I Want to Break Free

With the words of Mercury and Bowie, how were we supposed to stay tame?

Bigger hair, parties, dreams.

Drugs and drugs and drugs galore.

Dancing until our feet take control and walk us home themselves.

Age of no regret, anything goes.

Baby Girl

Stuck in the middle of things,

Overhearing it,

I just want to be a kid.

Ventura

The air is still not right.

Grass on the hills peak out slowly, then boom. 

Or should I say, bloom?

Fire renews.

Heavy rains uncover.

Crispy foundation, a ghost of a house lost.

Still, the scent of fire sends me into a nervous frenzy.

Smoke and embers make me nauseous.

Memories of driving into the chaos to rescue animals.

Picking up friends whose homes they will never see again.

Spending hours, days even, sorting through donations.

But the hills are green.

The fire is out.

A man named Thomas will never hurt us again.

Think About It

In high school, I played Charlotte in Charlotte’s Web.

I didn’t like spiders at all, they gave me the heeby-jeebies.

Still, I was grateful for the role.

It was small, simple, a kid’s play.

An hours worth of short scenes retelling a beloved children’s story.

That being said, something magical happened.

It was magical in the way that you don’t realize it happened until you look back on it.

I was a scared 17-year-old, trying to navigate the slippery slope of adolescents.

Holding on to my childhood as the sands of times drained in my hourglass.

And here I am playing a stupid spider that dies.

But there was something in the way the kids rushed up to me after the show.

Something in the way that I bowed alongside my humble pig.

Something in the way I could feel my onstage demise caused tears to fall.

I felt important.

And you can get your goosey bottom that I will never kill another spider again.

A Little While After Before

It has been decided, we will create Earth. 

“How shall we proceed?”

Start with a good sized Star, not too big.

Bright and nourishing.

“Yes, sir.”

The process was swift, a sprinkling of stardust.

Pressed in the hands of the keepers of the Cosmo’s.

The Sun was born.

Creative liberty was taken as the process went along.

Neighboring planets were crafted to keep Earth humble, pique their curiosity.

“Sir, it’s time.”

The final step had to be performed by me and me alone.

Water, for nourishment, land for living.

A good distance from the Sun.

And the last step, it’s inhabitants.

Hand me the box.

I lightly dust the planet with chaos.

And now we wait.

Dear Dad

Dear Dad in 1999,

By this time you know that I’m coming, you’re probably excited. Well, I hope you’re excited. It will fade. Still thinking about names? I think you could’ve done better than ‘Courtney.’ I hope you know that I’ll get your forehead and sense of humor, but that’s really it.

It’s funny, I still don’t know whose nose I got. Mom’s is thin, yours protrudes a little (not to be mean). Or my lips.

I want to ask one thing of you, just one. Please, think before you act.

I understand that you came from broken scotch bottles and silent dinners. You came into this world under hazy circumstances and unclear intentions. I will soon do the same, but won’t know for a few years.

I will never grow up to be ‘Daddy’s Little Princess.’ I won’t understand the notion that a father is supposed to be a girls first love. I will stumble and fall, and you won’t be there to catch me.

Had it been out of your control, I may have understood. But you know what you’re going to do, it’s sitting in your brain, festering. A harmless text to a coworker. Casual night out with a few friends. But soon you’ll stop coming home. You’ll let me and Nicholas sit there, a birthday cake we made you in hand, wondering when Dad will be home.

There will be boozy nights with screaming, crying. Being told to pack our bags, because we’re leaving and Mom won’t be coming with.

There will be a day, where I, at the ripe old age of 6, will grab you by the shoulders and shake you. With tears streaming down my face, I will plead with you not to leave.

But you will.

And then days turn into weeks, months, years, a decade. Being fatherless will become my normal. I truly can’t, for the life of me remember a time in my life where you were there. Problems will arise for me, lack of confidence, a surplus of anxiety, waves of deep depression. All the while you’re summering in Italy and taking trips to Cuba.

I will verge on homelessness, giving up, running away. And you will remain unavailable.

And so here I am, writing to a version of you that no longer exists, pleading like the 6-year-old version of me that doesn’t exist anymore either. Don’t let me be born, save yourself the time, child support, the energy. If you don’t want to be with Mom anymore, leave. But do it right. She still loves you, you know that right?

Do the right thing, Raymond.

Sincerely,

Your Daughter

 

Neon

Board, shake your umbrella dry.

Find a seat.

Voices drown out the trickling rain.

Streetlights illuminate the bus, casting shadows.

Strangers squeeze together.

Everyone wearing Hot Breath No. 5.

Suffocating.

Germs disperse like a smoke bomb, touching me.

Don’t think about it, you’re fine.

People get on and off, more germs.

My mind wanders.

The seat I sit on, who was here before me?

Breathing becomes harder, my palms sweat.

I rock back and forth.

Let the bus move me.

Hearing everything in triplicate.

And then boom. 

No Where To Go

Tears blur the lights shining on the street.

Perhaps the rain gutters will catch the overflow.

Each breath is matched with a step, the further I get, the easier it will become.

Keys jingle, leashes clatter, a symphony of people coming home from their day job.

Meanwhile, I’m running away.

Untied shoes will not stop me.

Nothing in hand, I walk.

Walking.

Walking.

Gone.

Before

We call this meeting to order, the council of the stars.

Leave your galaxies behind, we have a serious matter to discuss.

A proposal, a new planet, Earth. 

“What will they give us, what’ll be its purpose?”

A warning. 

There will be war, famine, global warming.

Smaller injustices, rape, pillaging, genocide, murder, robbery.

They will be our test.

“A test for what?”

To see how long they last before they eventually become their own undoing.

“But sir, isn’t that cruel? What did they do to us?”

They’ve done nothing, they’re not real. I want to send a message for the rest of the universe, that in order to survive, one must not be like them.

“I see.”

“How long will this test run?”

7.79 billion years, unless they prove me wrong.

If they somehow work together, admit their wrongdoings, they can stay.

“Is it likely?”

No.

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