Emily Boshkoff is a practicing child psychologist in Northern Virginia, but her heart lies in the Midwest where she grew up. She loves working with children with autism and feels grateful for a career that she is passionate about. A perpetual world wanderer, she likes to write about places that are hard to find, either geographically or within ourselves. Her creative writing has been featured in Edgz, Etchings, and Hippocampus Magazine.
It was like looking into the eye of God.
A liquid, reverberating blue.
It seemed like the water had never
been rippled, like sewing with silk that resists creases,
it slips and pours off the edge of your table, eluding
the grasp of all but the most skilled seamstresses.
I took a lover along
who days before had violated my trust. She called it
a “misunderstanding” then; we both said what we had to
to preserve the weekend. It was June and the diamond sun
glinted off snowy peaks. We bounded through drifts and built snowmen;
we sunbathed at the peak. At the summit, we danced--
a slow, graceful unraveling; I could see everything.
For days after, my skin was chapped red
from frostbite and sunburn. Fire and ice
in the same breath; we never had to choose
our destruction after all.
Highways here are bridges across oceans
Of sandy soil and course grass, punctuated
With crumbling thatched-roof huts.
Freckled with bright green signs:
Salidas a 500 metros.
In the medians, brown men crouch like tiny bulkheads,
Their machetes flashing in the sun, back and forth,
Severing grass that’s gone belly up in the heat.
Snub-nosed with tourist buses and missionary church vans
Scuttle to and fro, while the working men
Slap their leather-thick calloused feet against the pavement
Jay-walking to the bus stop.
They, with their bodies worn and broken in
Like used baseball gloves, will return home
To their beautiful lean wives. To watch their strong young sons
Playing in the dusty colonias, running the jagged roads
That are lie a thin, crooked scar
Of a poorly-healed wound.
La Route Rouge
The north-south thoroughfare
from Lubumbashi to Kamina. Everything
is red. A fine
crimson grit clings to every surface. With moisture
it turns to paste, caking your boots, your clothes, a great, indelible smear
across everything you own. In the rainy days, it becomes a great, seething,
ankle-deep river of red, and you slog through,
packages bound to your back, pushing your vehicle. It pulses
in rivulets around your legs, reminding you
of militia’s open season, when it really was blood. The mai mai lurched
erratically along, laying waste to everything, leaving rivers of blood
in their wake.
Now, in summer, the air is hot, and sticky, and quiet. Red dust
swirls in innocuous clouds. The sun, a bright red ball,
hovers a moment, like a drooping eyelid, before smashing
headlong into the horizon with a nuclear
flash. It is dark in the instant. You can’t see the infamous
redness of the road stretching before you—only hear
the question throbbing in your own ears: which
came first? The blood or the dirt?
I’m told the mountains of Kigali are unbearably green
this time of year. But enough about blood. Bright
sunny mornings in Nairobi belie
little of tragedy. Did you hear
they have autism in Kenya? This morning
she is repeating something in Japanese, turning the words over
and over on her tongue, letting them settle
into their niche in her brain, where no one
can reach her. In a flash of fury, her fingers dart out,
carving a red riverbed of flesh in the smooth terrain
of her teacher’s face. The great rift valley.
Carl Boon lives and works in Izmir, Turkey. His poems appear in dozens of magazines, most recentlyTwo Peach, Jet Fuel Review, Blast Furnace, and Poetry Quarterly.
CHAUTAUQUA, SUMMER STORM
It must’ve been in Erie County
the clouds began to thicken, then
the neighbor docked his boat
and I was alone with my father.
Perhaps he knew he was going to die,
so he brought the boat once more
past the oaks at Leon's Cove
and spun the spinner in against
the gathering wind. Seasoned
by storms, he knew a largemouth
circled, knew she might be the last.
I was too cold to stop him.
I missed my girlfriend's shoulders,
my mother's kitchen, my shields.
I was unused to rain on a lake,
but he forged on, equipped by what
I couldn't guess. I was too young
to know a man's determination
not to die, thin-armed, his Thermos
skittering on the boat’s bottom.
We both breathed weakly.
Anatoly disappears to the pavilion
where the men from the mainland
sell meat. They come from Kharkov
and Kiev in vans.
The tires of their vans send stones
spinning deep into the wheat fields
near Kherson, split sunflowers
Their wives remain behind
with vodka, cigarettes, and novels
to make their nights of absence
buys pork for shashlik, stew meat,
mackerel for his daughter to grill.
She's beautiful, and I'm in love
with her at a distance,
her unraveled hair, the music
she steps into. It's exotic to be
anywhere but Cleveland, Ohio.
The Black Sea
waits below the hills that shadow
the bazaar. The daughter searches
her purse for coins for kvas. Men play
cards in the shade
of the pavilion. It's Wednesday
morning and I, half-alone, plan
to swim in the sea all afternoon
beneath persistent gulls.
GIRL IN VALENCIA
Tomorrow she'll be in Valencia,
loving the crimson doorframes,
the brides dispersing their flowers
on the streets. Pulling back her hair,
she'll feign a shudder as the south
Mediterranean breeze—a boy's
whisper—stirs the dahlias
at her feet.
The cafe managers
will call to her, men for whom
the winter passes too quickly;
they dislike the canvas awnings,
the nameless girls who pass
as if evening were a picture.
They prefer Madrid's solidity,
its politics, cement,
who spend Saturdays
sorting jars of marmalade.
But the girl can’t think of that,
lost in color and sound,
the orange trees along the coast
making evening so beautiful.
The world has not yet touched her.
AFTERNOON IN A VILLAGE NEAR LUGANSK
The best end's abrupt.
One man had to travel
the Federation’s stretch
to sell spring flowers.
There was snow,
a funeral procession
in the village, and women
turning up the dirt.
Isn't it true--
always turning up the dirt?
I saw the whole thing
from my window,
smelling the coal-burning stove,
watching Liza’s mother
sell newspapers, chocolate,
and dish towels.
In Russia no one says goodbye,
no one turns to wave.
But I was happy
that palm fronds had been strewn
along the village road.
BESIDE THE MARMARA APARTMENTS
The palm tree sways
beside the Marmara apartments.
The girl in red smokes a cigarette.
I watch her smoke
rise and disappear.
I can't put a name on the way
she waits there, I can't believe
she's more than an idea--
a thought—who can't see me
as I stand in the universe
of my own dilemmas:
how to make the money last,
what to do with these potatoes,
this syllabus for kids
who've never read
Hemingway or Twain.
Ken Allan Dronsfield is a published poet and author originally from New Hampshire, now residing in Oklahoma. He loves thunderstorms, walking in the woods at night, and spending time with his cats Merlin and Willa. He is the co-editor of the poetry anthology titled, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze available at Amazon.com. His published work can be found in reviews, journals, magazines and anthologies throughout the web and in print venues including: The Burningword Journal, Indiana Voice Journal, The Literary Hatchet Magazine, The Scarlet Leaf Review, Belle Reve Journal, Peeking Cat Magazine, The Australia Times, Bewildering Stories, Aquill Relle, Members Anthology, Book 6, Literature Today, Volume 5, Poetic Melodies and Imperfect Paths Anthologies by Creative Talents Unleashed, Birdsong Anthology Vol 1, Voices of Humanity, Vol 2 Anthology, and others. Ken's poetry has been nominated for Best of the Net for 2016.
Adrift upon an old oak leaf
floating down a slow creek
small coy and ducks meet
waving goodbye to summer.
Faeries giggling at twilight
gnomes and goblins a fright
Autumn solstice frosty white
as witches gleefully cackle.
Cauldron boils briskly steaming
pumpkins a wryly grinning team
sit upon an oak leaf dreaming
floating down a slower creek.
Can you hear a defiance
within my throbbing heart
crying out through tears
falling from the hazy sky.
Asking not for pleasures
nor beg for agonizing pain;
Only to inhale life once again.
afloat in an aura of timeless love;
a feathery wisp from high above.
Catch a ray from a Nebula's haze
weave a web in a pretentious maze.
walk through blood where piety leads.
Follow on as yet another shall leave;
essence bruised and forever tortured,
For my life's intention was blessed love;
But reality becomes a chaotic infirmity.
Death of a Clown
late night backwater town
house on wheels holds eight
carnival life or circus dreams
apply makeup; the face aglow
of happier times a carefree life
shrilled whistles, as food waits
smell fried dough, or cotton candy
all along the smokey boardwalk
back stage it's booze and coffee
kids just love a spinning bow tie
fight for life, now sleeps by a tree
sad to see the Death of a Clown.
Spirits of Autumn
With the moon rise
on an autumn night,
a chilled wind flows
through a nervous sky.
In the desert so cold,
near the Joshua Tree,
the sands are still warm,
from the hot sunny rays,
when scorpions danced
during a lazy hazy day.
As nightmares recall
the Thunderbird's stare
reflect the mirrored haze
of a pious deity shared
near the Joshua Tree,
when sands were warm,
from the sunny rays,
in that desert of old,
religious fables relayed
Spirits of Autumn's cold.
Whilst sitting upon a snowflake I ponder
come this November to never forget
the summer wears are all stored within
the small log cabin by a big misty lake.
My arms and hands so worn and rough
filling and moving the barrels of cider
blustery cold winds makes my eyes tear
the old horse slows only to cross the river.
The walking stick deep within fresh snow
wood fire feels good, as flakes melt away
the feeling now returns to toes and fingers
winter shook us all upon a day this autumn
as democrats fight during the winter's blast,
republican's scheme in their coolish dream
those shadowed hands stuff ballot boxes full
and liars now show as the cold winds blow.
Whilst I sit upon a snowflake and ponder
a November's cold and uncertain tomorrow
feeling contrite within this evenings twilight
during the coolish days of autumn's wake.
Michael Lee Johnson lived ten years in Canada during the Vietnam era. He is a Canadian and USA citizen. Today he is a poet, editor, publisher, freelance writer, amateur photographer, small business owner in Itasca, Illinois. He has been published in more than 915 small press magazines in 27 countries, and he edits 10 poetry sites. Author's website http://poetryman.mysite.com/. Michael is the author of The Lost American: From Exile to Freedom (136 page book) ISBN: 978-0-595-46091-5, several chapbooks of poetry, including From Which Place the Morning Rises and Challenge of Night and Day, and Chicago Poems. He also has over 103 poetry videos on YouTube as of 2015: https://www.youtube.com/user/poetrymanusa/videos Michael Lee Johnson, Itasca, IL. nominated for 2 Pushcart Prize awards for poetry 2015 & Best of the Net 2016. Visit his Facebook Poetry Group and join https://www.facebook.com/groups/807679459328998/ He is also the editor/publisher of anthology, Moonlight Dreamers of Yellow Haze: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1530456762
Little Desert Flower
Out of this poem
grows a little desert flower.
it is blue sorrow
it waits for your return.
You escape so you must from me
refuge, folded, wrapped in cool spring rain leaves-
avoiding July, August heat.
South wind hellfire burns memories within you,
branded I tattoo you, leave my mark,
in rose barren fields fueled with burned and desert stubble.
Yet I wait here, a loyal believer throat raw in thirst.
I wrest thunder gods gathering ritual-prayer rain.
It is lonely here grit, tears rub my eyes without relief.
Yet I catch myself loafing away in the wind waiting fate
to whisper those tiny messages
writer of this storm welded wings,
I go unnoticed but the burned eyes of red-tailed hawk
pinch of hope, sheltered by the doves.
I tip a toast to quench your thirst,
one shot of Tequila my little, purple, desert flower.
Solo boxing, past midnight,
tugging emotions out of memories embedded,
tossing dice, reliving vices, revisiting affairs,
playing solitaire-marathon night,
hopscotch player, toss the rock,
shots of Bourbon.
Alberta Bound (V2)
I own a gate to this prairie
that ends facing the Rocky Mountains.
They call it Alberta
trail of endless blue sky
asylum of endless winters,
hermitage of indolent retracted sun.
Deep freeze drips haphazardly into spring.
Drumheller, dinosaur badlands, dried bones,
ancient hoodoos sculpt high, prairie toadstools.
Alberta highway 2 opens the gateway of endless miles.
Travel weary I stop by roadsides, ears open to whispering pines.
In harmony North to South
Gordon Lightfoot pitches out
With independence in my veins,
I am long way from my home.
Hazy Arizona Sky (V4)
sleep, baby talk, dust covering my eyelids.
No need for covers, blankets,
sunscreen, sand is my pillow.
hurls into Arizona sky,
survival shifts gears,
momentum becomes a racecar driver
baking down on cracked,
makes Prickly Pear cactus
open to visitors just a mirage,
cactus naked spit and slice
rubbery skull, glut open
dreams, flood dry.
Western cowboy wishes, whistles, and movies
valley one cup of cool, clear, fool's desert gold
dust refreshing poison of the valley.
Bring desert sunflowers, sand dunes, bandanas,
leave your cell phone at home.
Lion in my Heart (V2)
There is a heart embedded inside this male lion, I swear.
I eat leaves and underbrush, foliage of the forest, I belch.
Then I fall in love with birds, strangers and wild women.
Tears fall into the lush forest green below,
like Chinese crystal glass beads, shatter.
Then I realize it’s not the jungle, but I that am alone.
In the morning when the bed squeaks, both alarm clocks erupt,
I realize I’m alone in my jungle.
I hear the calls of the wild-
the streetcars, and the metro trains,
wake me in my sleep in my jungle alone,
let me belch in my belly with my Tums,
let me dream in my aloneness I swell.
There is a heart embedded inside this male lion,
I swear jungle man, lion lover, and city dweller.
Clemencio Montecillo Bascar was a former Professor and Vice President for Corporate Affairs of the Western Mindanao State University. He is a recepient of various local, regional, and national awards in songwriting, playwriting, poetry, and public service. Several of his poems had been published in international literary magazines and journals such as, Foliate Oak , BRICKrhetoric, About Place, Torrid Literature, Mused-theBellaOnline Lietrary Review, and The Voices Project. He had written and published by the Western Mindanao State University two books of poetry, namely; "Fragments of the Eucharist" and "Riots of Convictions." In the Philippines, some of his poems appeared in the such magazines as Women's, MOD, and Chick.
At present, he writes a column in the Zamboanga Today daily newspaper and resides at 659 Gemini Street, Tumaga, Zamboanga City, Philippines. He is married to the former Miss Melinda Climaco dela Cruz and blest with three children, Jane, Lynnette, and Timothy James.
the truth is
there is absoulutely no need to set up any form of government; it just makes the life predicament of taxpayers torturously shackled; worst, it only provides mannas for those whose coffers are already full frontal plus the proverbial bone of contention; right now they are quarelling like cats and dogs.
it's gross aberration to negotiate for peace; it's not an item as rare as a blue diamond or the fabled pearl of mount olympus; on the contrary is so common which abounds everywhere like the essential yet unsung air; i am sure they are cutting a deal for something else; now they are enjoying the legendary hospiltality of the nords grinning from ear to ear.
solon openly and passionately supports the judicial power to kill a criminal by hanging, drugging or any means lethal like quartering in the middle ages; he cites passages in the ancient scriptures to justify institutional manslaugther; sadly however, he forgets to mention moses and the law in a stone tablet which prohibits even euthanesia; everyone knows he is a universal icon of the sport of violence.
in a fit of anger
a commoner monarch brands the united nations as a classic case of a terminally disunited union of kingdoms;
it only has eyes, ears, and nose for the goliaths; any state without silos is without rights; it only upholds the right of the mighty and those who offer largesse ; it's biggest life-sustaining trade is the krag not doves.
why this place is scarcely inhabited; you see every lawman around here takes matters into his own hand, in fact, right now i'm pale all over, a syndrome that i'm about to collapse; the only way to stay alive in a garrison state is for you not to run so you won't be gunned down as a quisling.
Mantz Yorke lives in Manchester, England. His poems have appeared in a number of print magazines, anthologies and e-magazines in the UK, Ireland, Canada, the US and Hong Kong.
The air is tense: electric charges
in cloud and ground strain to fuse
till fingers reach out, touch, lightning strikes
and rain drenches the parched land.
The shrivelled seed swells, bursts, thrusts
its root into the wetted earth.
Shell Beach, Western Australia
Ruffled, the sea has swilled away
half of the initials and the heart
carefully embossed at the edge
of the long white cockleshell beach.
Is N loved by F or E? I can’t tell,
nor will anyone crunching after me
across these shells. Ridges above
tell of the reconstructive power
lurking in the sea, giving no chance
this half-affiance will survive.
From a balding tree a slender leaf,
its weak grip broken by thundery drops,
splats flat on the gutter’s spate
and glides towards me.
I imagine a Viking longship
sailing past grey-faced cliffs,
bearing some chieftain’s body
to its immolation on a distant strand …
Her bright red boots come splashing up the street:
the ship is gone, crushed beneath her feet.
In the morning sun, gold spangles
shimmering against a dark grey sky.
Half-stripped now, the weeping tree
is once again betraying its infirmity –
the arthritic burls that have blackened
its papery bark. A storm is on the way.
Soon the leaves will be whipped
from filigree twigs to clog the drains:
puddles will spread across the road
till the rain eases and they seep away.
The naked tree will have to shiver
as it awaits a decency of snow.
As I read your text
is etching in snow
the secret furrows
where streams once echoed
the carelessness of love.
in intimacy, stand naked,
their twigs a filigree
against brindled hills.
lash the beeches;
are tumbling down –
the dying fall
Angel Edwards from Vancouver BC is a member of SOCAN, BMI and VMA and she owns a small music publishing company.She currently performs as a solo acoustic electric singer songwriter guitarist.
Her poems are included in two international poetry anthologies "Mind Paintings" and "Between Earth and Sky" from Silver Bow Publishing and her poetry and stories have been published in dozens of literary magazines in several countries.
Her poem "Morning Flight" was published in The Long Islander Newspaper in "Walt's Corner" April 23 2015.
Angel is preparing her first poetry, short stories book.
I see her stockinged legs first of all
Kicking in rhythm against the red brick wall
Arms crossed primly hugging her thinness tight
She rises abruptly
picks up her discarded doll
The child walks
vanishes away into the night
In the closure I hear her mother"s anxious call
White stockings slowly disappear from sight
"I'm here Mamma" she cries " I am alright "
Lois Greene Stone, writer and poet, has been syndicated worldwide. Poetry and personal essays have been included in hard & softcover book anthologies. Collections of her personal items/ photos/ memorabilia are in major museums including twelve different divisions of The Smithsonian.
Options, or just picking one of Frost’s paths?
Is one choice, while an un-taken road just chance?
That poet decided our selection made a difference
requiring readers to consider Fate vs. circumstance.
I felt in-charge when a college course was
optional. I loved that list. As a co-ed, dress codes
were mandatory, curfew enforced, curriculum
prescribed; optional seemed adult to my generation.
Society stigmatizes with labels: Silent Generation,
Millennials, Baby Boomers, and such. Do we
voluntarily conform, or the stated stereotype forces
compliance? Oh, back to choice/chance. If I were
standing where “Two roads diverged in a wood”
and selected “the one less traveled”, and had the
freedom of choice, might my outcome feel like
that long-ago course-of-study option, or
Hongri Yuan, born in China in 1962, is a poet and philosopher interested particularly in creation. Representative works include Platinum City, Gold City, Golden Paradise, Gold Sun and Golden Giant. For Hongri, Immortal、Buddha、 God and the Gods all is the respected name of the soul .
Neither Day nor Night in the Kingdom of Heaven
Last night, gazing at the stars
I saw those countless gems smile
Numberless from my past life
Limitless in the silver kingdom
Sprang from the light of thought
Forging ahead to superluminal chi
Five hundred years later, or, may I say
After a thousand five hundred years of the world
I saw a giant of a spacecraft
The eyes of those men and women
Were tranquil, serene as a diamond
Then I knew, once and forever: On the new planet,
In the Kingdom of Heaven, there is neither day nor night.
Home Sweet Home beyond Milky Way
Nestled in the wings of night
After the pearl gem sets in heaven
I climb to the roof of the earth
To gaze at the star.
Gazing at the star,
To witness the coming century, the city of the giant
Blossom like a silver Garden.
The Music from that mysterious Galaxy
Soothes my soul like the rain.
In the light, let my form alight
Back to my home, beyond the Milky Way.
On Angel Wings Heaven-Bound
Pluck out a star from the night sky above
And let it sing to you within your cranium
It shall bring to you the interplanetary song.
Let thine eyes reach the edge of the Milky Way
The earth is just a small stone;
Yesterday is just a butterfly.
When the angel wings conduct you to the Kingdom of Heaven
Ah! That sweet lightning will indeed make you forget the world.
The Song of the Universe – Thy Song
Let thy breath be sweet
Let thine eyes shine as the stars
Reflect about what thou shalt see!
Thou shalt forget the words
The song of the universe is thy song
The peace of the universe is thy peace
If thou shall speak
It is almost like God
Let there be light! And there was light.
The City of the Soul
Those ancient timeworn words I love –
The Stone of the erstwhile dated soul.
More than the crown or the jewels
They make my days bright and charming.
With the light that I have
I put them to smelt in Jinding
So that I have countless stars
To plait my City of the Soul.
I live, write, and attend high school in New York City. I lived in Oxford, England for a brief time before returning to the Big Apple. I could think before I could walk and write before I could talk, and haven't put the pen down since. I put my thoughts and feelings down in words on paper because some things just can't be conventionally explained.
When I was eight years old, my father told me that I was a mistake.
Neither he nor my mother had wanted children to begin with.
But then I came along.
A surprise, said my mother.
A mistake, said my father.
How is one expected to respond to such a thing?
Especially at just eight years old,
It put quite the weight on my little shoulders.
An unwanted child.
Mind you, I did get two different answers,
But they were similar enough,
And I knew which one to believe.
Believe the one spoken with a truth serum,
A poison that ruins lives and tears people apart.
The one you can’t control until it’s too late.
The serum at the bottom of a bottle
That doubles as a healing potion.
It doesn’t heal you very permanently,
Or very well, for that matter,
And causes even a little pain more as it goes down your throat.
But then it takes away all your pain,
All your worries,
Just like that.
Just like magic.
Alcohol seemed like magic to me, especially at such a young age.
What else but magic could turn a man
From a neatly-dressed, nicely polished and well-put-together businessman
Into a monster
With messy hair, red eyes, beer dripping from his chin onto an already-stained shirt,
Turn clean knuckles swollen and raw,
Turn clear, soft baby skin black and blue with anger and pain.
Only magic could turn a good, if not slightly slurred mood
Red with rage
And a blast of anger
The kickback of which was aimed directly at the unwanted daughter
And, just like magic, the child shrank.
She spoiled like an apple, becoming withered, bruised, and small;
Disgusting to the outward eye.
Because that’s what happens when you leave an apple out for too long.
When you forget that it’s there,
Or drop it too many times.
That’s just how nature works
But not human nature.
Human nature is taking care of and loving your children and family.
Feeling emotions like joy, sadness, love, empathy.
Wanting love and loving others.
It takes something very powerful to take that away…
Something like magic.
You are surrounded by the fog the moment you open your eyes in the morning.
The cloud that has swallowed you, making your limbs heavy, keeping your head underwater.
The frost barricading the outside of your window only further enforces the effect.
The cloud doesn't break even as she knocks gently and enters your room.
She's speaking, you know, though the words sound wrong, as if she's speaking from underneath a pile of laundry, muffling her words before they can reach your ears.
You know what she's telling you, though; she is taking you out to lunch and you need to get ready.
You agree, because that is what you're used to doing.
You dress in a dream, wash your face in the sink.
Instinctively you pick up the newspaper lying on the kitchen table and peruse the contents of it,
Flipping page after page and scraping your eyes over the paper without really reading it.
You're ready within the hour, certainly, though you can't remember a thing.
It's as if your memory has been wrapped in cotton wool,
As if an opaque white fog has rolled down over you.
There is no cripplingly cold black void,
No blast of oblivion.
And cloud was fine.
You can't feel her hand at your back when you walk.
You know it's there, but you refuse to acknowledge it.
You aren't sure why.
Why is it there?
Does she think you'll slip and fall?
The ground isn't that icy.
Why does she keep looking at you like that?
Her eyes are too curious.
She must have found her glasses eventually because she’s wearing them now.
Were they under her bed like last time? Or maybe she left them on top of the cupboard.
You shift away from her subtly, pulling your coat tighter around yourself, even though it isn't as cold as you had anticipated.
There's so much she wants to ask you, and you know that,
But you're glad she doesn't.
You're glad she decides to walk with that casual swing to her step with her eyes straight ahead.
She noticed you.
And you feel guilty.
As much as you hate it, you can't bring yourself to apologise.
The simple words, ‘I’m sorry’ won't come to you at all, despite the way you usually say it so often.
You don't want to speak at all, not really, because you feel you shouldn’t.
It would be wrong to say anything.
You ought just to be quiet.
It is alarming, the way the fog is following you.
You thought you could keep one step ahead of it,
Keep yourself in the sunlight for a little while longer,
But it is proving to be incredibly difficult to keep up your pace.
You shake those thoughts from your head,
Just as you'd been taught,
And shoot a lopsided and pleasantly bright grin in her direction.
You order food even though you aren't hungry.
The food tastes bland, even so; it's hot and seasoned to perfection
(she really shouldn't have taken you out somewhere so nice. What was she thinking wasting good money on someone like yourself?)
but it still tastes like wet paper as you eat it - bland yet withstanding just enough flavor for it to be nauseatingly unappetizing.
Your eyes are restless,
Flicking from object to object,
Person to person.
You notice tiny things,
Such as the color of that man's scarf,
Or what toy that baby has in its hand.
How many crows are sitting preening themselves in one of the almond trees,
How many times do the shop bell tinkle in a minute.
The way she tucks her hair behind her ear. The pendant of her necklace resting on the breast of her cardigan.
It's a funny thing, really.
You aren't angry and you aren't upset.
You are indifferent to most things at times like these.
You are untouchable.
You don't touch the ground when you walk, so when you stomp your boots on the mat outside your door,
It is a shock to see ice peel off of the soles.
You can't feel the clothes on your body,
So if she hadn't been there to remind you to change them, you probably wouldn't have.
You don't feel dirty, so if the shower wasn't on the way to your bedroom, you would have certainly forgotten to clean yourself as well.
You'd learned your lesson in that respect, at least.
Nothing is touching you.
You don't feel it.
It's as though you are suspended in water.
To describe it placatingly.
But you're used to it.
She sends you off to pick out a movie while she makes some tea.
You pick out the sappiest, corniest film you can find.
It's a ploy to make yourself cry,
To strike some feeling back into your body
Before you dissolve into nothing.
Your breath rises quick and rapid in your throat as you pick out the movie,
Frantically looking for something to make you feel something,
The tea is scalding and it burns your tongue.
You like how it burns your mouth, despite knowing that it will hurt tomorrow morning.
You hear every word of the film,
Note every action in excruciating detail,
And finally relief floods every fiber of your body
When you feel tears prick at your eyes and overwhelming sadness tug at your heart at the movie's climax.
She is also dabbing at her eyes with a tissue already,
But you are smiling, more to yourself than the film, as tears stream down your face.
You're going to be okay.
You're going to be just fine.