Day 87 – Two Sweaters

I remember the same two sweaters-
one plum and the other maroon-
that had to last the whole winter
and how it bothered me
that my old Lion King sneakers didn’t match
and how it bothered me
to think everyone would notice.

I remember being so pleased
at being allowed to invite over a classmate
and taking her to my closet
to show her my outfits
and knowing those two purple sweaters I hated
were the best I had to show.

I remember the girl who came over;
her sneakers didn’t match, either.
I don’t know where she is
but I have so many sweaters now.


Year 2: Day 154 – Angry White Girl Rap

It’s been a long time comin’
but I can finally say
all the things you mean to me
although it’s kinda cliche-

things like jackhammer, douchebag,
and selfish prick-
but you can’t judge my rhymes
because you’re dumb as a brick

We had a long history of me
cuttin’ you slack
‘cuz you knew every time I left that I’d be
comin’ right back

I had a lack of self-esteem,
you had an overabundance,
I’d say the game was never fair
but that’s just redundant

Every time I got a little brave
and we were apart
I used to pray that God would take the feelings
out of my heart

He has His eye on the sparrow,
you had yours on the door
but you swore it wouldn’t happen
like it happened before

And yeah, I fell for it every time
you fed me your lines
but that was my shortcoming
for not reading the signs

But now I’m free from your
sticky gravitational pull
and still you wanna call me up
and feed me more of your bull

About forgiveness and teamwork,
you wanna be friends,
but I ain’t got no time fa dat,
I know how this one ends-

We meet up once in a while
for a drink and a hug
and then you try to pull me back
and so I’m pullin’ the plug

I’m sayin’ peace to the drama
and the clouds you bring,
though if I had it all to do again
I wouldn’t change a thing

Because you taught me how to struggle
and then how to stand
and then eventually to realize
I’m in command

And that I got a backbone
and figured out how to rock it,
so say goodbye to the girl
you used to have in your pocket

Year 2: Day 144 – Dance With Me

You wanna dance with her and
you wanna dance with me.
She wants you to dance with her and
I want you to dance with me.

We are all friends here,
with motivations.

She loves me, she gives you the stink eye
so you’ll come dance with me.
I love her, I give you the stink eye
so you won’t dance with me.

You can be the sacrifice
for being what there is.

But when I go to the bathroom,
I know you’re gonna dance with her.
So when she goes to the bathroom,
dance with me.

52 Flashes of Fiction: Week 23 – The Burden of Proof

Tim is this little weaselly friend of mine who is good for taking to the car dealership with you when you want to get a deal but he’s generally not impressive otherwise. I guess you could say I was having a bad day but he was telling me about a date he’d supposedly had with Judy last weekend and I did not believe him.

Judy is this stacked girl who plays tennis in those little skirts and sometimes when she goes to get a stray ball there is a drop of sweat that runs ALL the way down the back of her thigh to her ankle. There is NO way Tim had a date with her.

I tried to cut him some slack for being a desperate liar but he wouldn’t shut up about it so I said, “Prove it.”

He said, “We went mini-golfing at the Putt-Putt Castle on Friday night and she beat me.”

And I said, “Big deal, you’re telling me that story, sure, but that doesn’t mean it’s true.”

So he said, “I have the receipt for the cheeseburgers we ate, probably somewhere I could find it.”

And I said, “You could’ve eaten cheeseburgers that night with anyone.”

So he said, “Oh, well, we did one of those booths where you make the little photo strips. I let her keep it but I’m sure I could ask for it to show you.”

But I just said, “That doesn’t mean she thought it was a date. And anyways Photoshop.”

And he was getting annoyed and was just like “Well, whatever” but I pushed it because I really was having a bad day and I said, “How could you possibly prove something like that to me? How could you possibly prove anything? Even if Judy herself came and told me it was true, how do I know you didn’t pay her to say that? Or even if I saw you there with my own two eyes because maybe I was taking out Helen who has that birthmark and we both saw you guys there, how does that prove that you actually were?”

And I hawked up a frustrated loogie and I continued, “You ever heard of solipsism, TIM? Ever heard of the concept that all of this could be made up in your head? Not YOUR head, TIM, because certainly you wouldn’t have imagined yourself to be such a scrawny weasel of a guy but made up in MY head, did you ever think of that, TIM? You can’t even prove you exist and so you certainly can’t prove you took JUDY JACOBSON out to mini-golf this weekend or that she blew you in the parking lot for fixing her taxes after she lost her tennis scholarship and couldn’t pay the money back that she already spent on ecstasy in Daytona Beach with me last spring. You can’t prove that any of that happened at all, Tim. You can’t.”

But enough of this story has been about Tim already so I won’t tell you his response. It doesn’t matter. Tim is just a fragment of my imagination, a part of me that needs to be annoyed and needs something to beat up on. Tim and Judy and Helen and everyone. And because I’m the only one whose argument ever matters, suffice it to say I won.

Year 2: Day 129 – Love Song I Wrote For Me

My baby she pretty but
the way she can pack away
them cheese fries,
my baby she got like
six surge protectors
and three beard wigs.
She got allll the Goosebumps books.

My baby she don’t let nobody
push her around-
guys that only got two items
in the checkout line
trying to let her go first,
she say, “No thank you, sir” so sweet.

My baby girl wear extra large t-shirts at the gym
so can’t nobody take a peek,
she knows the lyrics to every ABBA song
and keep a checkbook tidy and neat.

My baby is a rabble-rouser on the Scrabble board,
make her own sushi
and teach the kids how to dance.

My baby is a punk in her dreams
and so modest-
and shoot if that girl doesn’t write
about herself.
I’d write her a love song
but she got to it first.

Year 2: Day 46 – In The Poplar Tree

There is a birdy in the poplar tree
we don’t let birds in the house.

There is a girl in the cemetery
we don’t keep knives in the house.

How many more
people at the door
can we open for
an even score?

She is a birdy in the poplar tree
we don’t let birds in the house.

Day 356 – A Portrait As She’d Wish You To Remember Her

She walks as what she is:
a young librarian on her day off.
Down the avenue lightly,
glasses because she needs them,
books because she reads them.
There is no artifice in her world.

She passes two street singers
hollering greetings with smirks and dirty eyes,
she croaks a ‘hello’ and an embarrassed smile-
she hasn’t yet spoken today.

And there is a secret in the stack she carries,
at the bottom of her Starbucks cup,
rustling the trees and her skirt and her heart,
painting today a perfect picture of the whole,
a quiet characteristic that need never be spoke,
a hole that at last has been filled.