Tuesday, December 31, 2013

December 31st: For the Best

Into each other's lives and everything changed.  It was nothing short of love and it hung lightly around my neck like a decorative scarf, the kind I'd buy my grandmother at Christmas time.  I wore it well, this accessory of you, and everyone would stop and ooh and aww and I'd blush and bow and thank their kind remarks but I didn't know what I had.  You didn't know what you'd given me.  We'd look right at each other through one-way glass, smiling at our own reflections without seeing through to the other side.

Tire irons are used to pry the tire from the rim of the wheel and I know this because you taught it to me.  I used to think they were for removing bolts to change out a flat.  Oh, the practicality of your mind, the usefulness of it.  You were the espresso and I was the froth on top and somehow that made us seem compatible until it came time to repair something damaged and then you proved to speak a language I didn't know.  When things went smoothly, we filled the air like perfume, dissipating but pleasant, something we became known by but did not inherently generate and that was only obvious when all that loveliness wafted away as you handed me a tool and I stared at you without any understanding for what to do next.

Alone, I curl under a fuzzy blanket with nothing but you on my mind.  Everyone gave up and left me here -- they tried to rouse me but to no avail.  At my worst, I wailed at you, "I know you think I'm bad," and you sat near me but leaned away.  "No, I don't think that," you said but I knew better.  I know it still, especially now, four days without you.  This is a test and I am failing.

In the future, I'll look back at this time and sigh with nostalgia reserved for only the greatest testaments of love.  I love you.  And I know you love me.  But what does that matter now, now that we've let bygones be?

I take you from around my neck and I lay you out and fold you in two.  Carefully, I wrap you up and I tuck you away for safe keeping, you the most precious of my things.  It's for the best, you know, this give, this take.  This final gentle caress.  But please rest assured -- I will put you somewhere I'll never forget.  

Nan Bartlett gave me:
Fuzzy Blanket
Tire Iron

Monday, December 30, 2013

December 30th: In the Clearing

Crisp snow.
Dark woods.
In the clearing
is cast the shadow
of a coyote,
silent and still,
from the moonlight
by natural barriers.
Never has night
stood so still,
not here,
not anywhere
things live.
Don't dare
to breathe --
such disruption
will end
the mysterious 
of solitude --
long shadows,
long night.

Camille George gave me:

Sunday, December 29, 2013

December 29th: There Were Three Brothers

There were three brothers:  one was a dog warden, one was a vet, and one was a gastrointestinal doctor and all three were respected in their respective fields and their parents liked to brag about them all the time.  "Justin's so fair and compassionate with the dogs he has to deal with for the county," they'd say.  "And Marc has the magic touch that calms the animals that comes into his office no matter the reason for their visit," they'd go on.  "And Roger, he saves lives," they'd say at the end.  Listeners would always nod their heads and agreement at the grown children's achievements but one day a neighbor said, "Justin works with dogs and Marc works with all kinds of animals -- isn't it funny that Roger went a different way?" to which his father deadpanned, "He's a GI doc -- he doesn't give a shit about anything else."

Brian Tredway gave me:
Dog Warden
Gastrointestinal Doctor

Saturday, December 28, 2013

December 28th: Skin

My skin folds
so easily over your skin,
pale and warm
in the darkness 
around us, weaving 
in and out,
seeping in our pores,
and we are one 
body, disappearing
into each other,
foreskin, more skin,
let's begin
again this gentle search
and rescue mission,
hands running, eyes open,
soft gaze of strict intention
and nowhere else to be
but in this moment,
pressed and linked together.

Mikey Stephen gave me:
Your skin
My skin

Friday, December 27, 2013

December 27th: one sentence story

Al bought a handle of Jamesons and the biggest box of prophylactics he could find for his cousin Reggie's 18th birthday, forgetting that his Aunt Dottie was a waitress at the bar where they were celebrating and when Reggie reached in the bag and pulled the goodies out, Aunt Dottie was rounding their booth at the start if her shift and she shrieked, "Buns of fire! Give those things to me!" -- though no one could be certain if she was delighted for her score or disgraced by their subversiveness and they cleared out too fast to ever be sure.

Bill Anderson gave me:




Thursday, December 26, 2013

December 26th: one sentence story

Outside the Kwik Stop, berserking in a twitchy manner, Jay's cousin makes him sigh and say, "Man, that ain't twerking -- whoever told you it was definitely was jerking your chain -- you look like the unsexiest fool this Kwik Stop has ever seen," and though he did not say it out loud, everyone within earshot knew what he said was true and that made it pretty sad since a bunch of hapless fools gravitated to this spot to lean against the wall and not do much of anything else.

Bill Anderson gave me:




Wednesday, December 25, 2013

December 25th: one sentence story

It was bad enough their last name was "Gerber" but made worse since their two-year old would only eat strawberry sherbert and everyone made the same jokes about what sort of nutritional poster child she was every time she'd throw a tantrum as her parents tried in vain to get her to eat anything else -- chicken nuggets, baba ghanoush, apple slices, or fruit roll ups -- before they'd give in and spoon out what she wanted and always ate with great fervor.

Bill Anderson gave me: