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MONDAY THE 32ND

It’s morning. There’s a sense of waiting for someone, like I’d forgotten a friend was coming over. The squares of light on the living room floor got me thinking of how we’d play checkers. How we’d take plates or plants or books and set them up on the floor like game pieces.   We’d skip and move players, brushing hips, slamming books near the window so the birds outside would scatter. Sometimes we’d move where we wanted, just to sit side by side,silent and drowning in light.   When...

pay phone

Sunday the 31st

I’m back in my car but I may as well be walking. Traffic forgot how to move and I think I’m high on exhaust. In the rearview mirror, in my back seat, you’re looking at me, brown eyes too big. Nose too straight. You’re young. Younger than I remember you.   On the street, a phone rings. Not a cell. One of those old payphones the city forgot to take down. It rings and rings. I roll up the window to shut it out, but I still...

Level 5

Sat. the 30th

I was parked on the 3rd level but I kept climbing, breathing my way to the 5th. The door was a grimier version of what I remember. You’re parking spot is taken by a Range Rover. Black. Spotless.   Somehow, I think you’d hate that it wasn’t an old Bronco or something vintage cool––or maybe it’s me whose pissed at the imported flash of it. I think about scratching the sides but chicken out.   Instead, I rub my sweaty palms all over the windows, smearing my loneliness on...

cafe

friday the 29th

I’m writing your name on a bar napkin, the edges sopping from beer glass sweat. I missed work three days in a row––keep calling in sick but I’m not sure what’s wrong. Maybe gravity just stopped holding me down.   This morning I passed the coffee shop, the one where I first saw you. I tried not to slow down––didn’t want to look, didn’t want to take the chance that you might be there after all this time––but I did.   Inside was an old man with an old...

house with crypt

House For Sale: Crypt included

The temperature dips as the black-haired realtor leads us down the stairs.   “Be careful,” she says, hanging on the rail. “The wood steps are a little slippery. And don’t mind the smell.” She tosses a look over her shoulder, her next words sharp with glee, “I saved the best to the last.”   Ben slides his hand down the rail, bumping his hand into mine. The blond hairs on his arm stand up on little hills of skin––goosebumps.   My breath comes out like an angry bull’s, steamy and warm...

scary house for halloween

A Few thoughts on halloween

Fall is here! It's hard to tell when you live in Arizona, well, the Valley anyways. There are no trees changing color and we're still waiting for the temps to get out of the high nineties. After ten years of living here it still seems strange that we haven't had a snow storm.   In Canada the leaves would have fallen. We would spend a Saturday raking them up in a pile, jumping in them and doing it over again. We'd drag out the fire pit and light it up...

metal shed

thursday the 28th

Mrs. Marcy, the neighbor from upstairs, said she saw you the other night, shivering behind the Greyhound Bus Station. I went to look for myself. There was an old man warming his hands over a burning garbage can. I asked if he’d seen a brown eyed girl with a missing pinkie finger. He didn’t answer, just blew on his hands and stared into the flame.   When we were kids, you talked about living like a hobo, living in train cars, basements and abandoned buildings. You weren’t...

Wednesday the 27th

There were wildflowers, yellow and purple, growing wild in the fields. The kind of flowers you would make me pull over for. To take a picture of. Or maybe to pick a few.   Two stops back I thought I saw you in a blue rusted pickup, chewing gum like it was trying to escape your mouth. It wasn’t you, just someone with the same gold hair. Why is everything wild painted yellow?   I think the rain is washing away all memory of you....

Postcard

Tuesday the 26th

I think I came here once before. There was two or maybe five of us following lipstick clues written on recipe cards. I’d found one duck taped to the bottom of the bench, the lipstick smeared and ripped off along with the tape.   We laughed, tossed it to the wind and went for shots of bourbon. Then again, I could have been alone. This time, there are no clues. Just me, driving north.   Looking for something I can’t remember....

Elysium and the Underworld

Speaking of the underworld…Elysium

The Underworld has its nasty corners with the whole gnashing of teeth and crows eating out livers and, well, you get the idea. But if you play your cards right, you could end up on the right side of the tracks. Or, the right side of the river Lethe. It is a blessed land without cold or snow or rain, with golden flowers, ocean breezes and shade trees to shelter the happy souls. The days are filled with music, dance, games and poetry. I'd like...