Charles Hayes, a Pushcart Prize Nominee, is an American who lives part time in the Philippines and part time in Seattle with his wife. A product of the Appalachian Mountains, his writing has appeared in Ky Story’s Anthology Collection, Wilderness House Literary Review, The Fable Online, Unbroken Journal, CC&D Magazine, Random Sample Review, The Zodiac Review, eFiction Magazine, Saturday Night Reader, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal, Scarlet Leaf Publishing House, Burning Word Journal, eFiction India, and others.
Dark colors of wind swept silk blush, as the ao dai birds around the alabaster pants. Pump clad feet stride with poise and purpose, youth an essence of their track. The Lunar New Year at hand, firecrackers burst and rocket high, while her smile reveals hope, and dark eyes climb with the sizzle of a rocket’s flight. Watching it blossom, like a birth from slip to slap, she knows her wishes need only such a time. Her heart is big.
Crossing the wood floor, a rough cut of aged wear, the after sound of a New Year sizzle, mates the green pop of a wood stove fire. And though I be here, I am with her, where the moon is new, and hope is simply a matter of time. Her dark hair has glints of star light, her boned cheeks an olive glow. Holding a window of pearls, her face turns to the cordite sky as she sits beside me, her bamboo bench for my feet.
Filling my glass, time and again, her eyes seeing only what she can see, ne’er a frown nor crease of disdain, she comforts me. As I drift, her hand cradles my drink from a limp grip, and sets it near.
Watching the clusters of color above her ville, her step is light, but that is not all. Like her dreams, so clear when time is new, though she strides a tad, it is only forward for her to be, for me. A thin wire, like a viper's sting, sticks her shin and calls her eyes below. As sizzles sound above, a click she hears afoot. And echoes of echoes, lights of lights, spray the New Year Night.
Puffs and booms, throwing shattered colors across the heavens, carry this New Year throughout the ville, the pungent smell of nuoc mam, atop the cordite odor of happy lights. Along the path an ilk of sound, more profound than those beyond, calls a syncopated beat. Like a heart that pumps an extra time, a mist of red balloons the air, and an ao dai, it's dark blush limp, over alabaster pants, a crooked bent their avant-garde, marks the spot we meet.