Parking Garage Humans

 You feel them coming first, before anything else. It starts somewhere in the back of your mind, somewhere you don’t really pay much attention to until it’s the only place in your mind that has your attention. It’s like your mind is a glass of water and you miss the fact that vibrations in the ground are sending small rippling waves across the surface. The surface breaks and the water sloshes out of the bowl and you sit up with a jolt. That’s how it begins.
 Next your heart begins to beat the slightest bit faster. You can’t help it. It’s not nerves or anything like that, it’s just part of the effect and that’s all. It feels like the earth is trembling and the concrete beams in all directions will shake themselves loose. So you feel that they’re coming.
 Maybe you try to ignore it or maybe you sit up and stare out your window, but either way, they have your attention now. That’s when you start to hear them. Windows down or windows up, it’s amazing either way that the glass hasn’t all shattered.
 You feel the vibrations in your very bones and your ears try to make sense of something so loud you can’t quite understand exactly what it is you are listening to. The noise (or if you are feeling generous, the music) grows louder still and you hear the additional and occasional squeal of tires, the revving of an engine.
 Finally, you see them. More often then not you feel surprised and maybe a bit disappointed because you were expecting a red Lamborghini or a yellow Mustang or at least something black and sleek. But all you see is the green Honda civic or the silver Volvo or mom’s old minivan and a very small figure sitting behind the dashboard, clutching at the steering wheel with one hand, hoping it doesn’t vibrate out of grasp.
 The tires let out another squeal, and likely they do too, as they take the curve in the parking garage a bit too quickly and narrowly dodge the concrete walls. They pull away and out of your sight. The noise becomes incoherent once more. Once again, all you are left with is the thumping in your chest and in your body and the pounding in your ears until all becomes still and silent.
 Once again it is as if nothing has happened, as if there have been no disruptions to the water in that bowl in the corner of your mind and not a drop has been spilt, but you think something.
 You think something usually related to ‘need for attention’. Words like ‘ridiculous’ or even just ‘wow’ float in and out. And maybe you think, this is how we humans must look to the rest of the universe and all the other creatures in our world. Maybe we are parking garage humans in a world of quiet creatures watching us from the windows of their cars.

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Nepenthe

“One swallow.”

“Are you sure about this?”

“Absolutely.”

Leda held the opaque vial filled with milky white potion up to her eyes, examining the contents warily.

“I’m tired Rue,” she murmured softly, almost inaudibly.

“Drink Leda.”

Leda’s eyes flashed away from the vial and found Rue’s pale blue ones, making a desperate plea. Rue was calmer than ever.

“Trust me,” Rue commanded.

Hesitantly at first, and then suddenly boldly Leda lifted the vial to her lips and sipped. Continue reading

How Often Turns Into Dream

She stared at the setting sun. It was like a beach ball at day break, all bright and round and red. Sometimes hard to tell if it was rising or setting.

“Help,” she said quietly, almost to herself, or to the setting sun. What would have helped at that moment was a broom, she decided. She could ride off into the sunset and ask the sun herself.

She had transformed since her last visit to the shore. More crabby. She wanted to belong on that beach. She knelt beside a particularly slow and grumpy looking crab.

“It’s nighttime,” he said.

“Not yet,” she said.

“It will be,” he said, ever the pessimist. “I’m a realist.”

Continue reading

Rebirth

A sprinkle of dust flutters to rest
There is no heart beating in that old chest
The photographs sit still, fading to grey
Framing dying people, memories, decay
Seal the coffin beneath
Close the crooked, cracked teeth
Take a hammer to its rotted frame
Until the wooden bones have lost their name
Build a crib from the debris
As done with the original tree
Declutter those ancient drawers
To hold an infant within its stores
This old chest will be born again
emptying the burden of what it had been
And life anew will grow inside
Now that this old broken past has died.

 

Happy National Poetry Month!!!

Smoke and Mirrors, an L.A. Tour Guide

I see a man outside civilization.

I smile at him and he rushes out the words like he himself is surprised at them, or maybe just surprised that I looked, and smiled.

“Can I have some change, ma’am?”

I smile silently and walk on, least I can do.

Very least. 

Think nothing of it.

I go in and buy my groceries. 

A good deal later, I come out the back of the store, and there he is, on the steps, a rag to his nose. 

At first I think he is crying.

He looks up as I pass.

“Can I have some change, ma’am?”

I nod and smile sadly. “It’s inevitable.”

L.A. twinkles brighter tonight than I’ve ever seen her—

A good rain can clear even the most malignant feelings.

Benevolence and glittering lights.

Smiles and ghost-rain.

Ah, how pretty you look from here

But please, don’t come any closer.