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Some Kind of Mood
Bernice didn’t like the park because the Joshua trees, in her words, were stunted and weird-looking. Which I get but, as I told her, that’s the point. She allowed that was so, but still insisted we leave early and see “real trees.”
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Your Mother and Other Ancient Denizens
(9/2/21, Uncharted mag)
On your fifteenth birthday at the bowling alley, your mother’s cheek turns to stone. You glimpse it for only a moment between blowing out the candles, and the sudden death of the flame. You aren’t sure what you see behind her brown eyes—was it just a twitch?—but you know somehow that the world is suddenly a less-safe pace.
Golden Girls Special
(8/27/21, Rejection Letters)G
There’s a house
in the swampland
where the girls–oh
the girls!–they give praise
to one another, to time,
to the sun
The world didn’t forget there
the girls–oh the girls–
celebrated small adventures
free, from it all
Still Open, After All These Years (8/4/21, Taco Bell Quarterly)
At sundown, Marquis emerged from the desert onto the clean blacktop of 15. He looked to the forever blue sky and dropped to his knees, ignoring the burning heat of the half-buried road. “Thank you God,” he said over and over, head bowed, temple on the sand-covered road.
Hi and Thanks for Reminding Me (8/1/21, Southern Florida Poetry Journal)
You always remember your first. But what’s sometimes forgotten is what awakens your love after years of dormancy. What happens when you’re reminded to no longer take something for granted. The person who reminded you what love can be (my wife). When you eat something (olives) that opens up a whole new world of gastronomical delight for you. Or when you play a game (Fallout 3) that brings to life everything you loved about video games in the first place.
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Campfire, with Subtitle
(6/21/21, Sledgehammer Lit)
When it got dark, Mr. Palfrey went back to his tent by the lake. He told us to watch the fire and pour sand to smother it when we were done. I wanted the fire to grow and sprout, like ivy or conifer, but it was contained by stones, dirt and our own sense of self-preservation. We were young, not stupid.