I buy my books second-hand because I feel like it’s a challenge I can overcome. And I try to prove that that book can move me unlike it’s last reader. I can prove that it really was a keeper. There’s something magic in giving a home to an inanimate object that had been put out to roam. My mind is a second-hand hotel.
Having a secret spot in the library was something she held close to her heart. A private refuge, an unknown hideout - her star second to the right and straight on till morning. She could go and inhale the vanilla tints of pages bound by decade old glue and dust. Adventurous, but padded and safe.
He felt the same, about his spot - the one he found first. A place to go without being bothered by the buzz of boys attached to consoles in a dormitory. Somewhere where he felt surrounded by the very minds that came up with the issues and problems that he was assigned nightly to solve. The tent of knowledge risen around him to keep distractions out.
The timing changes and the push for better caused the intersect. The registration of the same section sparked the interest and the invasion of privacy drove it home. The fluttering eyelashes - thick and dark on her, and long and light on him, the quiet side notes slipped out of the sides of mouth, the smiles accompanying waves in passing. It was hard to hold back from blowing on the coals to coax the flames to grow.
She liked his skinny legs and sloppy penmanship. He dreamt of her cheeks’ glow and the coy tendency to hold her pencil in her lips. They overlooked from afar, waiting for the other to cross the gap between the dimly lit tables and the reupholstered chairs to ask a question and start a conversation long enough to make eye contact.
If there is anything I want To own in my future It is a large, claw foot tub. Preferably aged slightly and With claws of matte brass. There’s nothing impressive About a claw foot tub with Shiny new talons, now is there?
I want it for reading, crying, Wine, and water. To sink into After a day of nonsense And have the option to leave Myself under for too long - But of course I wouldn’t. With candles spilling wax Lazily along the edges So that I would be able to Chip it away on stressful nights.
It may seem odd to belabor The idea of owning such a thing, But a tub is much more personal Than the set of sheets and pillows I’ll share with others along the way. So I’ll sit and plan my evening bath As perfectly as I please.
Sometimes you get that feeling in your chest…like there’s an all-consuming black hole vortex sucking you inside of yourself. And no matter how much you want it to go away the more you resist, the more you feel yourself falling in. And before you know it you can feel it in your throat and you know that everything you’ve ever wanted to say is being pulled back down your esophagus and into that vortex and you’re going to be lost forever and the things you need to say - no, need to shout - are going to be silenced. You lay down on your bed and let your palm lie flush against your thinned cotton shirt as you stare wide-eyed at the crumbling ceiling tiles listening to the voice of your inner monologue tell you, “This is your end. You’re going to die right here. Just stop breathing because the hole is going to pull your breath away. And no one. Will. Ever. Know.”
Other times you have that feeling in your chest…like there’s tidal wave getting ready to come ashore and completely consume your body. And it’s fluttery and powerful and has that salty tinge to its scent that reminds you of your childhood but with an added sense of appreciation to the sting it leaves in your nostrils. And you can feel the currents rippling through your limbs as you lie on your bed smiling to yourself knowing the things that your mind is capable of. You indulge yourself in the memory that causes you to smile and do that squinty thing with your eyes as you bite your bottom lip. You let the wave crash over your skin and consume you and become completely selfish in that moment, destroying all of the other thoughts that were trying to live on unstable foundations as the one sweeps over them all.
And sometimes all it takes is the dilation of your pupils as you catch the scent you were searching for to signal one or the other. Sometimes at the beginning you don’t know whether you’re getting black hole or tidal wave, but regardless, you lay down and wait in the limbo of the unknown for some other person to completely consume your heart.
I just want to wake up next to you, both of us face down in the pillows, our hair spilling over into each other’s; an unrecognizable mess of limbs and fluff. Wake up and nuzzle noses to cheeks because you know I hate morning breath. Smile at your spider leg eyelashes sticking together. Giggle at imprints of sheets on our arms. Wake up and roll over to your heavy breaths and light skin. I want to wake up to my dream; not the reverse.
It just happened Like the unintentional Slamming of a door Or the sharp loudness Of your first laugh While we all sat dodging Banter that flew across The trampled over grass And ashy plastic chairs
It had only been a few weeks But that didn’t stop the Punchline from swinging At the gut of the issue And making us all double over In regretful pain Of opening our mouths in The first place
In the moment the Realism of mortality Was palpable and we Thought we had all used The tragedy to jar some up And keep it visible on shelves To remind us that “We could be next” But as easily as a swear The flippant joke slid From his mouth and Caught flame in the Dwindling blaze between us
“He was our friend, man”
Eyes wounded and Voice still brimming with The gruff of sobs let loose He tried to defend The boy now laying In his parents’ pasture Beneath the sod
“Get over it. It’s a joke”
The joker continued to Ramble on and spit His chatter at us And we all took the Time to realize that Taboo had been lifted It was now part of past And immortality resumed While memory lay in the shadow
I came home and unpacked my bags in my room “This bed’s no longer yours” it whispered So I jumped in my car and pumped the pedals “These streets are no longer yours” they whispered I sat at a desk in an old empty classroom “These halls are no longer yours” she whispered I’d returned to come home I thought “But this is no longer my home” I whispered Your arms reached out and grabbed at mine “It’s okay, I’m always your home” he whispered I laughed at the thought of being told By rooms and streets and desks What my home is and where it resides Because a home is a heart without a cage “You’re right. I’ll always be home” I whispered
Six women long past their prime Walk through the crowded room to dine In the company of the memory of youth A few hours of company to escape from truth
Beyond the masks of family concerns And the wrinkled skins from childhood sun burn The darling girls of past lives hid With painted lips and shimmering lids That didn’t cry out for unworthy attention Or make her a matter of pretension
The silly one still couldn’t calm herself down And the nervous one sat with the slightest of frowns But one was too absorbed in herself to notice Her old party buddy could barely stay with us And those two once so incredibly close Now sat apart separated by history’s ghost
All the while I sit and observe This feast for eyes that I’m being served I’m more intrigued by the reflections of times I can see drowning in the whites of their eyes And wonder when this dreadful fate Will be steaming ready on my life’s plate