Love in a Lawn Chair
He greets the dawn each morning
Smiles, behind a fresh bouquet
Sweet songs, hummed, serenading
'Side the bed where she long lay
Devotion, spanning many years;
Waxing a century,
Shedding youth and countless tears
Entwined; their destiny
Early on in married life,
They struggled — poor as dirt
So young, they, looking eye to eye
Exchanging vows, rehearsed
Surviving war and hardship
True love, enduring time
Even when to sleep she drifts
He's right there by her side
Caretakers expect him
For he's never missed a day
And, Sunday's with the Lord's hymn
Sharing scriptures as she lay
Some wonder, as they watch him
Seated there, in his lawn chair
His lasting, strong devotion
Beyond weather, fierce or fair
"She's never died, my bride,
You see, forever, we are married"
Soft spoken; tearful eyes
Fixed on the grave where she lay, buried
A careful watch he'll keep
Endless love for his dear bride
Until he finds her in his sleep
Beyond the other side
Ugliness and filth, decay and shabbiness, confinement and dankness. Everything I hated was shrinking in our rear-view mirror.
I was so excited my parents finally moved out of that dingy old mobile home and trailer-park, I couldn’t wait to get settled into our new two-story house.
When I walked into that immaculate mansion with polished hardwood floors and stark white walls, the lingering bouquet of fresh paint still in the air, I wanted to rejoice with all my might. I wanted to exclaim to the world how happy I was!
That was seven weeks ago. Before the devastation set in.
It was before the deformed faces of terror began haunting me, creatures scurrying and clawing their way across the cathedral ceilings, dripping blood on my bed each night.
It was before my days darkened to things scratching at my door and shadowy monsters floating through the chef’s kitchen and marble bathrooms.
It was before the ghosts of killers and assassins who justifiably died in this house showed me their eyeless-charred and knife-carved, blood-soaked faces. Snarled hair unravelling from their scab-infested scalps, harvesting squealing sewer-rats, their beady eyes black as death.
I think they torment me because I’m a child and the only one who can see them. My parents are content in their dream-home; clueless to my torture.
But I’ve got a plan to put an end to my own suffering. I know what I must do. The demons have tried convincing me that if I kill my parents, all poltergeists will disappear and I’ll have peace at last.
I am not a murderer. Instead, I’ve found someone who really wants to help. He’s touted as the best exorcist in the world. I feel the spectres getting nervous, fearful. It doesn’t dry my tears just yet… but it will.
The Circle of Life
The second I saw her, I knew that the prophecy didn't matter. Seeing my newborn daughter, beautiful and healthy, pushed all those morbid thoughts from my mind.
Even though I knew that because she was born, I would die.
I still don't know why everyone is so sad and solomn here. A baby has been born! We should celebrate! But my mother is crying, my father trying to console her, my brother avoiding my gaze. All of them are dressed in black.
The prophecy said I would die right after my daughter was born, but that doesn't mean that my impending death should soil the joy of the birth of a child! I don't understand how they can be so dismal when their new family member has just arrived. How can they be so sad with this beautiful baby here?
I'm not even sad. Not sad that I'm dying. Even as I struggle to breathe, I am not sad.
Not when I stagger out of the room with all my loved ones, saying that I need to go the bathroom.
Not when moving makes me feel like I'm on fire.
Not when I fall to the ground, feeling like there is no air left to breathe..
Even though I know I'm dying, I am not sad. I'm happy that my perfect, beautiful daughter is alive. Happy that she will live on and be the best person she can be.
Happy that I will die so that she can live.
Your Special Day
The tests all came back positive. My worst fears were realized. I never wanted to see the day I would have to say good bye to my dog. You're my first best friend. You gave the best kisses and snuggles. Your heart could brighten my darkest day. I wished you could stay forever, but we knew this day would come.
I took you to get a whole burger to yourself. We went to the park to run free, pestering squirrels, annoying birds, and chasing your favorite frisbee. We laid on a blanket, napping in the warm sun. I tried my hardest not to cry.
We drove out to the beach, the windows down as we drove. Your head stuck out, tongue in the wind. You sniffed everything, bounded through the waves, and dug holes for hours. The curving roads helped us to forget that this would be the last time.
Just one more ice cream cone. Just one more belly rub. Just one more. I knew I was being selfish. I saw how tired you were. I saw how you were hurting, though your tail wagged all the same. I just want to make these last few moments stretch just a little longer. Oh God, just let this moment last just a little bit longer.
And you were gone. I was left alone. I'm not angry at you. Please, don't think I could ever be angry at you. I know you are happy now, at peace and in no more pain. But it doesn't change that you're not here. My tears fall on unlicked cheeks. My arms are empty of your furry body. Wherever you are, I want you to know that you are the best good boy the world will ever know. And thank you... for loving me, too.
from the marrow of my bones
excruciating joy of Pain!
Sun over the hills
Everyone gathered around the sun hovering over the crowded hill. Several birds sing the man in the dark robe speaks over the two.
Her parents are dressed in vibrant colors His parents are dressed in white. Everyone is dressed according to the request they received to attend. This day of release, they called it.
My mother told me I shouldn't be in my phone at a time like this. I couldn't help to see what everyone was saying on social media.
After the powerful words of the man in the black robe we're over, he pulled out his cell phone and a small round shaped object. The sound started to escape through everyone faced each other and placed their arms around strangers, family, friends, neighbors
Once the beat dropped, everyone danced in joy, grabbing roses of many colors and throwing them into the ground where both coffins lay. Sarah and Kevin took their lives six days ago and in their suicide note all they requested was to have a celebration of their release. She had been dying from cancer and he just couldn't be alone without her so they decided on this.
As the speakers bled noise, everyone danced in joy and laughter, remembering all the good they brought into the world. I danced with my mother until the music tapered off into the distance. Into the sun-drenched field.
A Delicious Revenge
"Is that it?" Lucille said, twirling the IV between her arthritic fingers.
"Almost, ma'am," the lawyer responded. "There remains the question of funeral arrangements. Most of our clients prefer a black-tie, traditional funeral. But somehow I expect something more... extravagant from you."
Lucille looked down at her gold satin hospital gown and grinned. Her smile, yellowed with tobacco, still could've glowed off of a magazine.
"What would you prefer to be buried in?" he inquired. "Rhododendron Acres, our finest masoleum? A Grecian urn, crafted by the most experienced artisans in the world? Or perhaps I could interest you in--"
The lawyer's eyebrows raised behind his monocle. "I'm sorry?"
"Did you ever read the gossip rags, Charles? Back when I was a youthful lady, I met this handsome snake, Oliver. He slithered his way into marrying me, then he burned off half my inheritance on rest and some teenaged whore named Annette. You know what I did? I threw him out, and I told him to eat my ass. "
She laughed at his shocked expression. "Ah, but I never really got revenge. He already had my money; why should he care about me? So here's what I want, law boy: put the fun in funeral. I want parades going down 34th Street. I want all the guests wearing party hats. Fireworks, brass bands... and, most important, a special barbecue on the beach for my dearest ex-husband."
"Very well," the lawyer said, looking uncomfortable. "But... pineapple glaze?"
"Exactly. He'll get a very special slab of meat, pineapple glazed. He'll think it's pork, the fat bastard... and then, when he's licking his lips, I want you to have the butler deliver him a message."
The lawyer turned pale as he realized her meaning.
"That's right," she said. "Eat. My. Ass."
“It’s Christmas” I hear her delight as she runs screeching through the house. “Get up everybody Santa’s been here!” I almost grin listening to how happy she is. Her hair flies as she jumps into my bed and starts bouncing up and down. “Mommy, Daddy get up Santa came!” I struggle up in the mattress, give my spouse a rueful smile and whisper sorry quietly so our intruder won’t hear. We struggle downstairs wrapped in blankets and make coffee and breakfast insisting we eat before opening presents. Sitting at the table with a grumpy look she nevertheless eats her mandatory meal, although inhaled it might be a better description.
She rips through her presents exclaiming in delight at her toys and other gifts but then she gets to the last one. The expression on her face so awestruck I smile but when she pulls the doll out of the box and cradles it in her arms something hits me. I excuse myself and run up the stairs and into my bathroom. I turn on the shower as I always do when this feeling hits. I can’t let her hear, I can’t ruin the holiday, but all I can do is cry and remember before, when I was her baby.
The first time you got me flowers
was just because,
you lost them on the way here.
The second time you got me flowers
was for my birthday.
You picked them out of my own front yard.
You didn’t think that I would notice.
The third time you got me flowers
was for Valentine’s day,
and the roses still had thorns
and we had to go to the ER
to get that thorn
pulled out of my thumb.
The fourth time you got me flowers
was after a fight.
“Yellow,” you had said
“for the colour I feel like
when I see
I told you off—
sunflowers were expensive.
You waved my concerns away
and tucked one
behind my ear.
And all of a sudden,
My sundresses went from peach to lemon,
my walls went from beige to canary,
my heart went from red to you.
I planted sunflowers.
I wore sunflowers.
I dreamt of sunflowers.
I became a sunflower,
always facing the light:
It looked good on me,
A new hue,
a brighter you.
“Yellow,” you say,
“like the light you are.”
I stare at the yellow,
it stares back at me.
With pity, really.
The sunflowers are weeks old,
just like how we were.
They look at me,
because I have no yellow left.
How could I?
When you took all the light with you.