A fortune teller once told me,
“Stay silent and you’ll regret it.”
Except Fortune Teller didn’t know
that I don’t regret
that I don’t believe in mistakes

Fortune came
with a weird boy on New Year’s Eve
He was in black, I was in blue
He could feel me

In the company of old friends
Fortune came
bringing warm, sweaty cheer under its arms
a celebration of something or other
We didn’t understand

And on the drunken countdown
I lit his sparkler and mine
He held my drink, she smiled at us
I wished for what I wanted

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Some time ago, I was living in a blue, underwater kingdom of kings and queens and delightful creatures. It was quiet as long as citizens kept traffic to a minimum and restrained from using bubbles irresponsibly. It was civil, not because civility was enforced, but because no one had reason to act out.

The royal guards lined up to salute the king and queen. Trumpets were raised, and the queen, as graceful as ever, smiled at each and every one of her loyal guards. Her name was Geraldine, and I liked her. Queen Geraldine once told me, “Sarah, don’t let anyone tell you to doubt your feelings.”

“What feelings, Queen Geraldine?”

“Your feelings about anything.”

And I got a funny feeling one day that told me the kingdom was changing. I saw it in the blinking shadow of a jealous eye. I saw it in a little girl’s betrayal of her best friend. I saw it in a man’s refusal of all the things that made him uncomfortable.

——

A few months ago, I went to a doctor, knowing that I needed treatment for a worsening condition. He gave me a temporary diagnosis, informing me that it would take at least a few more visits for him to figure out exactly what’s going on.

Since that first visit, I’ve been going through two-week trials of various drugs prescribed to ease my symptoms. Some provide immediate relief and others require more of a commitment, taking at least a month’s use to start showing effects.

I don’t like the idea of waking up each morning and taking a pill, keeping other pills on hand during the day for emergencies, and taking yet another pill before going to bed. People have started calling me a pill popper, a label I can’t even protest because it’s true: I have become a pill popper.

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(modified from the Nov 2012 original published on another blog)

Why would I do that? she whispered to him.

He chuckled and said nothing.

She traced the prism patterns underneath them, triangle upon triangle, reds, plums, blues stitched together. The little flowers along the edges had faded and a long rip ran along the top, the part she always tugged on when she was cold. Safety pins held it together.

As she snuggled into his shoulder, a breath escaped his nostrils, landing in warmth on top of her head.

She giggled.

What?

The sun’s tickling me.

——

I got into Daddy’s car and drove on battery power. The sun had set but it was mostly smooth sailing; the road signs were clear enough. Even in my blind rage, instinct and well-honed driving skills got me through the local streets without a hitch.

Somewhere in gritty North Jersey, I took a jughandle left and a ramp onto I-95. About five miles down this baby, so familiar to me, the engine started sputtering. I didn’t wanna stall there of all places so I took an exit, parked not too far from Milltown, and got on my fold-out scooter.

Cars minded me for the most part but I couldn’t handle giant intersections, not with the lights changing as if they were a show, greens turning without warning to reds, turning to illogical arrows. I waited for my green arrow, every muscle in my body tensed, my right foot ready to kick off as hard I could. When it finally came, it didn’t stay long enough. Cars from two directions, four lanes, crisscrossed around my slow-moving body, headlights blinding me, as I dodged my way through the overlap of 16 lanes and tumbled headfirst into some dark corner.

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My childhood snow globe souvenir
a crack in its bottom-side
leaks drip, drip
drip
forgotten 19 years

A dome of air, plastic,
and dried-up glitter
imitation snow clumps clogging
miniature windows, the Eiffel Tower

I shake the glitter loose
—and glimpse your dusted eyes—
only to let it flop
lifeless and flat
on the blue plastic river.

——

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This is how I prepare for summer:

  1. Clean out closet
  2. Shave legs
  3. Clean out freezer, stock with fruit
  4. Grow mint farm
  5. Make ice

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Now all I need is a good summer read to go with my mojitos. Too bad most of that will be the books I’ll be teaching for the next three months.

Currently writing:

  1. #66, a poem
  2. #67, undecided

——

He was driving me with his windows down, arm out the window, when a white Audi pulled up to him and asked him for directions. The driver answered brusquely and let the guy drive ahead. Then he closed his windows and turned to me and said:

“That guy knew where he was going.”

“Then why did he ask you?”

“Maybe he just wanted to talk to me.”

“Because you had your window open?”

I didn’t know whose hypothesis was crazier, his or mine, but he didn’t say anything. Equal parts confused and unsatisfied, I looked down and went back to Kakao-ing my friend.

“Whatcha doing on your smartphone there?”

“Oh, just talking to my friend.”

“You know, I write things online. A lot of people read my writings.”

Oh dear.

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The last time I saw Harry, he was buying me dinner with his January paycheck. We caught each other up on our lives but there really wasn’t much to say; nothing had changed since the last time we’d gotten together, seeing as we were both still at our respective crossroads. For him, it was music or school and as for me, I persisted in my search for the next job, a better job.

I liked to ask Harry where he would be if he could be anywhere right now, what he would be doing. He never had a satisfactory answer, that bastard. Whenever I urged him to drop out and pursue music, that goofy grin of his would tumble from his lips. I didn’t have the heart to push him. So we walked the streets and talked about people. Anything happening with Jared? No, of course not. Have you met anyone? Nah.

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