Prompt #24

We stand at the world’s edge,

looking out over a sea that

constantly bickers with itself.

Still, I touch your hand.

Fingers interlace with mine and

our love creates a bubble of hope

big enough for us to stand upright,

shoulders back, heads held high,

stare down despair and say, “Get

the hell outta here!”



Prompt #23

On the third planet from a different sun,

people don’t speak a word. Instead,

hearts are opened by just a glance,

and sadness is merely a speculation.


I see this place in dreams that

come on those restless nights when

love alludes me and words fail

to convey their message of hope.


And sometimes when I wake up I

can’t immediately remember which

world is this one until you ask me

why I’m quiet.



Prompt #22

Now, I’m no scholar but

I gotta say that based

on my experience,

cold pizza is the best

hangover cure ever.

Veggie, preferably,

because the grease

that coagulates on

pepperoni is gross.


Anchovies? I’m in

the school of Yes.

Little fishy bombs

of flavor… what is

not to love here?


Apparently a lot.


Recent scientific

studies show that

four out of five pizza

taste experts prefer

their pizza without

little fish.


Well that’s just



Prompt #21


scared, scarred beyond

recognition, the old dog

weaves miraculously through

the traffic to the other

side of the road.


Only then do I realize

I have been holding my breath

and come to a complete stop,

engine running.

Prompt 20

Wait to begin until all three are

in the kitchen,

tails up. Pick up the triangle of bowls and

place them on the counter as though

they were one single unit.


Attempt to tear open the packet

and fail — even though the tabs at the top

would suggest otherwise. Instead,

first try cutting

it open with a knife.

It won’t work.

Only then will it be permissible to reach in the drawer

for the scissors.


The scissors will be old and

won’t easily cut.

Find the sweet spot,

that small area where the blades

still come together as sharply as they did

when they were new, and cut off

the top of the faux aluminum pouch.


Squeeze just enough

into each bowl so that it

divides up perfectly in thirds.

Say, “Here you are, ladies” and

set the little troika back on the floor.


All mewing will abruptly

stop as they eat, and

in the silence that follows,

listen for the quiet slap-slap of their tongues as

they hit the glass.


Only then may is it possible to

walk away. Ritual completed.

Prompt #18

I never believed in ghosts. But now,

I look out for them

inhabiting old spaces,

cold and dirty and

ready to make me believe

they exist.

Maybe afterwards

— when the haunting

becomes commonplace —

you will reach out to me and

tell me it’s alright to

be scared. To be wary,

even, of the dark places

so old that light has forgotten

about them.

You’ll tell me I’m right

about everything except

what makes you move

so deliberately, so discreetly, away

from me.

You’ll tell me that death

is inevitable, even as I

am cajoling you to wake up.

Wake up.

Wake up.

Prompt #17

Shapes form, but dissolve before

I can name them.

Colors come into focus,

blend, and come back

a new hue.

And us?

We form, come into focus, blend, and

come back perhaps not better, but

yes, good enough.



Prompt #16

A quick note

to remind you to

make the bed

so I can

come back at

dawn and have

something to

climb into.

Prompt #15

On the first Friday of each month

she walks into the coffee house and

orders the same thing. Pineapple cider.

It’s 6 bucks. She always tips.

Then she goes into the

adjacent room where the

poetry reading is about

to start.


I heard her once. Poems

mostly about her kid. I went to school with her

daughter so I thought they were funny.

And maybe a little sad.


Just like her.

Prompt #14 – picture

Against a wall

solid, sprawling,

people wait

patient from fatigue.


Hours go by. Days.

Still people wait.

Some talk, but don’t say what’s in their hearts.

Some walk next to the wall, but don’t try to climb.


How can this be?

I try to imagine a life of waiting.

A life where hearts are never opened

and walls are never scaled.

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