nothing made sense back then
or makes sense now, everyone is standing face to the mud
and we close our eyes and hold hands and jump when the next person jumps, down
means nothing, neither does ground
or angels, for that matter. he counts his white hairs
stranded in clouds, plucks feathers from doves and makes a nest with them
calls it home -- wondering, all the while, what wind might feel like
singing around his spine if he jumps, and whether i would bury
his bones behind a white grave when he does?
As Are Moth-Eaten Clothes Jack says I’ve always got to carry around this machine, big as a TV, with loopy wires coming out of it and wriggling around in my stomach. Sometimes if I’m tired he carries it, or sets it on some wheeler, but most days I’ve got it settled in the crook of my arm or against my hip. It’s hard to play football with the other kids when I’ve got to hold it, and can’t drop it neither. Jack says I oughta be grateful I can run around at all.
It’s not too heavy, the machine, it’s just a box with some gooey slush in it and a place on top that flashes numbers in red. Jack checks the numbers every sixty minutes, on the dot, even at night when I’m asleep. He’s awful smart. He says the numbers are my blood pressure and glucose and oxygen and stuff, and there’s one number that’s the estimation numeration of months I’m still functional, and I don’t understand any of it. I
Tsunami There was a tsunami on the northern shores of Israel. It was a tsunami made of a million grievances accumulated in the earth for a million years, and with the power of a million sharks it let loose its impersonal fury upon the beach. There was a terrific storm of wind and rain that day, and the earth shook at the force of its enormity.
But this is not the story of a tsunami.
This is the story of a raindrop. A single droplet of clear dew, shimmering in the sky. In the clouds, the air became pregnant with the weight of the water in its belly, and the raindrop escaped from the atmosphere's tight embrace and let itself fall. Down the raindrop went, down through ice, down through sunrays, down through thunder, down through dust, gathering speed until it was as sleek and thin and sharp as the sharpest needle. And then at last it struck its point against the eye of a man, where like a needle of glass it shattered into a million pieces and sent its fin
Yes, They Can Drown Lucila stared at the twenty thousand leagues of sea water on top of her. It didn't feel nice. It felt like twenty thousand elephants were sitting on top of her chest and trying to squeeze out her brains. It also felt like their tusks - all forty thousand of them - were trying to stab her.
Deep sea fish swam leisurely over her, a few of them giving her hair some experimental nibbles. Lucila summoned up the strength to hiss at them. They darted away, all long tails and grotesque jaws. Aesthetics weren't very important at the bottom of the sea. Up on the surface, of course, it had been crucially important to look good, what with the bright sun bleeding golden light everywhere, and her husband - the sweet little fool - always taking her to every important occasion. Apparently the life's work of a human queen was to show her face around a lot and act pretty. It was very tiring work. Lucila only put up with it because her husband was a sweet little fool, and also
Thy Own PoisonTo willingly ingest the dark poison that has been handed to thee, to allow it to fill thine up and pull thee under, is a fool’s doing, and still no more noble am I for the action than a common thief, he who takes what he wants and bids no thought to those whom he hath stolen from. For it is I who has cast the pain upon the unsuspecting victims, dragged them into the dark lair of the hunter that feeds off of pain, the hunter that hands thee thine own poison for an attempt at redemption. Death or damnation, but is death not thine own damnation in itself? Death can not reverse thy wrongs nor can it bring thee any peace, for thy place in death is none other than the hell I wish to escape while living. His poison I shall drink anyways, for death by thy own willing hand seems better than death by anyone else’s.
Yet they will mourn, and cry why shall I in response. Hath thou not felt my nails digging into his back? Hath my venom soaked words not struck deep enough? Do they not fea
if we were all made of paper and the air was goneShe breathes the smoke in and it warms her, just enough so that she can focus on other things, like how her hair hangs limp and tangled around her shoulders, how just the tip of her left pinky toe is starting to poke out of that hole in her sneaker. The bench is stiff and cold under her, and the world surrounding moves in startling color. An old woman clutches a large purple shopping bag. A skinny man in a suit talks loudly at thin air, one hand poised on his left ear.
She watches and she inhales, quietly. Smoke curls around her head as she breathes out. It licks at the horizon. The bench rocks and she feels a weight in the air next to her.
"I'm going to die of lung cancer, and it'll be all your fault." She smiles around her cigarette in response, but doesn't turn until she has a mouthful of smoke, blowing it out slowly and deliberately, feeling somewhat dragon-like as she does it.
"You can leave," she says. "If you want." He won't.
The boy sitting next to her shrugs
The Haunted HouseI have seen many things in my life. From the happy newlyweds to the aftermath of their divorce. I have seen many come and go, but one thing has remained the same throughout- secrets. As my inhabitants invite others and throw parties, I watch them all. The masks they all wear to the sour truths they keep when they are alone.
My windows are my eyes; my walls are my ears and my doors are my hands. I am the overseer, the watcher that only speaks in floor board creaks. The keeper whose scars are shown through cracks on the walls and whose bruises seep through the blood stained rugs.
Now I am empty, only occupied by ghosts whose deaths remain a legend. The kids walk by me, daring each other to enter my realm. To them, I have become a horror story and, perhaps, rightfully so.
And it seems I am nearing my end as the adults have decided to tear me down- an oracle of wisdom from my many decades of standing tall. They think they have lost their use of me. And thus, I must beware and prepared for
Luba and SashaLuba Praskoviyna Yustineva would never describe herself as a woman of secrets. As a government secretarial clerk she does occasionally come into possession of sensitive documents, but never once has she considered herself a gatekeeper to forbidden knowledge like her counterparts in the Ministry of Intelligence or other such high-stakes offices. She has seen few ministerial assistants and even fewer real ministers, and those have always been by chance; she's really more like a railway switchyard than a border crossing, directing and redirecting traffic from ports unknown to destinations unvisited. The work may be dull, but it is straightforward, and given that she's barely 27 and making triple the minimum wage working 9-to-5, five days a week, her life is, by all accounts, comfortable, and by national security reckoning, reassuringly average.
Lounging in her living room armchair she is struggling to finish the last pages of the chapter to her current read while the national news
SummerSummer was homemade lemonade and picnics in the gloaming. Summer was watching the sunset to the music of cicadas. Summer was watching the symphony of fireflies after the sun had fully departed the sky, a million tiny lights floating all around, vanishing only to reappear a moment later.
And yet, summer had been none of these things before this moment. But now, summer could only be these things. Forever after, no matter how old I grew, summer would be those things.
I spent so much of my life on a ship; summer had always been when we landed somewhere hot. But now, summer was this. I’d probably never have another summer that looked like this. The odds that we would be around again on the right summer day for this to happen ever again were unlikely.
It made me a little sad, but at the same time, it made this moment more precious than it could otherwise have been.
His hand covered mine. I couldn’t look at him, the moment was too beautiful.
“Well, isn’t this as fantas
Der KrueppelIm Folgenden, möchte ich euch meine Geschichte erzählen. Es ist ein bisschen kompliziert, sie euch verständlich zu machen – und ihr werdet auch bald verstehen warum – jedoch will ich mein Bestes geben.
Vorab gilt zu erläutern, dass ich ein Krüppel bin. So zumindest, nennt mich die Menschheit. Mein Geist sei ebenso entstellt wie mein Körper, wurde mir immer wieder während meines Lebens gepredigt. So könnt ihr euch nun hoffentlich ein Bild von mir machen.
Faszinierenderweise ist nicht jedem Menschen klar, was das für einen Krüppel bedeutet, als solcher bezeichnet und behandelt zu werden. Denn der Krüppel kennt nur eben dieses Dasein und kein anderes, für ihn ist alles, was er sagt und tut völlig selbstverständlich. Jede Bewegung, jedes Wort gebietet ihm sein Geist und Körper, ebenso wie es das bei einem Menschen tut. Für ihn ist es daher äußerst befremdlich als etwas völlig Unnormal
Perhaps I Dreamed itShe stepped into the chilly night and sat beside right there, beside the door. As she lit her cigarette, her face blossomed in the glow of the lighter. For a singular and consequential moment, I saw the blue and vast emptiness of her eyes before the darkness took her again. She had no awareness of my existence, feet away from her, crouched and breathless in her bushes. Although I—a complete stranger—sat there and watched her, I felt as though she was the one trespassing on my sanctuary. I did not call out to her. I made no attempt to warn her of my presence, told myself that it would only upset her, that her trembling hands and quick, short breaths could not take the shock. I know now that it was those beautiful and frighteningly void eyes that had stopped me. My curiosity has always been stronger than my courtesy.
I watched her, and she sat, still in the darkness except for the occasional drag from her cigarette. Halfway through her smoke, she began to cry—great, sil
StuckI could not talk, I could not move.
It felt like I was frozen and life
was living without me.
I watched, I listened and I hoped.
I hoped that one day I might get
that hug. That someone would
want to hold me for so long and
so tight that all the pressure
would dissapear with my
smudged black tears and I would
be able to move again, speak
again and feel again.
Years I waited. Hoping someone
would look at me. But whenever
they looked, I pushed them away.
Afraid of being loved, getting
stuck and feeling more pain.
Yes there were two who managed
to break past me and dry my
tears. Friends. But it was not
It never is.
I can not talk, I can not move. And
life is living without me.