Clouds

As far as I knew, I was lying on the grass, looking at the sky. Come to find out I was staring up at the roof of your mouth and its scattered white clouds. What gave it away were your lips, and how I noticed that they were lips to begin with was when I saw a second sky after you rose for air. I used to think this was my grave, staring up from this distance, like people would come and bury me. And now I realize that your teeth are the trees, towering like delicate aspens and darkened in silhouette, with the sun shining from behind like a new day.

5 Vignettes

  • The man’s cane made a distinctive tap when he walked, and she always knew it was him without having to look up from her book. The tapping sound had a rattle to it — like there was a broken part.
  • Despite her formidable dry spells, when death was near, she could write. Fear would make her find the words.
  • There were plenty of spaces available in the lot, but for some reason, she took a long time deciding where to park. When she finally pulled into a spot, she exited her car feeling frustrated.
  • She mused that the bookstore employee looked like an insect stripped of its wings. When walking quickly down an aisle, he seemed to be retreating to a crevice. His glasses had thick lenses, and his hair was greasy. His body was undernourished.
  • She no longer felt or looked fat once she put on her yoga pants. She wished she had eaten the spaghetti while wearing them instead of her jeans, which were beyond snug. With her yoga pants on now, she did not feel bad about eating so much pasta, and in fact, she craved more.

A Study of Orange

She had a bright yellow pen and a fat hardcover book with a lime green dust jacket.

Her yoga pants were red like pomegranate, and her spa socks were slate. Her black and white cat played with a ribbon that was thick as Asian flat noodle. Her coffee was black and sat just so. It filled an espresso cup the color of steak bone.

Soon she would be eating a banana that matched her pen, but she was unsure she liked the color. The pens also came in a very citrusy orange that made her heart skip. Continue reading

Bird Man

The Bird Man is on the move. He’s wearing a sweat jacket and a ball cap because it’s cold. It’s 38 degrees this morning, and typically, such as during summer, the Bird Man will wear only an old white T-shirt that you and I might demote to rag status, as well as jeans that no longer can stay put around his pot belly.

Today the Bird Man looks more dressed up than usual due to his navy blue jacket. It seems to be in fine condition and looks warm.

The Bird Man is removing the rocks from the small plastic Tupperware lining his cement wall like battlements. He is emptying the backwash and refilling the vessels with a cheap plastic pitcher of water. Continue reading

White lies

Sugar-coated almonds at a wedding. You bury the bride in her white dress. While they are nice to look at, you cannot bite on pearls. For instance, I do not need to see an ivory piano on which Mozart played. Or if the piano were situated in a jewelry box, raised up as if on a dais, the otherwise dreamy notes would sound contorted, as if reflected in a funhouse mirror.

Numbness and flying

I’ve always thought it would be nice to be placed under anesthesia before a plane ride. That way, you don’t have to fret over the prospect of crashing or face the slow-moving hours of flight.

Before you know it, you’re in Thailand.

Flying is like having surgery, anyway. After liftoff, the matter is out of your hands. You must rely on a tiny crew, with a single soul at the helm, and you must pray that they know what they’re doing.

You feel woozy at first (when gaining altitude), but then you just go numb, due in part to boredom — and maybe also desensitization. Meanwhile, the wings cut through the air like blades.

Hours later, you descend from the clouds and back to cold reality. Most likely you are feeling groggy and hungry. Or perhaps nauseous. As soon as you land, you call friends and loved ones to announce that you’ve made it through.