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

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Daily Prompt: Panoply

via Daily Prompt: Panoply

She sits in the corner of her living room,

staring out the window.– She wipes her glasses,

then, her eyes, as they have begun to tear up.

She puts her glasses back on and looks down,

at the open photo album sitting on her lap.

“These are physical records of my memories,”

she said, speaking without looking up from the album.

“Your grandfather was kind of a collector,

he had a panoply of cars, watches, clothes,

you name it he had it, but me–

I liked the simpler things, the memories,

the experiences, and the photos of those experiences,

were enough for me, and so I took a photo

of the times I felt an emotion, positive or negative,

so on days like today, I’d be able to look at them and

remember the emotion, the feeling.

Your grandfather, when he lost his memory,

couldn’t remember that all these cars, watches, clothes

belonged to him. He couldn’t look upon these photos

and remember that this was us, at the flower shop,

when he bought three dozen roses, got down on one knee,

and told me, ‘unlike these flowers, my love will never wither,’

and then he asked me to be his forever.

In fact, the last time he sat with me to look at this album

he took his index finger and ran it over my face in the photo,

looked up at me and stroked my face so gently,

as if he had just discovered me for the first time,

and then he smiled at me, and I knew he’d never remember that day again,

and maybe, some day, I won’t be able to remember any of it either.

But you’ll look at it and see two lovers in a flower shop,

and you’ll come up with your own story for what happened that day,

and you’ll smile or frown or laugh or get angry,– doesn’t matter.

What’s important is this photo will have an emotion attached to it,

mine… yours… someone else’s…

and really, that’s all that matters.

Panoply

Daily Prompt: Base

via Daily Prompt: Base

Ping!– The instant message appeared,

her tiny, pink font sickening to the eyes,

my stomach turned– vision blurring

to the point I couldn’t make out her words.

Years ago, she sat in the sand

on that beach volleyball court,

her knees to her chest, arms hugging her legs.

I walked towards her, and sat beside her

facing the opposite way

and I lay my head on her shoulder.

She muttered her reasons,

choking on words, and tears, as she went along.

And when she got up, I was left alone

in the cold sand, with nothing

to hold my head against,

wondering what I had done to lose her.

I finished reading the pink text on my screen,

“It’s been enough time, and I know everything

between us is all kinds of f**ked up,

but I wanted to touch base with you.”

Ignore–Block– Close.

I thought back to her leaving me in the cold sand,

alone with my thoughts, my pain,

and today, she doesn’t get to tell me it’s time,

deciding that I’ve grieved enough,

that I finally get my answers.

Base

Daily Prompt: Banned

via Daily Prompt: Banned

You are cold, sending a sharp sense of dread down my skin,

the tiny hairs on my body stand up to your touch,

my heart races, beating aggressively,

attempting to jump out of my chest to attack.

My eyes grow large, and liquid begins to form in them

causing a clarity right before the cloudiness of tears.

The stench is putrid, causing the dogs I pass to bark loudly,

they sense your presence, hovering over me, following me,

directing my actions away from what you perceive as a bad thing.

Early on I relied on you, and quite frankly, sometimes,

I still do– my reflexes sharpen and my adrenaline pumps,

but you are a liar, a deceiver–

you break down my will, cause my strength to fail,

you weaken my resolve, you take my energy

and you trick my mind to accept the idea that I–

the very person I am, all that I’ve lived through–

am weak, unintelligent, unloved, and a failure.

Well my old friend, my new enemy,

or perhaps those words are too strong to use on you,

so I’ll plainly call you by your name–‘Fear,’

you are banned from making decisions in my life.

No longer will you rule me, and though I’ll listen to your warnings,

I’ll disregard you when you’re derailing my life’s progress.

Banned

Daily Prompt: Volunteer

via Daily Prompt: Volunteer

You made the choice, like a volunteer,

to be up in the middle of the night,

preparing meals to suppress my hunger.

You knew you’d need to wake up early,

to dress me, feed me, teach me.

You made no promises to love me unconditionally,

but you have, and at my lowest points

you picked me up and told me it would be just fine.

At my best moments, I searched for you in the crowd,

to share with you my happiness,

but you were already smiling, as if my joy was enough.

I tried to become all you said I could be,

trying my best to be a good man– to do what’s right,

hold those doors for others, and give up seats on buses,

to love my wife and children the way you loved me– unconditionally.

Thank you for being my mother.

Volunteer