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Winter Child& though my skin is steel,
I am but a girl without a wolf,
without a home,
without a name.
& though autumn winds still blow,
I only feel the cold,
for winter has settled
into the hollow
between my shoulder blades.
AtlanticLast night, I dreamed of the sea,
And of the long road there.
The sun cast diamonds on the rising tide
As I sought gentle waves to swallow me.
Would that I could bare my bones to emerald depths
In search of pacific clarity,
Where reality is suspended with gravity
And I can float as through a dream.
But when Ursula can’t give me fins and God can’t give me wings,
I remain but a girl, weary of heart and far from home,
Walking the dry line between earth and sky
With only fantasy-tides to help me breathe.
22 years spent soaking seawater into my skin—
Now my pores cry out and choke on dust and heat.
But in dreams, I still follow the scent of salt on the air
To slip into the Atlantic’s cold, loving embrace.
The stars sang to me, sang such sweet songs that father’s grip nor mother’s pleas could keep my astronomical spirit rooted in human life; I let them go and my feet found a path from the ground to the galaxy, and I thought I could be happy forever in my wanderlust.
Beauty, wonder, and awe I expected. It was the cold that caught me off guard. The nothing stretching between planets and stars, between supernovae and nebulae, chafed icily at my skin, and the weight of such fearful emptiness etched weakness into my shoulder blades. The longer I meandered, the more stardust felt gritty, the more starlight burned. When a thread of dark-matter memories caught at my ankle, I rejoiced, tracing the strand with my toe-tips all the way back home.
But it was a new home I was destined for; I lost my humanity somewhere between the little fisher and the seven dancing girls, and greater powers than I decreed that I must re-evolve and find it anew. I was reborn on the earth, first as a fluid s
A Lady and Her Knight Chapter 14: NeilA week into their journey through the forest, the king abruptly called a halt to the march at midday. Neil, who was with Randolf at the head of a column of cavalry riders, looked at his friend inquisitively. Randolf, catching the look, shrugged and said, “I’ve no idea.” He turned and gave the signal to stop to those riding behind them, then told one of his colonels that he was going to see the king. Neil went with him, for he was curious; since he’d proved himself against the likes of ogres and goblins on multiple scouting expeditions now, the king had put him in charge of the scouts and fully admitted him into the inner circle of commanders, so he knew he was welcome now.
The king’s servants set up his pavilion with remarkable speed—it was almost completely standing when Neil and Randolf arrived. They dismounted—Neil had to do so carefully, since his foot was still injured—left their horses with the servants, and went inside in search of
The downside of a gentleman's codeYou, my chivalrous dream,
my shattered mirror,
my broken locket—
you were self-righteous heroism
and a ticking
The day she died,
burned tears from my eyes;
and I realized that I was
well and truly
Days Like TheseOn days like these I’m naught but dust in the wind, riding turbulent eddies around building corners and skating along laminar fields, seeking the taste of salt on the air. This transient existence is chafing away my skin, but I know that my search for a seaside to settle on won’t end for years yet.
On days like these, I wonder if it would be wise to cut my wings and grow roots instead, but this carmine clay-soil can’t give me what I need to survive. I am grounded for now, but I know I must never forget how to fly.
Dreamscape BoyYou are my dreamscape boy; I fall asleep to come alive with you in a whirl of sensory pigments and half-understood plotlines. In dreams, we draw hopscotch lines between stars and leave our clothes on the banks of molten-rock rivers. We waltz across battlefields and hold hands as a tornado passes over us, always seeking the secret light that guides us through the gloom of my subconscious. I always wake before we find it.
And when I wake, all I have are your mannequin hands for mine to sweat against. I yearn for the you pulsing with vivid blood, the you with enough warmth to keep my heart pumping as we drift from the Milky Way to Andromeda, but all I get are Arctic-ocean eyes and a synthetic smile.
I thought I wanted to sleep forever, but now you make me wish to dream in black and white.
DrownYou were ballistae and battering rams and trebuchets, and I was the castle under siege, so when my kingdom come shattered I had no one to blame but you. Katabatic, I flowed down from my sky-perch, and I would have frozen you until you burned as one slick with boiling oil if I could.
You and the future eluded me, though; now, I simply drift on zephyr-currents, heedless of past, present, and solid ground alike, searching for a place to drown.
Pisces RisingThe crown of Olympus quaked
beneath the weight of a behemoth,
a beast of a god wreathed in
come a caelo usque ad centrum
to lay judgment at its feet.
As Typhon’s monstrous cacophony
echoed off stone and clouds, mother
and son fled ‘til water barricaded their way.
Then, aquatic mercies surfaced,
clad in scales like mailed knights
to aid mother and son in their flight.
Bound together by silk-strong threads,
they soared across the sea to African safety,
where mother and son and cowardly gods
listened to the roar of thunderous battle.
The ram fought the titan, and, in fine,
claimed violent volcanic victory.
Aphrodite, in reward, raised Pisces
de profundis ad astra,
to be admired eternally
and consigned to
memories of gods and men.
homeI pray to go home.
on bended knee,
I lift my heart
to a nameless god,
I bless his heart,
or maybe hers,
and ask for deliverance
to a land
I feel a map,
carved into my shoulders.
three mirrors are arranged
directing my attention
to my back, a range of mountains,
but my eyes don't see.
is water through a sieve.
puddles flow beneath me,
no barrier to hold me
a cheshire smile
and reversible signs
lie to me
and no amount of tears,
salty oceans on my cheeks,
will bring me home.
I dream of a room,
soft and fuzzy to the sight,
where I feel at rest;
I know that I am still
SplitI didn’t know what to do for her. Or to her. Or with her. She cried, a lot. She thought I didn’t know, didn’t notice, or maybe just didn’t care.
I saw her dancing in the rain one Saturday afternoon, nude. Not a stitch on her, and dancing by the creek, red welts rising on her skin from the biting mosquitoes. She never danced. I watched, and marveled that she could dance and still look sad.
When the rain let up, she stopped and stared at the creek flowing and bubbling over big flat mossy rocks. I called her name without using my voice, and she turned, but then looked away again. I wondered where she was in her head, that she could stand there and ignore the itchy bites and not worry that she was naked.
I envied her lack of self-consciousness. I pulled my heavy cardigan around my shoulders, even though it was hot and muggy out. I hid in its folds like a turtle hides inside its mobile home.
Sometimes I could feel her tugging at me, begging. I was stubbor
runaway irony (FFM 22)Twenty minutes after finishing the documentary on New Zealand, Nicole had a plan worked out. She wrote it all down in gel pen, an itemised list of all the things she needed; then she got to work.
It wasn’t easy to convince the man in Bunnings to sell her nails, but she put on her best innocent face, and told him it was for her father’s garden shed. It wasn’t easy to convince the neighbour to let her have the old fence palings, either; nor the logs that had been earmarked for a bonfire, but a few hearty fibs and her best “I just want to help my daddy” smile went a long way to convincing them.
Two weeks later, she had bruised hands, a lot of knowledge about how not to use a hammer, and what she hoped would pass for a half-decent raft. She packed herself a bag with some clothes and spare underwear, then packed another bag, this one larger and wheeled, with as much canned food as she could carry. Before she left, she remembered to grab the can op
Fall of ManI remember thinking: if this were a story, it would be alright. Even tragedies have meaning when someone else holds the pen. But this is not a story. Unless it is.
There was me cradling you in the wreckage of a building; and in the distance, the sounds of running and screaming and alarms of ambulances, everyone calling for help, and there, another building collapsing.
A snowflake fell on your forehead and for a moment it seemed more important than the blood, more important than bombs falling from the sky, the war that had begun. Blocks away perhaps a television was somehow still on, perhaps it screamed propaganda. All I knew was you had no reason to be punished.
People can’t run with broken legs, and you also had a broken arm, and when I heard another woman scream for her beloved to come back to life, I knew you would die.
I should have remembered what you whispered to me, but the planes above were too loud. If I had heard your last word
Ageing Superhero (FFM 24)Nathan always imagined he’d go out in a gunfight, cape fluttering; a hero’s death in the pursuit of peace. Turns out, he was only right about the “gun” part.
* * *
Mr Cuddles weaves around Nathan’s ankles. He’s purring loudly, and shedding fur all over Nathan’s slightly-too-tight bodysuit, but Nathan’s attention is fixed on the tinny voice coming from his mobile.
“Look, your international days are over. You’re getting older, and I know you’ve gained a few pounds. No, don’t try to lie to me. You wear spandex, Nathan. It’s pretty unforgiving, and you no longer have a six-pack. The world events, the foreign villains, you can leave them to the newbies.”
Paying no attention to the plaintive-sounding agent, Mr Cuddles hunts, unnoticed as he follows Nathan towards the safe on the landing.
Nathan’s carrying his guns one-handed; he’s only half-listening to his age
NebraskaHe called her Nebraska. The first time he did was in a Wal-Mart parking lot with August humidity pressing the air from their lungs. It also happened to be the first time she saw him. “Whoa there, Nebraska!” he’d said as the blue shopping cart got away from her and rolled right into him.
She apologized profusely. At least it was empty, and hadn’t got a chance to gather much speed. Besides, what the heck was he doing standing in the cart return?
“Why the heck are you standing in a cart return?” she asked him. He was tall. Lanky. He had a military haircut, and she should have known then. He was young; she likely had the long side of a decade on him. But when he smiled, everything just felt better.
He vaulted out of the pipe enclosure and held something up between his thumb and index finger. A nickle. He grinned again, and his green eyes crinkled, “I dropped it.”
“Well that explains it.”
“And now,” he said, “I ha
PhotogenicPeople have often said I'm photogenic. From what little I've seen, I haven't liked many photos of just myself. But there are a few sentimental, spontaneous portraits, taken by people who saw the beauty in me when I didn't, which are definite exceptions to the rule.
There's that one that Jordan took of me, sitting under some trees at the Great Sand Dunes of Alamosa. I'd been crying over an unexpected altercation with a friend, though few can tell that by looking at the snapshot. "Can you smile and be pretty and love me?" he'd asked. In his mind, I'd done the latter two things; all I needed was to do the first. So I smiled, because I felt loved.
Then there's the picture that Thomas took of me, lying in the lower ring of what Texas A&M students call the Modern Art Sculpture. "People here do this all the time," he'd told me; I felt like I was blending in with a completely new culture--Thomas's culture--and it was exhilarating. It was my first time visiting campus, and I was in awe of a
[TGB] Leave The Light OnIt seemed only natural that she found him.
Her paws had been weary, her mind restless - home no longer felt like home and he .... he had always had a calming presence upon her soul. His smirking blue-green eyes soothed a fire in her soul and made everything shift when she hadn't been aware it was askew in the first place.
He held her steady, whether he knew it or not and right now Arya felt like a leaf in a thunderstorm.
"Fancy seeing you again - if I didn't know any better I'd say you missed my dashing looks."
Perhaps it was in the way Arya fumbled for an appropriate response, or perhaps it was how her grass eyes misted over with unshed tears - full to the brim with emotion Arya usually kept hidden from her companion.
"Arya?" His brow furrowed slightly and he took a hesitant step forward. His firefly was strong ... for her to be so shaken ...
She wasn't sure when the tears had started, hadn't noticed their slow descent down her cheeks until Idek's nose was touchin
My Knee Hurts and I Hate David BowieThey're at it again.
I've grabbed the broom and smacked the handle against the ceiling, but the neighbours upstairs take no notice. I think about calling the police, but I hate doing that without at least talking to them. Everybody deserves that chance, I think. Still, the prospect of standing outside their door and talking to them isn't one that sits comfortably. When I think I'm going to explode if I have to listen to another second, I give in.
I power up the stairs like nobody's business, and pound on their door. I'd knock like a normal person, but if they can't hear the broom hitting their floor, they won't hear a knock, either. Finally, after what feels like an eternity, the door opens and sound washes over me in a wave that's all but solid.
The figure in the doorway looks like a reject from an 80's concert. He's got a blinkin' mullet, and he sparkles... but he's got nothin' on the fella behind him. Bloody queer's wearing a dress, and more makeup than an entire row of beaut
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