Microfiction: Ending and Beginning

“I don’t want a last meal. I want a bath.”

The guard vouched for him. The prisoner was old, what could be the harm? The guard, who had been a young man when he started in death row. The guard, who had grown to know the man who would die for a crime he didn’t commit.

When he took him to the small bathroom, his final act of mercy was unlocking the cabinet of cleaning supplies, dropping the keys down the toilet. The bleach and ammonia would do the rest.

“Thank you,” the prisoner said as he started to breath.

Fie found the ring in the carrot patch. She slipped it into the pocket of her dirty coveralls before going back to the weeding.

Then, it was a bouquet of roses in the cabbage patch, blood red and fragrant as day. She let them sit, save for one, which she placed in her wide-brimmed hat.

As she dug around the sweet potatoes, she found small, foil-wrapped chocolates, dirt clinging to their ribbons. The truffles melted on her tongue.

“I was already yours, you know,” Fie said, kissing the scarecrow’s cheek. “I’m not going anywhere.”

His silent stitched mouth continued smiling.

Advertisements

Microfiction: Birth, Ichor,Top 40

Danny watched as the egg began to crack in his hand. He had never seen something being born before, and the fact that it was happening in the center of his palm, the shell splintering slowly, the peeping from within becoming more frantic with the discovery of life…it made his eyes fill with tears.

Nothing else mattered in the world except for this tiny messy thing looking up at him like he was God.

“Go ahead,” his mother said, once the thing had fluffed itself to yellow cotton-candy consistency. “Give it back.”

It was the first time he said “no.”

“I’ve been poisoned,” she said to her sister as they sat on the porch, watching the tendrils of black infection creep up her pale arms.

“Does it hurt?”

“Naw,” she lied, each breath burning in her lungs.

“Is there an antidote?”

“If there is, I don’t know how to get it.” Blood was beginning to seep into her vision, casting a reddish glow on the little girl holding her hand so tightly and starting to cry.

“Tell me about your pony toys,” she said, picking up a pink filly in trembling fingers.

“That one is Twinkle-Butt.”

“Good name.”

I hate this song, Thomas thought before the car shattered around him. There was no slow motion to the destruction. This wasn’t a television show. He was just driving one second, and the next, glass had cut neat lines into his forehead and his airbag appeared like a grenade-powered cloud.

Stillness. And a wet dripping, from his nose and his mouth.

Pain and broken bones, and now he couldn’t move his arm to change the channel. In murky half-consciousness the voices of people outside were knocking and pulling at his door, and he said to them, “Pop music fucking sucks.”

[National Poetry Month] Because I could not stop for Death

Because I could not stop for Death (479)

Emily Dickinson, 18301886

Because I could not stop for Death –
He kindly stopped for me –
The Carriage held but just Ourselves –
And Immortality.

We slowly drove – He knew no haste
And I had put away
My labor and my leisure too,
For His Civility –

We passed the School, where Children strove
At Recess – in the Ring –
We passed the Fields of Gazing Grain –
We passed the Setting Sun –

Or rather – He passed us –
The Dews drew quivering and chill –
For only Gossamer, my Gown –
My Tippet – only Tulle –

We paused before a House that seemed
A Swelling of the Ground –
The Roof was scarcely visible –
The Cornice – in the Ground –

Since then – ‘tis Centuries – and yet
Feels shorter than the Day
I first surmised the Horses’ Heads
Were toward Eternity –

Lead + Shadow + Gravel + Blue

[This one was 4, but I was like…”I’ll take it!”]

At the end of the world, there is a single darkness

It is round and perfect, and it waits for everything

And inside

Its metal body is gray, its dusty age a testament

To all mankind

It sits on a throne of rocks

The mechanical man with his azure eyes

Both the first creation and the last

And he casts a his hand out, a shadow that makes its way across the earth,

Never stopping, it comes in contact with each heart,

Travels over and is away

It mercifully poisons, it draws like a pencil through the words that are

Life

Love

Loss

And it pulls everyone back to its home in the end

Because Death wants what anyone wants

And that is to not be alone

At the end of all days.

Burn That Shit

Let this be highlighted in my will
Underlined three times
Copied, faxed, emailed,
Downloaded into the brain robots:

BURN THAT SHIT.

You will find boxes with notes, torn out pages from journals,
Unkind words
Because writers do that: they put down unkind words–
It’s better than putting down the people they love
And you will find print-outs of conversations
Snippets that won’t make sense
And you’ll assume the worst because see above
And there may be some porn
Not much
And ramblings, confessions, heart monitor readings,
Phone numbers of people you don’t know
Secrets of those you do

BURN THAT SHIT.

You will in the recesses of drawers find manuscripts,
Drawings, illustrations, bubble beings,
And you will think that surely, surely this was meant for the world
And when they do your make-up as you get ready for the talk-show
You will believe I said this in a moment of weakness,
Of personal crisis, of doubt and dismay and that if I were there
One foot in the Pet Semetary and the other at your door I’d say,
Thank God for you, you knew me so much better
Than I ever knew myself, bless you, you saint,
You made every wretched word worth writing!

BURN THAT SHIT.

I won’t say it again.
Hear me now from a place of full heart and health and joy
And from behind a smile that is more honest than childhood
And as sane as sunshine
I’m begging you.

BURN THAT SHIT.

May Haikus: 6-10

Happy Mothers Day! #10 is for moms, but especially mine.

6:
After my hair grays,
And autonomy goes dark,
Send a robot bod.

7:
Big light, groggy start.
A touch of panic sets in.
Dude, don’t stress me out.

8:
Sweet relief, pay day,
Though reckoning is at hand:
Bills, a grown-up waste.

9:
The sun glowers down.
Hateful thing because it knows
My words make us cool.

10:
I thank Mom for this,
A life that knows no limit,
Full of adventure.

Tiny Heart

Before I knew anything about you
I knew that compared to the length of anything
The time we would have would be
A passing thought
A single hair
A dust mite suspended in light.

In our last hours
I traced the curve of your spine
The barest nothing of your leg
And under the thin veil of skin
I could just feel your heart.

Your breaths, slow
Your eyes, blink
And I am towering over and above you —
I am the world and you are
A stone.

And for all the might of a god
I am struck by the significance of
What would be a tiny drop of blood
Pumping through a pea,

Your heart
That I loved more
And miss more
Than a hundred like it.

Swift Uplifting Rush

So, this ended up being one of those circumstances that made me glad I had a notebook hanging around. I had read a bit about the prompts last night, and they stayed with me in my subconscious until this morning. After I dropped my husband off at the office and drove myself to my doctor’s office, this poem started coming out of my mouth. Thankfully, I had a few minutes to sit in the waiting room and get out as much as I could, and then I finished it over a bagel before heading to work. Great morning.
 
I’m not going too much into this, but this whole thing is meant to be one piece about two people (except where it’s not). The working title is “Swift Uplifting Rush.”
 
i. I wish I could tell you
That I was careful with your son’s heart
But it flailed in my hands like a fish
Until it hit the floor
And we were both left standing there, all
Oh well!
And that is why I sent him home.

ii. I wish I could tell you
To keep my number in your phone.
You could have called it
The Last Person I Could Talk to so I Won’t Do This Horrible Thing
And then you could have told me what you were planning,
Given me the chance to laugh and say
You just got that neck
Don’t ruin it.

i. I wish I could tell you that
I stopped using all those terrible words in my poetry
And that you were one of the sets of hands that kneaded me into the writer I am now
And your bakery sneaks its way into my pages regularly.
PS – everything is, in fact, better with cheese.

ii. I wish I could tell you that
Your parents were right,
That a life in line wasn’t for you.
Yeah, you looked like all those guys in the commercials –
Steel gaze, wood jaw
Pyrex heart
But by the end of it, you were like the ones unseen
In pieces, in the ground.
PS – leave a note next time.

i. Thank you for the rides to the vet
To everywhere
For bags of groceries
Boxes of sangria
Opening your library doors for me.
I borrowed so much
And what I forgot to return
I cling to.

ii. Thank you for lying about your age
And being so constantly interested in what I had to say
For giving me my first trip on a motorbike
My arms around your little boy waist.
At least if we had crashed
I would have been protecting you.

One day we will meet again
Through the eyes of someone else
And I will dive on top of you,
Crush the bones of you,
And I’ll absorb the blast so no one else has to suffer.