My Own Version of Bughead

I feel like Jughead when she comes around.
She would make the perfect Betty.
We have little in common and live on opposite ends
of the valley. We hail from different schools.
I once went to hers, but then I moved.
I live among a different crowd now, one lacking
in pep and smiles, one dressed entirely in black.

I have a dark side, but she has one too.
I wear mine on a jacket, but she hides hers.
I only saw a hint, but I heard the rumors.
They draw me closer to her. We converge
at the penumbra, unblinded by light,
unhidden by darkness. We see each other
as we truly are: moody and distant,
mean when necessary or preferable,
but willing, wanting to come together
to form something greater than us apart.

On opposite sides of the valley, but still, we meet
most nights through mutual friends and excuses
to see her that hide how I truly feel from us both.
Not sure I’d call this love or need, but I want to feel
both for her. She’s more physical. I’m not spiritual,
but I’m a writer in search of a narrative
that doesn’t revolve around death, an escape
from one cliche into another but one I have not
experienced much living my life alone
with only movies and music to keep me company.
She can be the cure, the golden ticket off the screen.
She rarely looks my way, but she smiles
when she does. I interpret it as love
even if the feeling is not reciprocated.

Maybe all my reasons are wrong and we don’t belong
together. She still has eyes for another guy.
I still fight a crusade to reclaim my pride.
Hard to please and quick to leave, but I cannot survive
another loss. I have no more time to nurse the wounds
of another dream abandoning me. I have no life
outside of the narratives I write. She may be my escape,
and I may be hers. We may just be a fling, a distraction
from things I still do not want to think about.
Either way, she means more to me than anything
else, at least for the time being.

Speed Bump

I would run if I could walk
without a limp. It rarely shows,
but only because I stand still
instead of embarass myself
with stumbles and falls.
I am not weak or incomplete.
God botched my wiring,
forcing me into acrobatics
for movements others take
for granted. The effort exhausts
me for nothing to gain,
so I hide inside a chair
to hide a limp that will not be fixed,
because it hurts less never to walk
again than to fall on my face
in front of a world that is not my friend.

One-Sided Conversation

Feels good to write again. My poem for day 3’s prompt of Writers Digest’s 2014 April Poem-a-Day Challenge: Write a message poem.

r u hungry? let’s go 2 panera!! :)
thats cool. im busy 2. :(
still need help w/math?? im a wiz! :)
no didnt take statistics :( maybe i can help anyway :)
how’s the essay coming along? need help with that? :)
no. i never read that book.
ready for a break? let’s hang out a bit. i’m just chillin’ in the library.
that’s a lot of homework. i have lots too. i should work on my essay.
No, I finished it, but I should probably look over it again. :) See you next week!
Oh. Well, have fun at Disneyland with your boyfriend. I’m so jealous.

Minimum Day

It’s about time I wrote again. My poem for day 2’s prompt of Writers Digest’s 2014 April Poem-a-Day Challenge: Write a voyage poem.

Home lay over the overpass,
but a yellow sign forbid two ten-year-olds from crossing.
I thought the trek around would be as straight,
but streets branched into industries
we never saw on drives back home.
The paths I hoped would lead us back
ended in walls we wouldn’t scale.
I understood street names as little
as graffiti on the sides of empty buildings
and company logos unseen at Toys’R’Us.
The few passersby that drove these streets
would neither stop nor slow for us—
we knew not to talk to strangers anyway.
A nudge and a prayer guided my way.

We crawled through the labyrinth
hungry for food and home and Sega games;
I wished I could reset now that we were stuck.
I would’ve listened to my brother when
he said we should walk to grandma’s two blocks from school
or even wait for mom to pick us up,
but I knew the way home, just not below
the overpass we had driven across before.
Halfway through, we couldn’t turn back.
Tall blocks of buildings hid east from west—
as if I could read a compass anyway—
but a hunch encouraged me forward.
I just had to find the right direction.
Home lay only a few blocks away.

Salt

Salt

In response to Writer’s Digest Wednesday Poetry Prompt: “Write a poem about something in the room.”

Spilt salt spoils luck
but sprinkles season meat
and shrivels up the slugs
and erodes healthy teeth.
Salt makes you sneeze
and makes wounds sting
and flavors your tongue
with words that spice
up life with a savior
but still burn when thrown
in someone else’s eyes.
Salt resides in seas
inhabited by schools
and inhabits mines
occupied by kids,
then transferred to stores
in family-friendly packages
to preserve factory meat
of genetically modified sheep.
Salt softens ice
and hardens fruit
and seasons lies
with supple truth.
Salt lives in our flesh,
our bones, and in our mouths,
but the salt we crave most
comes from the clouds.

Transit of Venus

Transit of Venus
Amazing what you can capture with an iPhone and a telescope.

A beauty mark on the Sun–
the final event of the century.
Its procession across the star
observed by passerbys.

A sight to blind, but worth the burn–
history brands the eye.
An encore promised one hundred years
too late for minute lives.