Recluse

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for j.d. salinger

i am guilty.

i am part of the world that
you yourself were constantly
trying to run from.

i am guilty of wanting more
upon googling quotes by you
to get a little more to have
something more to hold on
to

a headline read
“revealed—j.d. salinger
was born with one testicle.”

and i understood the need
to withdraw

i understood why
this unsolicited flesh
this human skin
these breakable
crumbling bones
are nothing to be
proud of.

Awakening A Nightmare

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Voodoo Alice sinks her teeth
into the doll; cutting, chewing,
gnawing, making thin slits
for the eyes. The fabric wavers
round these parts as she inserts
the beads; glistening, shining,
dazzling, captivating all
with their over-achieving realism.
Capillaries are almost noticeable
amongst the fleshy sockets,
Alice sewing up the corners
with black current colored
string, before beginning
on the mouth. Thin crosses,
like the reassuring kiss of a lover
upon parchment to be delivered
to a paramour she has been forbidden
from contacting, cover
the gaunt grimace. The doll,
fraying yet complete, alive
but inanimate, looks out
onto the world, its outfit
like a clown, however, oozing
less with hilarity
and more with a purgatorial fixture,
rigidly stalking its intended prey
like a scarecrow in the bone-yard
of domesticated livelihoods,
and yet, still so innocent,
unknowing its body shall be used
to commence much ruin onto many.

I Told Him He Was Beautiful

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I believe I wrote him way too many love poems,

told him that he was beautiful, unearthly in strength

and stature, strong-minded, resilient, spirited. Told him

that our souls communicated through laughter,

a deep stare, a touch, a kiss. Told him that

the syncopation of our heartbeats matched in sound,

rhythm, fluidity, pace. It was as though we made love in silence,

not touching, eyes closed, lips shut.

I told him that my love for him was undying,

forever growing, unbending, a pulse rising.

I told him to stay with me, to love me, breathe in

the scent of the Earth with me, to open his eyes

to the misty sunrise with me, say good night to the stars with me,

to sink his feet into the sand with me, to enjoy this life with me,

he told me, that was never enough.

the art of being breathless

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the air is a limited time offer a limited time luxury i sit under a lamppost and let the light pour down on me as i tell you over and over again that it’s me that’s the lucky one and i promise i’ll get to you backstab my demons and all of the no-you-cannots my brain is the vilest bully i’ve ever known shown me the hideous things i am capable of i can accept this world for its fallen ashes fallen kingdoms fallen heroes fallen faces i can respect the efforts to tame to tarnish to retreat and i’ll sit under the sun one day no more artificial light and i’ll see you there sitting with snakeskin pride and the grass is just a haven not a home we have no home no holy land to unwind unweave humanize no place to hide our faults and our worn-down weak weary faces and i’ll wonder why nothing ever breaks you i’ll wonder how you’ve become so resilient and i know this world is full of have-me-nots love-me-nots leave-me-nots fear-me-nots forget-me-nots and i realize people can never really see themselves completely no 360 degree no bird’s eye no head on collision no keyhole peephole porthole view they can only see how they affect other people they can only see other people there standing under the streetlight never seeing behind below above around themselves full of reasons to let go reasons to pay no mind reasons to misinterpret reasons to close their eyes in the darkness close their mind to the light completely covered in blind spots

Onion Rings

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“You should probably just order a salad.”

 “Actually, I was thinking about getting the steak. It looks nice and juicy.” Mike looked up at me from his menu and I could tell he was doing calculations in his head. He obviously didn’t think I was worth the money. He didn’t say anything after my comment.

“So what are you going to get?” I asked, trying to escape the silence.

“I’m going to get the bacon cheese burger with extra onion rings. Man I love onion rings.” And that is a very good reason as to why I wasn’t going to be kissing this man tonight. I hated onions with a passion especially on someone else’s breath.

“I’m going to go powder my nose.” I left the table as quickly as possible. I didn’t know how I was going to make my escape, but I had to think fast. I took my phone out of my purse and dialed my sister’s number.

“Hey Sis. How’s it going?”

“What’s up? I thought you were on a date?”

“I am. Hey. I need a favor. Can you call me back in a couple minutes? I need to use you as a way out. I can’t stand this guy one bit. I’m pretty sure he doesn’t like me either so it’s for the best.”

“Yeah. That’s fine.”

“Okay. Thanks. Talk to you soon.” I hung up my phone and made my way back to the table. The waiter was there asking for Mike’s order. I knew I couldn’t order and then ditch and run so I had to distract the waiter somehow.

“Do you know what you’d like to order?” the waiter asked.

“Actually I could use another minute if you don’t mind.”

“That’s fine.” The look on his face said otherwise. My phone’s ringtone of “Hallaback Girl” sounded.

“Hey Sis. Oh no! Your babysitter didn’t show on your anniversary. That’s horrible. I’ll be right there. Yeah I know it’ll cut into my date. He’ll understand, though.” I hung up the phone hoping that my acting was good enough for this guy. Even if he could tell I was lying, I still wouldn’t care. That’s how much I wanted to get out of this date.

“Sorry but my sister needs me. I hate to run out on you. It was nice meeting you, though.”

“Nice meeting you, too.” With that, I left Mike to eat his onion rings alone – the way they were meant to be eaten.

Sheltered

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If an intelligence of an artificial nature were to inhabit the world we live in now,
resting within the confines of a corporeal avatar of sensual beauty, would this
object of inanimate origin ever contemplate whether she had a soul?

Where once
I was immune to jealousy,
my eyes, alas, swallowed whole
by discontent,
the feral plight of damnedest feelings
being unequaled
in their continuation.
Despite your sexless body,
my feelings would persist,
an ever-growing struggle of the heart,
won, always
because it never matters
what the outside presents.
Perhaps I only want you
for your mind,
to hear your ghost whispering in my ear,
to feel the touch of artificial flesh
upon my own.
Your strength, and ability to resist,
coupled by the mysterious gaze
of your ruby eyes,
shelters a soul so pure
it would be utter nonsense
to suspect you were little more than human,
and yet your heartbeat, the strings attached
plucked by synthetic wires,
is suggestive of something else.
But qualities in your leadership
represent the compassionate pull
of more than an empty husk,
and what I would not give to spare a moment
inside that mind of yours,
to witness the flurry of systems
traveling along the matrices
that make up your personality.
Although you can understand the gesture
of romantic sentiment on an intellectual level,
I am yet to comprehend if a feeling
of such magnitude could ever
touch your spinal column,
and cause the hairs upon your flesh
to tingle with mild trepidation.
Would your heart accelerate,
or would the temptation be ignored?
Would it be possible to love the person,
unconditionally and forever,
or are you really little more than a machine?

Yes, I am a Ghost in the Shell fanatic. Recently per-ordered my copy of Arise as well.
Ah, Major, I fear I may only ever have eyes for you. Meet you in 2030?

Knock

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There was a knock at the door. Dad was slouched on the couch scratching lottery tickets and lifted his head abruptly when he heard the subtle taps. We hadn’t talked for days since mom left.   I didn’t know what to say considering I knew almost nothing about their relationship. I figured it was something about drugs, or money, or other women but it could’ve been anything.

 When I was younger he would always say “Treat your wife like a queen, and if you feel the need to go elsewhere, then do, but always return to her.” I never understood what he meant by that, but now it makes sense. I don’t live by this standard, nor will I ever, but it helps me understand all the days mom went away for weeks, and the noises I heard throughout those nights.

He looked at me in question and I shrugged my shoulders, I wasn’t expecting anyone this late at night, especially because of my workload. Books surrounded me and I was quite comfortable in my spot on the couch so I wasn’t moving. He breathed heavily and arose from his spot. The door cracked open but not enough so I could see who it was.

They spoke. “What happened?” It was a woman, older than myself but not as old as my dad. Maybe it was the nervous tone, but she could have been late 20s, if that.

 He forced a grunt and kept the door barely cracked. “Nothing.”

There had been pieces of broken glass surrounding our front door for days now. I had come home for the weekend from school to check up on how my folks were doing and found my mom gone, and broken glass everywhere. He wouldn’t tell me what happened either.

“Okay. Are you alright?” She questioned.

The voice was not familiar to me at all, but I could tell there was some history between her and my dad. They spoke like there was a million miles between them, not just a screen door. I didn’t want to rustle anything and have our surprise guest be aware of my presence, but I was damn curious to see who it was. I fought the urge to move and continued to listen in.

“Ya, I’m alright.” My dad combated.

“You don’t have to lie to me. You could just say no I’m fucking not, but I’m not going to talk to you about it.” She sounded less irritated and more hurt. She didn’t seem mad, which I found strange, but then again I have no idea how they know each other.

“Okay, no I’m fucking not, but I’m not going to talk to you about it.” He responded blankly.

“Okay. Fair enough.” She began to walk away from our door.

“Why do you have to be like that? Always prying into other people’s lives. You’re insane.” He persisted, her footsteps stopped.

“I don’t pry into people’s lives, if I care about someone, sometimes I get lucky and they care about me too. There is a relationship there, and we support each other, so if they are hurting I will be there for them. Honestly when I saw you tonight you looked destroyed, more destroyed and broken then I have ever seen someone before. The fact that we used to know each other makes me care, so when I asked if you were alright it was telling you that even though I am nowhere in your life anymore there is always an outlet and always someone to go to. That someone is not me, and never will be, but I was giving you an inch of hope, looks like you could use it.”

She had a point. I had never seen my dad this broken down either. Probably because he was getting older, so his faced had more wrinkles of expression. In some ways I always knew my parents would separate. It seemed like the entire time I was growing up they would be arguing, which led to my mom moving out, my dad diving into the bottle, and then one day she would return like everything was normal. I believed I was the only reason that they stuck together, but I don’t believe that anymore. My dad seemed to actually care for my mom, and vise versa. Why they couldn’t make it work fluently remains a mystery.

I have never been close to either of my parents. Yes, I’m thankful they gave me a roof over my head and funds for college, but other than that I share no personal connection to either of them. How I’m not adopted amazes me.

“Ha. Fuck you.” He responded.

If there is one thing about my dad its that if you want a deep and meaningful conversation, I suggest you knock on someone else’s door.   I’m studying psychology, communication, and literature in school; I’m adopted.

She didn’t say anything more and I heard her proceed to walk away. He closed the door and sat back down on the couch, studying his lottery tickets.

I stop pretending to study and look over at him. He doesn’t return the glance.

“Who was that?” I asked, intrigued.

He smirked devilishly “No idea.”

And just like that I had to drop the subject and return to my studies. I wouldn’t question it any further because half of me knew I wouldn’t get any answers, and the other half didn’t want to know. I had never actually seen anyone my dad was cheating with but I always heard their voices. I could never understand my parents, and their lack of communication. I felt bad for this young woman trying to help the soulless bastard that I call my father, but in the end it was better that she moved on to people that had control of their lives.

I’m not saying I want my dad to be alone for the rest of his life, but soon enough my mom will come back, and things will fall back into place. It will be perfect for a month or two, and then my dad will pick up another young woman and my mom will leave again. There will be another knock on the door and my dad will presumably have “no idea who it is”. If I could do something about it, as much as I am grateful for my parents support, I don’t think I would.

If I have learned anything in school it’s that some people just can’t be saved.

 

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