Friday, May 29, 2015

The Search

The blue diamonds sparkled despite the sun not reaching them beneath the back patio steps.

"I—I think we can't go in there and get them," said Leigh.

"No?" said Sara.

"They look ready to go, but it would stir things up. It's too stressful for her and so many complications."

Meanwhile Sapphire was standing behind them. All she could do was let out some choking noises.

The two girls turned around and that's when it dawned on Leigh. "Urgh. You lied to me."

Sapphire gathered her words. "I'm sorry. It's true and also not true. I don't know how to explain."

"That's okay," said Sara. "It's like I often tried to tell you before. You don't need to apologize. We expect this sort of thing."

Sapphire dropped onto her hands and knees and began feeling around in the grass as if she were blind. "Leigh," she said, crying. "I can't find it."

"What are you looking for?"

"The secret."

Leigh knelt down beside her. "Don't give up."

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Salmon Square

with no written record
it's hard to remember oneself
or make sense of a man's process
except to know red,

natural tones having faded
into the distance

all that subjection and requirement
made a world glass-like
with blurry backgrounds
and on the rare occasion
a close-up arrest
almost like it's happening now


Friday, May 22, 2015

Inside My Teenage Mind

You have your driver's license this year. It means I see less of you when I'd rather be with you as often as possible. I don't want you to know this. Loving you in the depths that I do, the risk doesn't seem worth it right now. Teenage romantic relationships don't usually endure and if I get into something with you then I want it to last. Besides, I don't know if the feeling is mutual. Probably not.

The ache.

Eventually you get your first apartment. I admit it to myself I want to come over every day, but I know it's unlikely to happen. You're busy living. Socializing, partying. Things to do, places to see, plenty of other girls to hang out with.

How can I try to see you more without you discovering I have this terrible wonderful crush on you? I know! I have a crush on your roommate. Sure, that's it. A good excuse.

This is ridiculous.

You're interested in my creativity and, for me, this means you're also interested in my heart and how I see the world. The more you compliment me on my sweetness, the more generous and kind I want to become, and it is this lovely upward cycle.

But I am a closed flower, unsure of how and when to open without getting burnt by the sun. I sense you're trying to help me with this, but neither of us has gotten the secret. Or should I say the secret has not yet gotten us? Sometimes it feels like we're getting closer.

This will all become memories for me. The kind that get tucked in deep where they stay protected, no matter how fierce the storm of madness.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Boy, Trampoline, Book

I've been trampolining often because our little guy, Trevor, really likes it. He is five. A week or so ago when the weather was cooler he asked if he could watch me do some flips and I was wearing my hooded sweater so whenever I landed (usually on my butt) my hood would go up over my head, covering my eyes. He laughed.

Yesterday he had several soccer balls on there and he said, "You can't touch the balls, Mom." But, of course, they rolled and bounced into us and there were so many we couldn't avoid them. There was a pink ball in the mix as well, one of those that you sometimes see inside large cage-like containers in department stores, but it wasn't ours which means it must've come over the hedge from the neighbor's yard. I think Kevin threw it back over later.

Trevor likes to dare me to double-bounce him as high as I can, and he shows me his tricks which sometimes include his pants falling off. One of his favorites to play with me is 'Ring Around the Rosie' and sometimes his sister, Tamara, jumps with us and we play trampoline tag.

I'm fascinated by the wisdom that can be gleaned from a five-year-old. Last night I read a tongue-twister, Fox in Socks by Dr. Seuss. At the very beginning the fox holds a sign that reads "Take it SLOWLY. This Book is Dangerous!" Trevor giggled and said, "It's not dangerous. It's only a book!"

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

River Occurrence

there are times for salmon
when deep water refuges become prisons
i don't know how or why
but i like it when i see them free
glinting silver while they jump

as bears know
there's an art to catching a leaping salmon
putting paws in certain places
waiting for a pinnacle moment
to sink teeth into scales
puncture pinkish red flesh
savor the scent of fish blood
that squeezes, pours into rapids

if i were to watch it from a riverbank
i'd be enthralled
but i still hope, foolishly
for a day when there's no such thing
as killing

Opening the Package

Sapphire returned with three boxes of batteries—one purple, one gray, one pink.

"Those will last you a long time. Nicely done," said Leigh. "You going to stay?"

Sapphire sat down next to her and played around with the loose piece of brown paper. "Here," she said.

Leigh took hold of it. "Sapphire?"


"Forget the gutter and the top of the roof," she said. "I want you to go higher." She unwrapped the package slowly as if it were the finest pleasure, a delicate work of art she was afraid to break, and when she got around to lifting the box flaps, hundreds of dark octagon-shaped objects the size of quarters burst through the opening. They ricocheted from the ceiling and walls, bouncing off the girls and coming back again.

"What's happening?" asked Leigh.

"This is familiar," said Sapphire. "I call them the blockers, but I don't know if they even have a name."

"Why would we get a package full of blockers?" asked Leigh.

"The actual contents of the package are still in the box, I think," said Sapphire. "At the very bottom, probably. Too many blockers in the way."

Leigh shielded her face with her arm and knocked a small load of blockers aside with her elbow, reached in and said, "Found it."

"That's it!" Sapphire said. "How did you do that? Oh my God!"


Thursday, May 7, 2015

On Top of the Roof

Leigh took off her pink scarf and draped it over the back of the couch. The house was quiet save for the hum of the refrigerator around the corner. "You can tell me what you want."

Sapphire thought for a moment. "I need to know what you can do and then I can tell you what's working and what's not." Her speech was guarded and she didn't want it to be, but she put the package onto the coffee table anyway, then brooded.

Finally she said, "I can't help but wonder why you're waiting."

Leigh drew the package closer to herself and began to run her fingers along the top.

Sapphire smiled drowsily. "Okay, that's good. What about the edges?"

She pulled down her scarf and dragged it over the left edge of the package.

"No, that's not it."

Leigh considered mentioning a knife or some scissors but thought better of it. She knew Sapphire liked doing things the long way so she turned the package over and read the first part of the return address: 889 Estuary Place. "I think," she said, "There's something about your frame of mind. It's good, but I don't know how to put this. It's in the gutter."

"Oh. Yes. Except it's a much better place than a gutter. More like the top of a roof."

Leigh noticed a loose piece of brown paper and started to pull it gently open. "I want to peek," they both said at once.

But Sapphire's phone began beeping with text notifications. "There's a bunch of people trying to get us to hang out with them."

"They want both of us to go?!"

"I think so."

"Do you want to?"

"No," she said. "I'd rather meet up with Sara. Maybe she'll give us cookies." She got up and headed for the front door. "I've got to leave. I just remembered I need to buy some batteries."

"So we'll get back to this package later??"

"I don't know," she said.