Fleas (prompt 24)

Only a flea of hope.. ‘But fleas ain’t easy to rid’ -Meronym, Cloud Atlas

faithfulness and resilience
may just be strong genetic tendencies
like what you’d see in certain breeds of dogs
definition in specific areas

they drive me
pull me against my will at times
they do not let me lie down
they do not let me give in

though I scratch at them
I do not find that they are eased
fleas of hope that spread at a pace
even my own mind cannot keep up with

Torn (prompt 23)

if I could bend the fabric of reality
to form something new
I would make a world where there were two of me
one to continue living the same blissful life
the other to take the biggest risks
one to build a quiet blissful home
the other to leave no stone unturned
it is the constant war between these halves
that holds me back from all I could be

The Silence (prompt 22)

it seems fitting that the internet would go down
right as I begin to write about how silence
is an experience I tend to avoid at all costs

silence used to scare me more
than a raised voice
or a slammed door
because it often precedes devastation
a calm before the storm

worse, when used as a command
hand in hand with shaming
for being too loud or passionate
rips the voice from my throat
just like a Disney movie

silence makes the noise in my head deafening
a tornado of thought an earthquake shifting
the tectonic plates of composure
that is why the tv is always on
even when my attention lives elsewhere 

You Know Me (prompt 21)

running towards something feels better than running away from
but my heart still does not know the difference
much like how anxiety and excitement
cause the same effect

I thought I was running toward you
when I was running from my grief
I’m sorry
that you were caught in the crossfire
you still don’t know that you deserve better

Palm Springs was a place that I ran to
when my life grew too chaotic
it felt better than throwing myself at
an unsuspecting target

when I was younger I ran here too
still in Los Angeles but fighting tooth and nail
to close the chapter and start over again
throw this painting away like all the others

I’m running out of places to hide from myself
tired of hiding from people that seek to see me
believe me I would’ve stopped this if I had seen it coming
you know me love, I’ve always been good at running

Sacred Writing (prompt 20)

they say to make it sacred
that a habit you feel connected to
will hold more meaning that way

I’ve tried whispering prayer into morning coffee
expressing gratitude between each vitamin I take
meditating on my morning walks

but nothing feels like church
outside of pages filled each weekday
a muscle I find pleasure in exercising

pouring words from some ethereal place
given room to live in tangible form
take up space outside of me

Unkempt (prompt 19)

you know
it is a bit of a mess
not necessarily dirty but sort of untidy
if it were a woman
it would look like the one that lives there
kind of frazzled and blemished
a haphazard and lived-in space
a well-traveled suitcases-not-yet-unpacked space
a place that has housed many guests
fed them and let them rest their heads
but not like, in excess
not really

you know
it’s more like
a comfortably untended-to mess
the floors were swept in the past couple weeks
at least
it got enough sleep the night before last
and it gets organized fast
a loose bun holding tangled hair
some pieces out of place but
sexy like that
but not like, overly sexy
not in a try-hard kind of way
it’s just a mess
like the woman that lives there
dazzling in her disarray
a color scheme only half-committed-to
because like
who even has the time

you know
you get what I mean
there are fucking coasters here
a goddamn shoe rack
those soft throw pillows
she must be a real classy lady
or maybe she at least tries to be
forgets to wash her face before bed occasionally
but brushes her teeth for twice as long
as most people do
it may be a mess
and she may be one too
but both are welcoming
in a selective sort of way
which honestly is just
another thing
that isn’t really what it looks like

Peripheral Ghosts (prompt 18)

my last long relationship ended
much like my childhood felt
the vague haunting of a roommate
though none were ever seen

a shower mat left on the floor
new pile of dirty dishes
the coffee maker empty
still warm
(my bed just the same)

the doors here are like magic
open and close all on their own
when summer comes
the chilly draft is almost tolerable

if there were a sighting
it vanished on the spot
a peripheral kind of love
I had grown quite used to

the more I tried to force connection
the more ghosts grew evasive
better still than slamming objects
or screaming through the walls

without something to physically grasp
I often wonder if it was all imagined
if my paranoid mind created apparitions
to make me feel less alone

or maybe I am the ghost instead
the one that lingers after all life has gone
with no one left to tell me
that I’m not really here

Kaleidoscope (prompt 17)

you place a heavy weapon in my hand
and do not flinch when I bring it down hard
when shards of ceramic glass and plastic
scatter about us in fractals

you turn the music up louder
and do not mind that it is not your taste
stacking more objects soon laid to waste
as I beat them smaller and smaller

you take turns passing off sledgehammer crowbar baseball bat
and do not judge when I swing and miss
when I release my pent up thrashing
in hopes it will stop snapping at you

you film me unhinged in slow motion split
like a broken tv screen
and do not fail to see the joy beneath
a kaleidoscope of energy

flecked with madness and destruction
void of intended function
my inner workings lay exposed and open
to learning healthy ways to cope

To Do (prompt 16)

in my absence I will ask
that a few things be cared for

primarily the hanging vines
the sun starved plants
will need tender encouragement
occasional misting
and – just as you do with me
will you trace fingers along their veins
grace them with your words
tell them how good they look
how they feel perfect against your skin

should you be so inclined
to spend a night or two
I will only ask that you
make the bed and part the curtains
before you leave please fold
linens over
slide them into their spaces
they should fit nicely
squeezed in tightly

one last note – when you go
turn every lamp and light down low
wipe down any mess you’ve made
take a second to inspect
each surface
my home deserves the
that you bring

Commando (prompt 15)

she looks at my motorcycle
drags her cigarette
and says “no fucking way”

it takes some convincing til
she makes me look away
as she swings her leg over the back

explains, she isn’t wearing panties today

gasping excitement into my neck
unaware that I’m getting close to
my new apartment

she taps my thigh and leans in
somehow whispers over the engine
“turn right here”

devastated, I thought she was a sure thing

she dismounts and peels off her jacket
asks if I’m good at scaling walls
what kind of question is that?

I watch her skillfully climb 8 feet of brick
like a cat leaping in one fluid motion
unbothered by chunky boots

she is definitely not wearing panties

her friend is out of town
the summer moon drips sweat
she sheds the remainder of her clothes

without a word she throws herself
into this private backyard pool
glittering siren beckons me to follow

she was known for being unexpected and easy to remember

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