Above All Else

You’ve made yourself comfortable in my head and I never really had a say. I see images of you come and go, always leaving me a little out of breath. Your eyes I usually remember first when you are not here but crave to be alone. And when you’re gone, I wish I wasn’t so shallow as to always revere your beauty first, but it is your inner wealth I love the most. Although I’m not even sure if that’s the truth, because from your eyes, your smile, my thoughts always drift off to the whole of you: your freckles, your mind, your laugh. I wish I could say that’s where I linger, but in my thoughts I’m always quick to explore your scars, dents and curves. And unlike before I do not wish to be repaid for giving you pleasure for it is your happiness I seek above all else.

Leaf-Bud

I saw a tree cut down today
its remains cast aside to fade away
young branches a fresh lush green, decorated with buds
their youthful beauty now covered with mud
and as I looked at them they resembled me
those leaves my dreams never meant to be
but like those leaf-buds I ignore the pain
and put my hope into the rain
to sprout some roots, grow and transform
to become a tree unwavered by storm

 

Misconception

“I won’t mention her to you,” he said, “I promise.” The smile he gave me genuine. He was convinced I was the lucky one for he was interested in me. After all, hadn’t I been the loyal friend to lure him into bed? The fact that he had just left his wife and now asked to move in with me a form of flattery for him, a sign of devotion not shared by me.

 

Elsie and the Pig

For anyone who knew Elsie, the story I’m about to tell won’t come as a surprise. Elsie was hands-on, her clothes often covered in mud, her behavior boisterous at times. In her family, she was the quiet one, for everyone else, she was rather peculiar with a sense of humor bordering the crude. With a heart too sensitive for the outside world, she kept her feelings hidden behind a facade of I-don’t-care, her emotions aggressive whenever she feared someone threatened to expose her inner world.

Her stories always rather gory, her friends were used to hearing fables of lost limbs, wives celebrating their husbands’ deaths and infected dog bites. They didn’t flinch at pet names such as Ebola or Plague and had learned to laugh off her regular slurs. So one day, when Elsie started to tell one of her stories in a voice bubbling with suppressed rage, no one questioned the name she used to describe a beloved family member and that, in return, said a lot about Elsie’s friends themselves.

“Didn’t I tell you,” Elsie asked half annoyed. “She’s finally dead. I can’t believe how long it took her to finally call it quits.”

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Reflections on a Queen

Part II

“Come again,” he says, his eyes unfocused like his mind.

“Do you want Karen for the early shift or Thomas,” I fight hard not to sound annoyed for this is the third time I ask.

“What day are we talking about again?”

I breathe in deeply, faking a smile. “Monday,” I reply in a voice that surprises me myself. How on earth did I just manage to stay so friendly?

“Ah yes,” he shrugs. “I don’t know. Who else do we have?”

“Two shifts, two colleagues available,” I moan. Now there it is, my impatience in full bloom and I know my Medici glare is not far away.

“Right,” he agrees, his eyes squinted as if he’s trying hard to focus. Concentration it couldn’t be, because after 90 minutes into our meeting I know for certain he has none whatsoever, especially not today.

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