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L'appel de la Mer I am 17 the first time I see him. I am spending the summer with my dad in San Diego, a tradition I can't remember actually starting. My days are mostly work and seeing summer friends, but every night, I run down to the beach after hours to listen to the ocean. I love it because it's always empty, the tourists all comfortably in their hotel rooms and the local teenagers gone home to smoke weed and pop pills they stole from their too-busy-to-notice parents.
I hate running, but I make it a point to run every night. I'm not trying to run away from the past or anything so metaphorical, I just do it because I'm restless. I always have been. Dad says I get it from him, and that his restlessness is why he had to leave my mom and move to California. Maybe that's why I'm not bitter about the divorce; I understand his need to leave because I've been trying to get away too.
I'm so immersed in psychoanalyzing myself that I get to my favorite stretch of beac
sa'hibi in five parts.i. there are a thousand truths i never told:
i am incapable of happiness,
in the tenth grade i had an eating disorder,
and six years ago i fell in love all wrong.
i got over it,
i've done better since.)
i imagine branding
a thousand tiny secrets on
a thousand paper sailboats
and setting myself free.
i am ready.
ii. you came in faster
than i could keep control of.
you midnight whispered
in three languages
and there was that one time you
laid on a dirty, empty dc street
just to kiss me.
i remember you
for when i turned away in my sleep
and you kissed the back of my neck.
i remember you
the way your scruff tickled
the parts of me i hid away,
and all of the times
but loved me anyway.
i could have watched you play piano forever.
iii. you left just as fast,
before i ever had a chance to pull you back.
i suppose it had to be this way.
i realized today that
the only thing i have of yours
is your virginity.
iv. the truth is
written, stamped, but i never sent the letters.i don't remember
why we stopped talking,
what that last fight was about,
(it was probably my fault)
and i'm sorry about your mom
and the sickness
and i'm so sorry
that i can't fix you.
in my mind
you are still 17,
in your kmart red polo,
laughing way too hard
at some stupid joke
you made yourself.
you are unhardened
by the colorado mountains
and let go of.
what i mean to say is
i miss you,
but the words
never come out right
and i am too afraid
to do anything about it
so i won't.
won't you save me, san francisco?i have always said
there are only two things
that can fix me:
a good book and
some people have God,
i believe in route 66.
i believe in
and circle, alaska.
and why stop there?
i believe in
and everywhere in between.
i am restless because
i have never found anything
worth staying for.
saudade.there is no such thing as a good day anymore.
there are bad days
and there is numbness.
some days there is
toska saudade empty.
some days the bills go unpaid.
some days they make me eat but
it's okay, i just throw it all up later
like some sort of
some days the sky is blue,
sometimes i can't tell.
sometimes i just can't tell, okay?
i don't have all the fucking answers.
i dream about
and it doesn't hurt so bad anymore.
sometimes it's just
november starry.her nana calls her "raater-mey,"
(maiden of the night.)
he can barely stay awake long enough to
talk to the doctors that come by weekly,
but he weaves her hair into braids with his weathered hands
every day, and he tucks her into bed with secrets and
"tomaar moton keo nai, amar kolija."
she repays him in popsicle stick birdhouses,
hand drawn flowers, and shy smiles meant for no one else.
she doesn't understand why everyone stops
talking when she walks into the room, or why her
ammu cries in the middle of the night.
all she knows is that her old nana
has always been there, will always be there
to braid her hair and tell her stories of
what it was like before bangladesh was called
she writes him a poem
about starry november nights on the
sloping tin roof and all the places she
will take him when she is grown up,
all the t
esperanza-i. you catch her eye on your first day working at the local movie theater
and you fall for her immediately, without even realizing-
for the subtle catch of her shirt on her hips,
for the way she tucks her hair away while talking,
for her eyes like the ocean and her laugh like windchimes.
ii. you teach yourself to belong to her.
you wear her favorite color on her birthday
and you play with your hair the way she likes,
even on those days you don't see her.
you draw rocketships on your spanish notes
and learn to love edgar allen poe and
you call her
i was a child and she was a child,
in this kingdom by the sea;
but we loved with a love that was more than love-
i and my annabel lee.
you miss her when she's around
and tell her you will never stop loving her.
you believe in her future.
you forgive her for showing up to dinner half an hour late
and for breaking the strings on your favorite guitar.
iii. and then one day, she stops
kissing back and wanti
and i let him."do you still know all the constellations by heart?" he asks.
"of course." i point to a spot over his head, "see that really bright one over there by the line of three? that's apollo, the sun god. and that little one next to him is cassandra; she's my favorite."
i look at him. "i told you the story of cassandra, didn't i?"
"yeah," he allows, "but i like hearing you tell it."
i turn back to the sky, fixing my gaze on the little star and dropping my voice. "cassandra was a mortal. a princess, actually- daughter of king priam, and she was gorgeous. she was so beautiful that apollo fell in love with her. being a god, he gave her the gift of prophecy. eventually though, cassandra fell in love with a mortal man. he was handsome and loyal and he loved her, too. they were happy together, but apollo was jealous, so he put a curse of her. she would still be able to see the future, but no one would ever believe her. cassandra saw the destruction of troy, but they called her a liar. it ruin
listen:you ever think about that night
you tried to kill yourself?
does it ever scare
you how much has changed?
do you care?
listen: it's like this.
it's like the way he never just says he loves you.
it's like his left shoulder blade is your favorite place in the world.
it's like celebrating christmas a day late just because you're both jewish.
it's like stretching in bed and "good morning, scruffy."
it's like the way he has to tilt his head down to kiss you
and using late nights as currency and he makes you believe in god,
even if he doesn't.
it's like he needed you
and you can be sorry all your goddamn life but
all you've got now is a sinking feeling,
a letter, and three years worth of memories.
postscript: i have never been more sorry.
In a world with no mercy
Day after day
Until the end
The day I die
And then maybe
I'll find some peace
A Ball Of CherriesImagine life
like a ball of cherries.
You can't eat many,
Don't rush to eat them!
Some are soft,
Don't go too slow, you'll lose the taste.
storiesi begin and end with stories
where hummingbird hearts play sonatas
against my ribs and i drown in
early morning light and
the girl in me sinks into the sea
like rusting anchors chained to
ships and i sway port and starboard
the lion in me rises like lazarus
from the savannah where dust swirls
and i begin and end with stories
where i swallow the world and all
the rain and girls and lions in it
where i hold it up like atlas,
where i support jupiter with just
an index finger and where i chase
comets and cup them like fireflies
to hang on my bedroom walls
Blooming Through CrevicesBlooming Through Crevices
People are characters;
their personalities are not to be cracked,
but to bloom.
Codes and signals
Setting our sights
On how to see
Through the cipher.
Optics opting for options
As opposed to conscious.
Ardor replaced by harder
To break through exteriors.
But mortality is only one facet
Of the entirety of humanity.
It is a compass of one being,
But merely a piece of the puzzle
That makes up human composition.
let us not break through empathy
with deductive methodology
but rather with the rhythm
of a honeybee whistling along the hymn
of the wind whispering in the leaves.
humanistic, holistic ideologies
is what the standard can be.
it is the notion of being a metaphor
rather than being something to decipher.
because there are more stars and galaxies
in poetry than there will ever be algebraic
expression curls up with ambiance
under the window pain of a picture frame
because we write more about
on remembering to breathe:i.
you can't hold it in for forever.
your lungs weren't
made to bear the weight
of this world, they weren't made
to left unexpanded
and unexplained -
it is not phenomenon that wakes you
when paralysis hits in the
night, it is physiology telling you that
not everything happens on automatic, okay?
(at least not for always)
you're born like a time bomb, with
only so many beats of
your heart in place to tick away day by day -
your words, they're the same.
there's a time limit
on your tongue, so say something that
means something - use words
that dig in and rip out hearts, use words that
curl around your fingers and worm their
way into your soul.
use words to make something
beautiful. something remembered.
never leave three things
left unsaid because they can be three
words that mean everything -
i'm not telling you to save your breath.
i'm begging you not to waste it.
sing. sing enough to take your breath
away because even though
it leaves you gasping, it fills up that
broken bones and broken birdsdragonflies buzz between
your tangled fingers
seeking nectar under
your chewed nails,
but the bitter burn
of almond acid will
clip their mosaic wings.
you're centered at
nature's core, a
centrifugal force of gravity,
grasping and dragging
lives to your unforgiving
you strangled the wild
whistling hare underneath
the billowing willow, and
your tongue tripped into
compulsive lies and disbelief.
i mean c'mon, clearly,
it was an accident.
if that's the case
the blue-eyed raven
that crashed to earth
after striking a third
degree burn, should
have survived, but you
plucked feathers from its
wings and drowned it.
you have a way with
decaying everything you
touch, your soul, my
heart, a puppy in a
cardboard box, yet
we all keep coming
back to you.
i think we all know
that even though you
bend and break and
bully the world, you
are the most broken
of all, and i just want
to fix you.
train station souvenirsthe vibrations of the train rumble below me;
the clatter of my teacup on the table creates
an urban symphony that curls through the air,
igniting a flare of nostalgia inside my brain.
it wraps its dark tentacles around my frontal
cortex, pulling me deeper into the distant past
as the train bears me farther into my future.
kitestrings and catastrophes.i've figured myself out-
i am a catastrophe at best and at worst
i am yours.
you once told me i was a disaster
just waiting to happen. i would like to be
a hurricane or maybe a thunderstorm.
i would like to be so many things,
(mostly happy and yours.)
you never really liked thunderstorms
and hurricanes wreck lives.
maybe i wasn't so wrong about that one.
"do you believe in magic?"
i believe in miracles and meteorites.
i believe in you and me
and insignificance and disasters.
i believe in paper cranes and kitestrings
and maybe we're not right
but what's so wrong with trying?
fairytales are for princesses;
catastrophes don't get happy endings.
ReflectionsVal's pursuit led him to the foul beast's domain. The hollowed-out cavern reeked of blood and rancid meat. The dim light he had seen as he charged through the tunnel after the monster could now be identified: torches. Rows of mysteriously lit torches lined the walls of the huge cave. At its center was a substantially large labyrinth of mirrors.
He spotted the beast entering.
He spun his silver broadsword in his hand and hurried in behind it.
His garb was a simple blue and white crusader's leather with thick armored pads and reinforcing steel studs. Lightweight and flexible, but quite effective defense against blunt blows and – in a pinch – the slashing claws of the unholy spawn of the earth. All monster-hunters wore a similar variety in Val's experience. It would serve him well in these close quarters of the mirrored maze.
Right, left, forward, left, right he turned, always catching a glimpse of the beast's tail as he wove his way through the corridors. Every so often he sp
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