the Mitchell’s new adopted boy
was my age
and named after a rock.
Yet when summer of ’83
swept past without
so much as a flash of him outdoors,
my superstitions soon filed him under
Romanian lore / bloodsucker /
of the undead club /
No killer stakes
were carved that summer,
save the edible ones dad cracked peppercorn over
and served to us medium well,
seared in chain-link patterns.
My friend Paul swore he saw the kid
shape-shift into a bat one evening—watched it
flutter, swoop and cut sharply through the air
in the darkening plum-light.
The time I first spotted the kid for real,
the day had worn a hoodie
of low-hanging clouds.
I remember a drizzle
and the kid sporting Ray-Bans
with lenses as black as a welder’s mask.
An A-list celebrity in a public cameo,
he moved like an eel
as he got the mail and was back inside
slipperier than a movie star
Mom said Day Blindness
made daylight his enemy,
that his play outdoors could only begin
when the tangy sun sank
like a blood orange cut in half.
Afterward I was green-eyed
watching him shadow through his yard
under night’s gem-studded cap.
Every evening, as if bitten,
I was drawn to my bedroom window
with the eyes of a jealous jeweler.
Not to spy superstitiously on the neighbor,
but to marvel at the boy
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When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a princess.
I thought it was an occupation I could maintain with my daddy's
greasy hand prints on my sides and hair so unruly, it couldn't be combed, just
tousled by the uncles,
my grandfather telling me
"get out of the garage, you belong in the kitchen"
and it broke my heart because I never wanted to be a boy,
I just wanted to be with he and my father.
In my family, the women cook, the men are served first.
We would eat fast to clear the table when they were finished and
I still believe in that value.
My grandfather and father taught me what was a good man.
My grandmother taught me how to take care of one and
my mother made sure I understood that I didn't have to.
My other grandfather, at bedtime,
he would say to me
"see ya in the funny papers" and I always thought he meant obituaries.
Nothing really funny about when some middle-aged housewife
dies from all of her favorite habits,
catching up to her at once and they bury her
in her favorite pair of my pinstripe pants,
hair bottle bleach blonde and fading tattoos and raspy laugh, all
smiling from a long time ago in a grainy, cartoon- like photo.
The funny papers only..
not really funny.
I would try my hardest to smooth the rat's nest curls just in case
I needed a good picture in the morning and now every time I fall asleep,
I think about the funny papers and try to laugh and
if Grandpa were still alive, he probably wouldn't love me like
he used to and I just wanted to be a princess
with my daddy's greasy hand prints
keeping me from falling"rel="me nofollow">http://www.writerscafe.org/manage/edit/1585131/#13858135"> apart.
Poem of the Week
who have experienced
on a large
i tell raif
i think my
might be dead
haven't seen her
& her car hasn't moved
for two weeks.
you would smell it
passing me a plate
of triangular shaped bread
slathered in jam.
Story of the Week
DARLEEN SQUEELED into the empty spot as soon as the gleaming white Mercedes pulled out. "We got lucky," she told Montana. "Even on a Monday night, this lot is killer."
Montana rolled her big blue eyes. "Whatever."
The eleven year old had better things to do, like text her friends. Incessantly, as if she had a tic. The kid hadn't wanted to shop tonight, but Darleen insisted. This was their first Christmas without Paulie and the girls needed to stick together. Darleen's ex had been nasty lately and mediation had hit a cement wall. Montana wasn't aware how dangerously close they were to losing access to Paulie's vast and unreported wealth.
Montana sighed dramatically as she yanked open the door of the Porsche Cayenne and tumbled out. She didn't pause in her texting.
Darlene checked her face in the rearview mirror. The most recent fat transfer had been wildly successful. She loved her new lips. Grabbing her Gucci bag, she hopped out of the front seat.
Her daughter trailed her into the mall, thumbs flashing on her phone keypad.