savannah wall

i could see you, little person, in your little house
(those burgundy walls might be mine someday)
talking with all the other little people
who you love enough to watch
tv with on a sunday night
and pour a coffee for
on monday morning
and to hear them
talk in their sleep
(through shut doors or
only the layer of clothes or
no clothes between you)
talk in their sleep
and cry sometimes

your feet were up on the arm of
your couch
(i couldn’t see your face)
and you had socks on that
your grandma might have
gotten for you
the arm of a couch through a
sharp cornered window in a
geometric room, like a honey
comb in a hive
(frequented by the worker bees)

there were other little people
in the photographs on your wall
which the chandelier
it looked expensive
(the chandelier and the frames
and the way the freshly cleaned
glass panes glistened)
and i thought about how that
chandelier light would look bouncing
off of my own burgundy walls someday
licked by steam from
the coffee that i bought
and i poured
for my people
or person on a monday morning

there would be people in my
photographs that looked like
the people in yours
(the young people smiling
the old people stately
the family’s been traveling
everywhere lately
i’ll say with a smile though
i do miss them so but i
have been traveling too)

and i can’t quite see
to the back of the den
but i’m sure you’ve got
bookshelves packed to the brim
run a finger across, wait and say when
second hand classics, again and again
like you read in school
when things only reached as far as the foot of your bed
and you had no need to think about
the chandelier you might someday own
(when the wrinkles from a million seconds
spent laughing start to show)
no need to consider
the smell of freshly painted burgundy walls
or picture frames

i hope you have a nice
rest of your life in that little house
or another little house
(but they’re all the same
coated in a fine layer of fingerprints
and sweat and hushed whispers
dinners and arguments and glances)
and i guess it’s funny because
if you hadn’t had your living room
light on at dawn i wouldn’t have
ever known you existed

i’m sorry for
spying on you

—  Burgundy Walls, Savannah Brown 
A Boy Named Ben

For most of his childhood, Ben Solo is half-raised by a protocol droid. He sees more of Threepio than his own parents—Father too busy with his adventures to much bother with his son, Mother so embroiled in the Resistance that she never prioritizes him over her political responsibilities. The droid is fussy and irritating, but at least he’s present.

Ben knows that his mother and father love him. Just not quite enough to put him first.

His father is off-world again. Mother won’t tell him what he’s up to, or where he’s gone, so Ben can only imagine what’s important enough to call Father away the day before his birthday.

It doesn’t matter, he thinks. I don’t need him anyway. This isn’t true, but Ben has always been good at lying to himself.

At least when Father is gone he doesn’t have to listen to his parents argue.

Mother makes his favorite breakfast for him the morning he turns ten, but she’s called away for an emergency meeting before he can take the first bite. She kisses the top of his head and says, “Be good for Threepio.”

“Yes, Mother,” he says.

“I promise I’ll be home before you go to bed.”

Ben stays up until midnight, but she doesn’t make it back before his birthday fades into the early hours of the morning.

It isn’t the first promise his mother has broken, and it won’t be the last.

Father returns almost four weeks later. He takes Ben for a ride in the Falcon and allows him to co-pilot (on the condition that he doesn’t tell Mother about it). This is his way of saying he’s sorry without having to voice the words. In their month apart, Ben had imagined being silent with his father, refusing whatever apology he managed to make, but he’s too happy to see him to maintain his cold front for longer than a minute.

After they’ve landed, Father ruffles his hair, then pulls him into a loose, barely-there hug. It’s the sort of rare show of gruff affection that makes Ben remember why he’d do anything in the world for just a moment of this man’s attention.

Mother returns from her Resistance duties early and catches them as they’re exiting the Falcon. She stalks over to Father and hits him on the arm hard enough to draw an indignant noise from him.

“You let Ben co-pilot, didn’t you?” she asks.

“‘Course not,” Father lies smoothly. “I was just spending a little time with him. You’re not gonna fault me for that, are you?”

“How could I?” she asks sweetly. “You’re never here to see him.”

“That’s rich coming from you,” he says.

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Mother asks.

Father shrugs, his smile lopsided and sharp. “I’m sure a smart woman like you can figure it out, Princess.”

They fight all night, and when Ben goes to bed he can hear their raised voices through the thin walls of his bedroom. He tries to meditate, the way Uncle Luke taught him to do years ago, to shut out the sounds of broken love coming from the next room over. But he never has been any good at clearing his mind. He feels everything too much, feels it viscerally and violently. Lying there, alone and angry, the bed begins to shake and the knick-knacks on his dresser shiver and clatter. It ought to scare him, Ben thinks, but somehow this tangible expression of his anger calms him.

By morning, Father is gone again.

Keep reading

Urban Canvas

Savannah, GA

Finishing off this series of photos from the American South with a personal favorite of the trip.  

Most people don’t think of urban stylings when they think of the South, especially a place like Savannah.  But for me, having grown up there, the affected “charm” of the South often times belies a humbler, more honest beauty inherent in some of the candid fragments of humanity hiding just beneath the carefully preened surface.