The Motley

Friday, May 5th, 2017

Friday, May 5th, 2017


The egg sizzled on the blacktop. Charles David called over for me to come; I had been under the mulberry tree pretending to make juice with my bare feet-- we weren’t allowed to talk about wine. My stained feet raced across to see my first sidewalk-fried egg. So far the summer had been the hottest on record; all of Oklahoma State braced themselves. It was just June and things would be getting much hotter. We were all together in the summer of 1977, one of the last times before the older cousins started moving off for college, babies etc. Charlie had stolen the egg from my grandma, someone who after this summer I would only call Charlotte May.

Friday, May 5th, 2017

He watches me and I watch him

As we sip our tea.

He asks me how my book is going,

And when I say it should be finished soon,

He says he doubts it.

Friday, May 5th, 2017

Zoey then paces herself to one end of the fountain at the park. Underneath her breath she counts to five than takes a few paces in the opposite direction. She stops in front of the park bench. She takes her phone out of her purse. She rolls the phone in her hand. She glances down at the black screen. Her fingers trace down the smooth glass of the front of the phone. She pauses at the button at the bottom. Should I text them? No, in the end I would be a bother. They could just be running late. They have lives. Just wait for them like always. The thoughts continue to pierce her mind.

Friday, May 5th, 2017

I saw him get out of his car, hair shorter than Id ever seen it and taller than Id imagined, and I wondered who he was now. They headed up the sidewalk, and I realized that I needed to stop peering through the window and get the door. The doorbell peeled three quick tones, a sound that I hated, but couldnt bring myself to do anything about. I inhaled deeply before yanking the door open, it always stuck when it got cold outside.

Friday, May 5th, 2017


1.) Dancing (grinding, as it were.)

There was a song,

some obscure Kanye track,

that glued him to me.

Friday, May 5th, 2017

Stripping myself of the day’s clothes

I climb into the shower

Scrubbing the accumulated dirt from my body.

Friday, May 5th, 2017

Why I Shouldn’t Go to the Mall Anymore

Two men opened their jackets

in front of the miniature Christmas train,

and out of their baggy clothing they drew

a hatchet and a two-by-four.

Friday, May 5th, 2017

It was like coming up for air after being underwater for too long. That abrupt, greedy intake of air that startles the one that so desperately needs it. At the same time, though, it was the most amazing, reassuring feeling in the world... I was incredibly conscious of air filling my lungs, of the cool earth beneath me, of the warm sun caressing my skin, and of a presence right next to me and yet seemingly everywhere simultaneously.

Friday, May 5th, 2017

The lump of sheets moved enough to wake me up. My tongue felt heavy in my dry mouth. My head pounded.

“Do you have any water?” she asked. I looked at my bedside and took inventory. Phone, wallet, keys, headphones, pens, box of tissues, lamp, card deck.

“Uhhh, not in here.” I assessed.

“Well can you go get some?”

Friday, May 5th, 2017

People are naive about such things, and they would rather write them off as evil than attempt to understand them. An unfortunate truth, but a truth nonetheless.”

- Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

I am five years old, standing behind Vivienne at court. She is swathed in blue and covered in pearls, and I think that maybe I want to look like her one day. The young king, sitting on his throne, looked like the sun. And he is listening to her advice.1 Beside the king is an old man, his body bent with age. His robes are covered in runes, and he clutches at a staff to stay upright.2 Vivienne seems to disagree with a lot of what the older man says. At dinner that night, she warns me about him.

Wednesday, May 4th, 2016







                              G (in love)


You are a shot of espresso shocking my body awake.

You are a time machine transporting me back to every shared kiss.

Take me to the future so I know that you'll be in mine.


Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016
I feel it returning
Lazy afternoon cat naps
Sprawled out and tangled up in sheets that
flutter as the wind takes her time
Swaying through curtains toward my bed
Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

You get good at letting go


You help him sort through

a house of relics;

maneuvering amongst the

squat towers of flagship papers

from port cities

whose names he used to know.


Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

They're right, you know.

The Future is a blank canvas

make it what you will.


I'm not afraid of the canvas.

I'm afraid of the supply shop.

The institution you pay 

for the watercolors

            the acrylics

            the oils

            the charcoal.

                        Always in short supply.

You're dragged in by anxious parents

shouting "my kingdom for a paintbrush!"

            Your Crayola 6-gun is worthless.

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

            "What would you do if I kissed you right now?" He said it matter-of-factly, wiping his glasses as he did. Mindy continued removing the dusty old books from their shelves, unfazed. It was a passive question, an inquiry seeking acceptance before any form of action. And for a moment, she considered not telling him the truth, but as she gripped the faded leather binding of Cyrano de Bergerac she smiled and said,

            "You already have."

            "No I haven't" He protested. His baffled expression causing her to let out a low laugh.

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

            When the fat man who runs the orphanage rises from his armchair to attend to the fire, I have reason to fear. His clubs-for-hands and the meaty sausage links that extend from them handle the pot-over-the-flames so carefully that his yellow, sharp-toothed smile makes perfect sense to me.

            The fat man does what he thinks will make ends meet when money is tight and the children need food. He doesn't buy new suits or lavish sweets too often; sometimes he buys us new toys to make us happy. We fall for it, too. Panem et circi. The others accept happily.

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

I stand on the bridge over the railway line

As you let off steam outside the station.

It's evening, the time when the light from your headlamp

And the steam from your valves meet in an intricate dance.

Your dulcet whistle provides the music,

And the wind carries it to your waiting audience.


You sing about the life you've lived,

Lonely at birth and lonelier now.

Born so long after your sisters and brothers,

And not quite by the same design.

They tell you that you're one of them,

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

Queen of Air and Nothingness

"Truth is a matter of perception."

- Jane Yolen, Sword of the Rightful King


Poor, stupid Lot - always trying to cajole me back to bed, caressing me at dinner as if running his hands across my ass in public would convince me to sleep with him willingly.

Nothing could do that, and he knew it.

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