Submissions             Greetings



  1. Restless

    Swaying lanterns accompany the rhythm of your dancing fingers. I tell you that today I am sad sad sad sad sad. You say that recently you do not feel anything. I rasp to you that this sorrow is not bittersweet like the poems say but like needles threading through windpipe. You have been indulging yourself too much in dreams, you smile lazily. I promise you that one day I will set off far into the desert, so that you could experience a fraction of my loss. You tell me that the sweet wine has numbed your hands, so they must play their restless melody. I ask you whether you still love music. You tell me no, not recently.  

     


  2. Ferris

    The Ferris wheel was old, crusted over with the saltiness that comes from being by the sea. That morning the radio told us that a monsoon was coming, so you covered up the rusted iron with your chapped hands, praying that it wouldn’t be the last time. Birds resting within its ribs rustle their feathers, restless but afraid.

    At night, the ocean is a monster of a being, roaring and swallowing the pier whole. I can hear it creaking and moaning outside, the wind whistling through its skeleton. I asked you, in the flickering amber light, what we would do if it fell. You told me to shut my mouth and drink my soup, bitter and watery as it was. I tell you that this preoccupation is a disease. It eats away at us like the rust eats away its bones outside.

    For the briefest moment, the sea quiets, and I observe your rigid face, outlined by the shadows. You tell me that the first time you sat in its carriage, your father told you that one day you would inherit this place. That day was the happiest of your life. That day, you were the prince of a country. Was obligation your only reason for staying, I muse.

    No not obligation, you grind out, frustrated. Not obligation not love not fear kept you here, you explain.

    Then, what is it, I ask out of a strange fascination. You are as silent as the sea on calm mornings. Daybreaks I have seen too many of.

    I tell you the story of an old oak tree I used to keep in my back yard. Its roots had dried out but it kept on stubbornly drinking in the morning dew condensed on its crinkled leaves.

    You croak to me bitterly that I should have just put it out of its misery. I look at you, and our eyes meet as the clanging of brittle metal is heard outside, a tower of rotted iron collapsing to the ground.

    I did, I whisper to you.

     


  3. Suit

    First impressions are everything, my father used to say, perching me atop his knee and rocking me back and forth. His knees were creaky, but broad, and those golden afternoons I felt as if I were upon the weathered stern of a rickety ship braving the Atlantic.First impressions are everything, son, he said. So you must be sure to dress sharp. Sharp equates smart.

    So that day I rose well before dawn, ironing, checking, and re-checking my suit. My suit that would be clean, well fitted, and sharp.

    Sharp smart sharp smart sharp smart.

    Words I repeated to myself over and over again while braving the front doorstep of a Boston high-rise building. I was not crossing the tumultuous waters of the Aegean, but felt the floor shift slightly under my feet while I stumbled across the polished tiles.

    I rise up and upwards still, smoothly. Softly. Not at all like the way my father used to throw me into the air, whooping as I soared. My fingers drummed restlessly against carpeted walls. Sharp smart sharp smart shmarpt what was it again? The elevator dings, softly, and I am startled into silence.

    It must have been the suit. Stepping outside I was not greeted with the crashing waves I had anticipated. Sunlight filtering in between metal giants had long evaporated any trace of moisture that could have existed on the bone-dry streets. It must have been the suit. I whisper to myself. First impressions are everything everything everything. So how could you have messed up the suit?

    In a fit of frustration I rip off my navy (slim-fit notched lapel single chest-pocket) suit jacket and hurl it to the ground, letting the dust settle around it, like tiny mites crawling into the seams.

    First impressions are everything.

    I’m sorry, father.

    First impressions are everything. Be sure to dress sharp.

    I tried, father.

     


  4. Thursday

    Thursday trains plummet down snowy tunnel ways, brittle contraptions crammed full of hollow-eyed crows. You moan to me that you are unhappy.

    “Unhappy unhappy unhappy.”

    Thursday trains can do that to a person, I say. Perhaps you should get off. We are pieces of tin in a compression machine, squeezed tighter between unforgiving walls at every sunrise.

    Tick tick tick. The silver rails speed by. You say that you must have been sitting too long, so your legs are leaden.

    Tick tick tick. “What ever is happening to my legs? Premature arthritis?” 

    I wonder where we’re being shipped off to. 

    Tick tick TACK. The train sputters and slows. I tell you to take the leap. You cry to me that you cannot get off because your legs have turned into rusty contraptions, complete with cogwheels and puffing gears.

    And so we continue on with just a typical Thursday.   

     


  5. Kings

    In a land faraway, we used to lead the lives of vagrants. We slept in dust and woke, tasting dirt on our tongues. Tore savagely into stale bread, choking on hard crumbs and bitter anger. We collected shattered glass in alleyways, scooping up the twinkling shards to give to the glass smith, whispering, “Here, sir, is all that we have in the world. Will you buy our fortune?”

    It was a time of gypsies. When we would run under the sun, whooping as we chased butterflies and the twinkling mirage of a distant city. When we would roll among soft grasses in eternal fields of green. Weave circles of vine and call them crowns.

    Yes, we were born in a land under the blazing sun, where colored glass encrusted the streets and dirty children reigned in the hills. Where we would laugh with tears dripping down our cheeks, leaving trails in our dust-coated skin. Those were wretched, beautiful times.

     


  6. ramonewashere:

    Some people catch sadness
    Like they catch the flu,
    But others
    Have it
    Like a cancer.
    It turns into a depression
    That raps over their face
    Like a plastic bag,
    It plunges into
    Their stomach like a knife.
    Your blood turns into oil
    And loneliness is like a fire.

     


  7. Snow

    It has been a thousand days since the snow began. I know because I have marked every day on my calendar with big red crosses, hoping that with each stroke I have come closer to seeing the end of whiteness. The snow has not stopped for a thousand days and nights, and I am becoming weary of the cold. Of blue skin and bloodshot eyes that sting from the brilliancy of nothingness. More than anything, I am weary of the vast ocean of frost that separates us. Some days I think of walking across the frozen tundra, allowing the ice to pelt deep within my blood and freeze me from inside out. Then I would collapse into your arms, content to feel warmth one last time. But we are separated by an ocean of ice that will not melt until the sun comes. And for that day I will wait through millennia of snow.  

     


  8. Ivory Keys

    Once I heard a melody on the wind. Of notes crinkling in the air like ash.

    It was a sad sound. Like the trailing smoke of a snuffed flame, it was like that.

    Her eyes were dry when I found her but mine were wet like the rain seeping into her bones. Come with me. I pleaded to her while extending a hand. Her eyes reminded me of the shattered ivory keys she rested her hand on.

    Sitting alone with her piano years later, I realize 

    that we never spoke the same language to begin with.

     


  9. Flora

    The spring of this year brought with it a whirlwind of lilacs and peonies. Her beauty was said to be able to fell even the sparrows in the sky, and fall I did, as if I had forgotten the meaning of flight. Young cherry blossoms in front of my window witnessed our first night together. She had held her palms tenderly to my face, as if trying to memorize its lines for remembrance at a later time. And despite knowing the absolute cheesiness of it all, I bought her nine roses, one for each week we had been together. Her eyes were dimmed against the glow of the bouquet.

    Summer brought with it the dried husks of pink blooms at my doorstep, when I finally grew tired of finding dead roses. Her eyes shifted, looking into the distance. Look at me. I whispered to her, not gently, but hoarsely, as if she were clutching my throat the way she was grasping the stems of yet another bouquet of roses.

    You don’t love me anymore. A statement, rather than a question. The chill that her flat eyes bore affirmed that fact. Nine crimson roses added themselves to the carpet of blossoms. The summer of that year brought with it a heat wave tinged with death, as the sickly sweet scent of wilted flowers hung in the air.   

     


  10. Colorado

    The wide expanse of desert sand is too bright on my eyes as we soar through a paradise of red stone. There are bones beneath our feet. History crunching between our toes. I do not regret coming out here, despite the sun burning my shoulders and the dust in my lungs. Colorado is a land of stillness. We breathe in the unchanging air and stir the sky with our exhalations.