Half this family tree has been watered until the branches hang heavy with fruit. We know all the name, if not the faces, see the resemblance in the variety. On the other side we know much less, can’t quite feast on what is left. There are wanderers in this blood, apples that fell far and wide and distant. Strangers in stranger places bobbed, grew their own trees from loose cores. People put down roots, grew branches, spread the distance between lines.
For a millennium you were glacial. Slid oh so slow through dirt, and stone, turned mountains into valley paths, cracked plains, made them seas. We watched the snow fall, smother you until we forgot, blinked stunned when the sun shucked your coat and the light made you shine. Change creeps closer in millimetres, presses the before away carefully, slips itself into spaces that hastiness would break. Word Of The Day Challenge: Shine
“Well I think it’s funny, all these women crying about men calling them sweetheart.” It’s never really meant in that way when he takes you by the hips, shouts above the music, and introduces himself with a comment on your form. It’s all banter, the older man on the phone asking for one of the guys who’ll understand better than the girl who called because that’s her job. It’s just a joke, boys being boys, when they hold you in a corner, and pretend for fun while everyone laughs. It’s just a little thing, on a little thing, on a little thing, on a little thing, that leaves a big thing missing inside of me. Written in response to Mindlovmisery’s Menagerie Friday First Line “Well I think it’s funny…”
Edged, your steel still held despite the age on your hands, worn from turning fields into food with the same strokes that built furrow lines on soil and skin. Seasons swept past like always but you stayed sharp. Ready. Dangerous.
all smiles and glitter staring back at you
in that echoing space
Tonight I am chasing the cool side of the pillow, almost as elusive as breeze despite the windows with their open mouths panting in the heat. Here, the backs of my knees slide slicked between day fresh sheets too quickly twisted into abandoned heaps, lumps of coal still smoldering at the foot of this bed all while the ceiling fan wheels in slow circles the air curdling into soups so thick it sticks in my lungs like grief I want to scream into the cool side of a pillow until my breath has turned cotton to swamp, until I cannot tell the tears from my sweat and the summer feels a little less like a coffin pressing in on all sides.
I do not love you like the ocean, I’m much too scared of drowning. Instead I love you like a battered paperback, small enough to pocket on walks from dorm rooms to lecture halls. I love like the blanket my housemate bought me, too pink to be polite but a soft cucoon against my skin warm on cold winter nights. I love you like anything that can be forgotten tucked away or to one side, but hangs around in the quiet moments still very much alive. I do not love you like life itself, but I love you a little like breath. In the same way that I do not think about it, in the same way that to not would be nonsense in the same way that I don’t know how to stop without the pressure in my chest building to a point where I think I might shatter me pieces. I suppose I love you a little like breathing. I do not love you like the ocean though. With you I have never …
You stitched yourself a world of patchwork panels hanging crooked from one another. A cobbled mess of this and that, the tension off in the needlework, thread fraying loose in places. One stray breath would rip asunder everything. Yet still, you held it out.
The storm left you shivering, hair clumped and heavy headed, slumped against my doorway leaving dark spots. Still clumsy with your hands you kept them in your pockets. A promise not to reach for me despite the rain driving you, to seek out home.
They carved a mirror out of shadows when you died, just to pull your reflection from it, held the silhouette up like a man full formed and walking despite the brittleness in his limbs when he reached for anything other than the stories they planted inside his mouth like the kisses I used to keep there when the world receded with the tides on blue moons and snowy days in June. I alone knew that you did not smile in that way. I alone knew the curve of your mouth was remade backwards, the bend of your nose lost beneath legends, a scar on your palm, no longer than the width of one finger healed by their songs. If we had laid together I would not recognize the man they’d forged, even your eyes changed colour in the light of their voices. In the end I had to learn to let them keep you this other version of you, that I did not own, and I did not know. Daily Prompt: Famous (Also inspired by Madeline …