Clean

via Daily Prompt: Clean

Those memories were kept in spaces

in the back of minds that can no longer remember–

not amnesic, but rather, actively forgotten,

to numb pain that was associated with them.

She walked ahead of me, slightly,

always a few steps in front and never side by side.

Her hair smelled like sin and her smile,

like fire, melted me into something she,

and only she, could mold into what she wanted.

On a Thursday, she left me, with fake tears

in her eyes, a remorseful fake-out,

pretending that my pain was hers to bear.

I cried, but in the midst of the sobbing,

I realized she had driven all that way,

when a phone call would have sufficed.

–That made me smile, a little.

Now with my memories gone, I am refreshed,

a brand new, clean slate, and maybe this time,

I’ll find someone willing to walk alongside me.

Clean

Successful

via Daily Prompt: Successful

“Work hard, but also work smart,”

was your message to me,

before I was even old enough

to know exactly what work was.

You set the example, long hours,

hands like sandpaper, knees aching,

and all the hours taking their toll,

until your body was no longer able to cope.

You said keep at it, never quit

if the work was worth being done,

own it, make it top priority.

Father, you did it, worked all those years,

to provide for us, your family,

and really, you set me up to win,

even before I was ready to work,

you made it possible for me to be

successful.

All your work, like a lighthouse beacon

showing me the path even in the darkest night.

Successful

Privacy

via Daily Prompt: Privacy

Elliot sat in the diner, in one of the booths, slouching down so that the back of his head rested evenly on the top of the cushioned seat. He watched the rain fall against the glass and wondered how many people have sat in this same spot.

The waiter took his order: tall glass of chocolate milk. That’s what his mother would give him as a child whenever he felt sad, but he’s grown now and so, a waiter will have to bring him that chocolate milk now.

Josh arrived thirty-seven minutes later and about three glasses of chocolate milk.

Elliot looked annoyingly at him as he plopped down in the seat across from him. The seat made a weird rubbing noise as denim met leather and a slight gust of air came out through a tear in the seat.

“‘Sup, sunshine? Been waiting long?” Josh offered.

“Bro, it’s been an hour. If you meant eight o’clock, why did you say seven?”

“Well, I meant seven is when I’d leave. Come on, man, I thought you’d have figured this out by now.”

“I thought, given the circumstances, you’d have rushed over here.”

“Well, you thought wrong. It’s not even that important, bro. She’s not that important.”

Elliot looked puzzled at this comment. Not important? Yes, Janelle wasn’t exactly Josh’s best friend, but she and Elliot had been together for half a decade. Surely that was enough time to make her important.

“She was important to me!” Elliot exclaimed.

“That’s just it, bro, she was important to YOU. No one else gave a crap about her. Nobody wanted to see you two actually make it. You wanna know why?”

“I don’t, but you’re going to tell me anyway, right?”

“Damn right! Just like you were going to invite her to everything we invited you to, right? She didn’t care about you. She just wanted to make you a freakin’ puppet. There wasn’t a life there for you, bro, just follow the leader and be a good little slave.”

“Just shut up, man. You don’t know anything. Just leave me alone.”

Josh was fed up. He watched his best friend slowly become a different person through the years. Janelle had sapped him of all things good. Transformed him into a shell of his former self, and now, in this diner, he realized there was no saving his friend.

“Fine! You know what, Elliot? You’re right about that. I don’t know anything. I’ll give you your privacy. You’re on your own from now on.”

Josh took a couple of tens from his pocket and dropped them on the table. “Chocolate milk is on me, you little bitch. Have fun! Oh! And if she does take you back, and she will, no one else fits the role of bitch as much as you do, do yourself a favor, grow a set of man-sized balls.”

Privacy

Cling

via Daily Prompt: Cling

Through the aisles we walked as you perused

the sale signs and the tags that hung from clothing.

I walked by your side, at first amused,

but as we kept walking, began to feel dread and loathing.

You kept it up for hours on end, looking for the best deals,

I clung to your hand all the while, dragging feet in protest.

But you let me stray, at times, two-handing bargains and steals.

And when my feet hurt, and my frown grew, you held me closest.

I was young then, much too young to understand,

those were the best times, when all of it was spent with you.

Now, as I’m much older, I’ll tell you: I will cling to your hand

for days we have left, because you’re my mom and my best friend too.

Cling

Shine

via Daily Prompt: Shine

He was bright, as bright goes,

conversed with adults rather

than the kids his own age.

He was shunned by those kids,

and was told by those adults that

friends his age would be better,

than trying to fit in with those grown.

He kept to himself, afraid that he

was judged differently than most,

too smart for his age group,

not old enough for his intellectual equals.

And at night he cried,

because the darkness afforded him cover,

for although he was bright,

he could never shine,

doomed to conform to standards set for him,

before he could decide for himself.

Shine

Infinite

via Daily Prompt: Infinite

Multiverse. That’s the latest craze,

where there exists, anything, and everything.

Infinite possibilities, that’s what they say.

A universe where we’re not the dominant species,

a universe where we all have feet for hands,

and hands for ears, and chickens drive taxis.

Maybe that’s silly, but even more impossible,

is a world where you aren’t my mother.

Chance? I can’t see how– in the bigness of the universe,

and humanity’s overall insignificance,

how anyone else could have made me the way I am.

So, the only conclusion: maybe there does exist multiple

universes, and infinite possibilities, I will give them that,

but, at least I know that in every possibility, you will always be,

my mother.

Infinite

Specific

via Daily Prompt: Specific

She sat across from me because, for some reason, the professor believed we’d have better discussions if the seats were arranged as opposing factions, almost like a war would erupt at any point if the wrong thing was said. Her name was Katherine and this was “Intermediate Workshop in Poetry/Fiction.” I couldn’t remember the prompt, but she was busy at work writing her lines and occasionally, she would smile at what she had written.

I was finished. I had been for a while, which was routine now. I would hurry to finish the writing exercise and spend the next few minutes pretending to look over my work, but secretly I was studying her, the contours of her face, her eyes, nose, lips, and every specific detail. She had a mole that was all the more noticeable because of her porcelain-like skin.

When she would finish she would look up, and because I was directly across from her, her eyes would briefly meet mine before we’d both smile and look away.

She didn’t know me, but every Tuesday and Thursday, for a few seconds our eyes would meet and all was right, and all was beautiful, and life was worth it.

Specific