We stood on an ivory tower built up brick by brick with porcelain words. Fragile, discussing ever afters or perfect disasters. Discussing the moon haze night and the lives of the people below and pretending neither of us noticed we were the song stuck in each other’s heads and reflecting in each other’s eyes. But we did because you were the playlist to my summer. You sighed to the sky and said you didn’t want to leave. I said “I know” like some Han Solo knockoff because I am too scared to say things back. So we did a few more slow dances in our heads then walked down a spiral staircase into broken butterfly wings and drawn out goodbyes.
He’s shining when he walks into a room. And that other boy, he’s the one who tells her she’s beautiful.
That one, she’s half in love and starstruck in the light.
But the other half is still riding dandelion wings into the past.
That other one – it should work. Their hearts align. Things are easy. Around him she knows she’s the one that teenage boyfriends still dream about.
Just because it’s familiar doesn’t mean it’s home.
She wishes she could take off her shoes and smile at the end of a long day. But you can’t live at a hotel.
Her heart is still framed in the eyelashes of someone she met in the spring. When stones skipped across rivers and the moon hung high and she was ready to fall in love. When his hand was in hers.
She knows they will never fit together again, but she’s cold and caught in the rain and tired of being homeless.
A Harvard study from 2007 shows that the average American spends 101 minutes per day driving, assuming they begin their driving lives at age seventeen and stop putting pedal to the metal when they’re 79.
We spend about seven hours each day in our bedrooms, sleeping. We sit in classrooms or work for hours at a time. We go to restaurants, read in libraries, walk in parks. We live our lives in these places.
The average person spends 101 minutes per day using their car to get them from point A to point B, not realizing that they’re really going from point A to point C because point B in the middle is a place, too – their car.
Each person’s car has a story. If you bought a 2015 Lexus new from the dealership, well, that’s just the beginning of its story and hopefully it has a long road ahead of it. If your car has had three owners, been across the country and back, gone through two transmissions and 227,000 miles, then it’s probably near the end of its story. Yes, that’s my point B, the 2000 Subaru Outback station wagon painted in something called “seafoam green” that is now more “rusty green,” which gets me from point A to point C. Most of the time.
In a year from now I want to be the song on the radio.
The one that I flip through the stations to find, that other people call in to request.
And even when it’s not on or it’s good and over, parked in the driveway, I want to keep on singing. No matter what happens to me. No matter what driveway I end up on. Right now I laugh when the wind gets knocked out of me and wait for the next blow. I want to look heavenward instead and say that blow’s not coming. I am music notes on airwaves riding raindrops till I reach the sun. And it doesn’t matter that my heart’s gotten bruised and battered because when I’m sung I heal and there’s nothing quite like hitting that note.
I’ll write notes across crimson skies when times are hard, I’ll write across the clouds and the blue and into the ears of those who need me. I will seep through closed doors and out of windowpanes and straight on through the glass, never going out of tune. So tune into me, a living breathing melody of hope. I want to be stuck in people’s heads and the soundtrack to the movie of your life. Whistled under the breath of someone who doesn’t know where they’re going until they find the rainbow they’ve been chasing. I want to be the nostalgia on the lips of someone who’s remembered where they’ve been. A lullaby to all of us awake in the day and an anthem when night finally comes. I want to play a lovesong to the story of a life worth living.
I find you in ordinary objects, in
extension cords running across my carpet and in the
3 A.M. blinking of a traffic light on the corner of that intersection I take every day to get home
stop. go. stop.
I find you in the thread count on my pillowcase.
365. Threadbare. Your fibers
the tile floor of a Wendy’s when I’m too tired to cook for myself because
I’m tired of you being gone.
Gone into the wind that never swerves my way again
In the veins of a brown leaf floating through the air.
I see you in extraordinary things, when someone asks me to dance and I blink the tears from the corners of my eyes and try to think about how unremarkable the buttons on a TV remote look.
I see you in the copper door I went down once to get a drink to wash you away – but you resurface in roadside drains and the fog in my bathroom mirror. You resurface in my breakfast cereal and the pedals of my car and when that other boy looks in my eyes and sees the word no.
I find you in lost laughter and the warmth seeping from an embrace. In the shoelace of my brother’s Nike’s.
I find you in the rain that never happens and the storm that always comes. I find you in all these things because I’m broken that I lost you.
God recycles and when he made you he chose the prettiest pieces of seashells and the parts in fairytale stories where there are happy endings
out of upside-down kisses in water droplets
You were made from the gossamer
light spinning on spider webs and
everything I ever wanted but
like a wave retreating-
nothing I can do.
from lightning bolts on gravel roads and the
person in that old scrapbook who makes
you wonder what life was like.
Of the breath of relief after jumping off
the cliff but
the feeling of falling, too
and waiting to fall.
When the candle blows out and it’s dark.
Of a million stars in the dark that you’re not quite
sure aren’t just fireflies
You were made of the love I never got
the chance to hold so
you were made of the hues of ice cubes at the bottom
of a glass of whiskey and
they sky when the clouds are full of rain
the planks of wood on the pier that smell
like sea salt and the neon in Las Vegas lights, the curl
in the corners of a roadmap
to somewhere I’ve never been and
to my heart.
The flames near a glassblowers hands
before the colors are done glowing bright and
I have time to miss them.
he also made you out of
all those puzzle pieces that try to
but never could
I write you into the cracks in the sidewalk pavements to fill the empty lines and I write you into the notebook pages that I fold up and tape over my puncture wounds. I write you into the soundtracks I play in my head but sometimes I have to switch off the radio. I wrote you across my headboard in neon highlighters and hope, into a solid state of dreaming. I write you through the open window in the uneven sidewalks inbetween two worlds. I wrote you into my future but now I have to rip up the pages and take a shuddering breath and
Listening to songs about
Moving to a romantic city out there and spreading love across sunrises and sunsets
Is like grasping at skydivers because
Life’s a station where stationary is complacent and that boy’s halfway across the nation. Everyone’s chained to their places and wishing never erases 1,000 miles. Or 1,000 smiles at the thought that spring break lasts all year long. A song full of promises, see through rose rainbows straight into lava pits, all of this with no regrets except a tightening of the chest. It’s hard to express how love often forgets. If absence makes the heart grow fonder, maybe then it’s good to wander, into crimson skies where tired eyes turned to say their last goodbyes. A goodbye is hardly over, usually a bad hangover, it’s a heart that’s always sober. Maybe it takes a cold October? Because months pass, pain fades on roller coaster escapades. Everglades? Anywhere where heartaches waves, the ocean sighing starfish blades. If there’s a way to be born and raised, it’s with a shotgun to survive and a map for the ways. Then set it ablaze, where something is is where something stays.
So I found this from two years ago and decided to type it up, even though it’s admittedly a sad attempt at teen fiction, I’m literally keeping it for a single line – “Small things for one person aren’t the same as someone else.”
The moon’s really bright tonight, hopefully he’s not a vampire.
Rose rolled her eyes at her best friend Kristine’s text. She was sitting on the couch when she replied, her leg bouncing up and down from nerves.
Uh, yeah, I think you’re getting vampire and werewolf confused.
Whatever. Hopefully he’s not either one. Or a frog, either. This was followed by a string of frog emojis and crowns, which was then followed by a series of lips emotes and a winky face.
Rose was about to reply when she heard his pick-up pull into the guest spot outside, so instead she grabbed her jacket and headed out the front door.
There he was in the pick-up, anything but a werewolf, vampire, or frog. Rose didn’t really know what he was, not to her anyway. He was just Sean.
Some might say that fate would have it that in a chemistry class of 400 people they’d sat next to each other. Well, lately she’d been thinking that if really was fate she’d like to blow up fate with a bunsen burner.
Because in that class they’d learned about mixed properties and Sean had been helpful in explaining that to her but he was really a master of sending mixed signals.
“It’s nice to have a friend in a class like this,” his words from lunch earlier that week jackhammered around in her head as they got out of the car and started out on the path. She wished the words would shut up so she could hear more important things, like the possible approach of rabid wolves or bears. Or what he was saying.
“But you said you didn’t like Blink 182, right?”
She was partially paying attention to his question, partially second guessing why they’d thought it would be cool to come out on a nighttime walk in the creek bed behind her house. She was glad the moon was so bright. Because the path was not. No, with the overhanging tree branches and the shadowy twist in the roads, it was anything but bright.
“Well, no, I said I just didn’t really know any of their songs. Just that one they always play on the radio,”
He chuckled. “Which one?” How was it even fair to the rest of humanity for his green eyes to be that bright even at night? She was pretty sure her poopy brown eyes were not having the same effect. It’s nice to have a friend… Friends? Was it because her hair was flat and straight and her eyes didn’t shine in the dark?
Oops. That nighttime daydream again. She snapped out of it. “Oh, it’s that popular one. They played it at my high school graduation. It can be sad, depending on where it’s played, I guess.”
“At your graduation? At mine they played Pomp and Circumstance.”
“Yeah, yeah, well they played that too. I mean after that. The Little Things?”
“Oh! You mean All The Small Things.”
“There we go! The small things.”
She sang the start of the opening verse then he joined in and they didn’t stop until they reached the end. “Say it ain’t so, I will not go…”
She was a little less worried about rabid wolves now because chances were they would be scared away by their terrible rendition.
After they stopped, just back to talking, she couldn’t help but notice both their hands were shoved into the pockets of their own jackets.