The Cactus and the Balloon (Street Lit Writing Prompt 02.15.19)

There once was a cactus who loved a balloon. The balloon, of course, did not return their love. It was not proper for a balloon to love a cactus. And how could a balloon love a cactus? They were not pretty. The could not fly, but rather stayed stuck in the ground. And they were so dirty. The balloon and their friends mocked the cactus as they blew by. In spite the pain the cactus’s unrequited love caused, they could not let it go. If only they could just touch the beautiful balloon. Maybe then they could get over their infatuation. They knew, if they could just free themselves from the ground, they could possibly grace the balloon’s rubbery skin. One day, a man bearing an axe came. The cactus had learned to fear such men with such axes. Then the inevitable happened, the man began to chop away at the base of the cactus. The cactus would have screamed in pain if they had the ability. In spite of the pain, the cactus felt a sense of joy. They knew this was means to freedom and the opportunity to possibly touch their beautiful balloon. Panic set in as the cactus was loaded into the back of the man’s truck. No, this was not how this was supposed to end. How could the cactus be torn away from their love. At least life in the dessert meant seeing the balloon. But no, it couldn’t end like this. The balloons followed behind, mocking the cactus as they wept. As the truck climbed a sand dune, the cactus rolled out the back, touching their love for the first time as it fell. “Pop!”, went the balloon. The cactus lay in the sand as the truck drove off, in shock and grieving over the loss of their love.

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Ladders (Street Lit Writing Prompt 01.25.19)

Naked and cold, huddled together. The gates open and we rush the ladders. We know that each step means more – more entertainment, more sustenance, more respect. Stepping over each other with only our stomachs in mind. Who will feed them if we don’t? Eyes closed or maybe just blinded by mud. Slipping as we push forward. But on a still day, if we are very careful, a single match could bring this tower to the ground. Slow steps, pulling each other through with ease. I lift you up. A single spark, a single idea – we are one, we are brothers, we are one. And we will see a ladder is just a bridge turned upward.

Snowflakes of Gasoline

Damnit, we are capable of so much more
Boxes in boxes – tools of prediction
Every beautiful flower
Snowflakes of gasoline sticking in the cold wind
Wide strokes over Monet’s Lillies
The enemy wears white
Not all rectangles squares
Cortical blindness when we are so beautiful
A dog and cool water
Love on the other side of a cardboard wall
Fire could illuminate these dark cells
There is already a burning inside
Dreams of piles of ash
But what of those cold puddles

The Picketer

Walking by a Planned Parenthood, on my way to a job interview, I saw her outside protesting. I thought she was pretty. But more than that, there was something about her that made me want to know her. I could put on a mask of religious zealot for little while if it meant getting to spend some time with her. But she wasn’t as fanatical as I expected. She was very opposed to abortion, but had personal reasons. She had had an abortion when she was 20. Her boyfriend at the time pressured her into going through with it. She felt lost and did what she thought was right. But she regretted it almost immediately. She told me their relationship fell apart shortly after. Since then, she had done what she could to inspire woman with unwanted pregnancies to consider adoption over abortion. I admired her convictions even though I disagreed with her methods. We had so much in common. We were both broke, but didn’t mind our lack of funds so much when we were in each other’s company. The one inconsistency was our perspectives on abortion. Over the next few months, I grew to love her in a way I’d never loved another woman. Then came the morning of December 12th. I had been staying at her apartment regularly, but had not been able to the night before on account of the fact that she was not feeling well. My phone rang. It was her. Her voice was monotone, lifeless – “I’m pregnant”. We both knew we were not in a place financially or in our relationship to raise a child together. Of course there was the option of adoption, but she felt as though carrying this baby for 9 months only to hand it over would be more than she could bare. I felt torn, but scheduled an appointment for her. That afternoon, tears running down her face, she passed through her own picket line. She stopped returning my calls and now we haven’t talked in almost a month.

For the Love of Archy

I want to scream wake up to arbitrary division
My love for him and for them doesn’t mean I love you less
Your visions of black and white sound so much like elision
Dropping sounds like puzzle pieces – willingly dispossess
Regurgitating other’s words
And we are aching to be heard
Separation of our nation
Reasons for treason blurred
Suppress Queen Anne with King Olig
Jughead’s not dead, just sleeping
What government not heaven-sent
With a C I see we’re reaping
A war can’t fix us. Revolution keeps the wheel spinning
Old hands demand retribution. Is anybody winning?
White body, pale, colorless skin, benefit from blood
Everyone knows how our love grows when we don’t cut the bud
But we’re amnesiacs
Blinded by facts
Twisting in suspicion
Attracting hate
No other fate
Monocular vision
Same life
Same blood
Different faces
Different forms
Different shades
Same love