To J, the lovesick

you who brought her to the doctor
and signed for her packages
so that her parents wouldn’t berate her
for expensive spending habits

once told me, she asked if you were in love with her

and you said no
but from then on,
it was push and pull

an isolation from other friends

this twenty-something
she had seen the color of your heart
found the pen to scribble over it
like a child vandalizing her belongings
THIS IS MINE

and still you persisted
even as you told me
where we would eat
what we would watch
what we would do

until one day I said no
and you fell silent

love or friendship
we are human beings
and not things to be used or tossed
or pulverized to fill
the gaps of other people’s wounds

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[Fiction] Dear Josephine

Dear Josephine,

Today we walked in the woods together, the ax hefted on my shoulder and the gun on yours. It was bright early and the snowfall was fresh, crunching under our boots. Our breaths came out thick and white, mingled together and disappeared up into the sky.

Marie

Continue reading “[Fiction] Dear Josephine”

Narcissus in the Forest

Sunlight on Water

A woodsman with his ax heft upon his shoulder
Grew weary in the heat of high summer
But his tired, weaving steps drew him to
A pool of water he’d never seen before
Although he’d come into the forest many a time.

A maid was washing her long hair
And her brother, for he wore the same face,
Only roughened as if by a finger on chalk,
Lounged upon a flat rock on the water’s edge,
Both naked as wildflowers in fierce bloom.

The maid beckoned with one curled finger,
“Come and sit a while with us.”
But the woodsman hesitated, chagrined
Until her brother smiled with the understanding
That men have between them of women.

The woodsman kept his gaze averted
From her body, carelessly displayed,
And found his attention wandering instead
To the male youth and his leonine eyes —
A cool green sharpened by yellow coronas.

He found himself echoing the brother
Who laughed when his sister said a witty thing
And gradually the woodsman found her words
Like the rustle of leaves in the breeze:
A backdrop wanting of more striking beauty.

The woodsman let the ax fall from his shoulder
As he settled near the twins and their presences;
They melted his harsh day’s work like liquor
And slipped him into sleep softly
As a kite wheels effortlessly in the sky.

When he awoke, the twins had disappeared
And in their place was a lone Narcissus
Bent towards its distorted reflection.
The woodsman thought of the male youth —
Weeping, he pressed his lips to the water and drank.