Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Two Boats

Let's go to the beach, so the other boys can see what they are missing.

Let's take a drive.


We sit on the hood in the early morning light and talk about where to go.

Let's just go North until the F turns into an E...


We kiss until the highway beckons us to join it.

I brought a boombox so we can listen to some music, I know your stereo is busted.

What do you want to listen to?

Yo La Tengo sounds good right now.

You are obsessed with them.

Is that bad?

No, it's endearing.

You know what's endearing about you?



The road winds and the conversation ebbs and flows like the water in the ocean we are circling.

Let's buy a boat.


What will be name it?

Let's name it after my Grandma.

What about my Grandma?

Ok. Let's buy two boats.

A motorboat?

And a sailboat too.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Muscle Memory

He lay flat on his back. He felt a wetness over his lip and knew it wasn't over. He pressed the tissue against his nose and stared at the blood. He looked up at the ceiling again. He created constellations out of the Spackle marks. He heard her step out of the shower in the next room and he thought about what she looked like naked. He loved her but wasn't in love with her.

He had a flash of his ex-lover standing in a dingy blue towel in the doorway of his old apartment. She rested her hand on the off-white dry wall and said "let's go down to the lake today". She put on her earrings and dropped the towel as she walked back into the bathroom.

He sighed and felt his upper lip. He looked down at his finger, it was a dirty red.

"Let's maybe go to the lake today", he called out to her.

"What? You know we're having lunch with Mark and Marlena. I mean...I can ask if they want to-"

"Forget it", he said, "I'm just being stupid".

He sat up slightly and turned his head to look out the window. It was overcast and wet, but not raining.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


We said goodbye next to an open car door in the rain. The small Mexican woman taking a smoke break on the sidewalk next to us smiled. That old 4 Non-Blondes song came on the radio as you leaned in to kiss me and you laughed. I said, "it's like we are saying goodbye in 1995 or something".

As I'm writing all of this down, a girl who looks like you walks past the window of the restaurant I'm sitting in. She reminds me that that goodbye was the last time we spoke.

I instantly wonder how you are, where you are...if you're even alive. Maybe you cut your hair and changed your name and I see you everyday but I just don't realize it. Maybe that's what happens after we die. Perhaps my Grandfather is now that kid down at the corner store who always tried to short change us or maybe your Mom is the waitress who just brought me a refill. Maybe she'll lean over and say to me, "don't worry, Mary is fine. She's now an 8 year old with an above average reading comprehension who loves horses living in Montana". Maybe the switch is made when we've lost all hope, those moments when we die on the inside, just a little, that's when someone new takes over. Maybe that's just what happened to you. You aren't really dead, just that part of you that I said goodbye to on that rainy day in front of your beat-up Skylark.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A History of Birthdays

I have a memory of a radio playing Simon and Garfunkel in the early morning, as a heavy fog rolled in. It is vague and faded, like your smile is now. That big round Irish face looking down on me in a lover's haze.

I remember you sitting on the bed next to me and drawing shapes on my chest with your index finger. You said, in a sing-song voice deepened by exhaustion and influenza, "it's somebody's birthday soon". I smiled and looked up at the ceiling and played dumb.

"I wonder who that could be".

"Are we doing anything special?"

"You'll see".

Mango ice cream and chocolate cake on your porch in the sun, the smell of candle wax and whiskey lingering in the air. You turn to me and say "thank you".

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Chapped Lips Quoting Shakespeare

The corpse of yesterday's newspaper rots
in the wet gutter below me.

Your bike is still parked in front of his house,
the one with police tape around the porch.

A pretty girl walks by and smiles at me
but I ignore her, she's not you.

My favorite sweatshirt has paint on it now,
from trying to make you a housewarming present.

A group of men sit in a van parked in front of a halfway house
and it's obvious they are going on a trip together.

I just hope you are happy now, with him or alone,
wherever you are.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The City Without You

Sometimes I wish I could live in that city again but without you. Without sharing that apartment, without breathing the same air. I'd do it all over again without your head on my chest on that couch and that lingering face in the air.

Maybe someday again I will let go of it but I can't for now. Both the city and you and tied together in my mind.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Henrietta and Georgie

On the Johnson Family Farm there lived a pig. The pig was named Georgie. He was a friendly pig who loved everyone. Who Georgie loved the most was a horse named Henrietta. Everybody on the little country farm was in love with Henrietta, she was the most beautiful animal in the whole village. For Georgie it was different, he loved her inside and out. He even loved her faults which none of the others could see.

One day Henrietta asked Georgie if he wanted to take a walk with her down to a pond on the other side of the farm. Georgie knew it was dangerous because no animals on the farm had ever ventured that far before but he was so wanted to impress Henrietta with his bravery that he said yes.

So together they pushed open the wooden gate and snuck on down the hill in search of the infamous pond they had heard so much about.

"I heard Jimmy the chicken saw it once but then he disappeared", said Georgie, fearfully.

"That's just an old wive's tale", said Henrietta.

Georgie was slow and Henrietta had to frequently slow down and wait for him to catch up. He had little legs and couldn't walk as fast as her. She didn't mind though, she loved Georgie and would do anything for him. She wished he knew how special he was, that's why she asked him out to the pond in the first place, to tell him how she felt away from the others. On the way to the pond Georige told her jokes and made her laugh and laugh. He was a funny little pig with a charming way of telling stories.

"Hey, Henrietta", Georgie said, "Why does a rooster watch TV?"
"I don't know, little Georgie. Why?"
"For hentertainment!"
Henrietta laughed, "oh that's a good one, Georgie".

After what felt like all afternoon Henrietta and Georgie arrived at the pond they had heard so much about.

"Oh, wow! It's beautiful", said Henrietta.
"Ooh. Yes. It is. Quite beautiful", replied Georgie.

They walked closer and closer to it until they were right up on the shore, above the surface of the water. Georgie looked down in the muddy water and noticed a little pink creature looking back up at him.

"Henrietta!", he cried, "Come look! Look at that strange little animal in the water!"

Henrietta walked over and stood above Georgie.

"Oh, silly Georgie. That's not a strange little animal in the water! That's you! It's your reflection"

"What's a reflection?", he asked.

"It's like a mirror, Georgie. It shows you what you look like"

"That....that's me?", he asked.

"Yes, Georgie. And that's me. Above you. Don't you see?"

Georgie looked intently at the water and sighed then he said "yes, I see" before he began to cry.

"Oh, dear. Georgie! Why are you crying? It's such a beautiful day. And this pond is lovely. Aren't you having fun?", asked Henrietta.

"I didn't know I looked like that", he cried.

"So...what's the matter?"

"I'm so ugly"

Henrietta laughed and said, "You are not ugly, Georgie. You are a pig. That's how pigs look".

Georgie yelled out, "Then I don't want to be a pig!".

Henrietta could tell that Georige was upset.

"Georgie. I think you are a beautiful little pig and I love you".
"Ha. Ha", cried Georgie, "very funny, Henrietta. Haven't you done enough? You don't have to humiliate me!"
"Georgie! I'm being serious. I think you are a wonderful, charming creature and I love you".

Georgie began to walked into the water, slowly, staring at his reflection the whole time.

"Georgie?", Henrietta cried.
"Is everything ok?"
"I'm thinking"
"Ok, Georgie. You think".

Just then in the distance a loud gunshot went off, a rifle. Henrietta screamed.

"Georgie! That must be Farmer Johnson! We must go, Georgie! We will be in such trouble!"
"You go on back, Henrietta. I have some thinking to do."

Henrietta saw the elderly man approaching through the trees. The man ran at Henrietta yelling "what in the hell you doing down here, horse? Get the hell back up to the stable!" and he chased her up the hill. Henrietta looked back at Georgie and yelled "Come Georgie! Come back!".

Georgie was lost in thought, staring into the shiny water.

"She can never love me", he thought to himself. Then he thought that maybe if he could walk into the water far enough his..."reflection", as Henrietta called it, would disappear. So Georgie took a deep breath and kept walking deeper and deeper into the water until he could no longer see his reflection.