As a woman I’m usually hesitant to get into relationships; I always struggled not losing myself in them. I have to fight the urge to overshare with someone, resist the idea that it takes someone seeing me to make me solid.
We’re all living in two worlds. People with mystery to them seem like an anomaly these days, but something in each of us will always remain a secret. We can only guess who others are, concluding someone’s internal world from the outside, through a window and a looking glass, missing so much in the process. …
under the scintillating night sky
a river of gleaming silver cuts
Red-layered rock sweeps up
on either side, throwing
where mirrored water reflects
a universe strewn with scattered stars,
in spiraling purple
and blue —
billions of tiny lights
in the water and
in the sky.
Clouds billow like cotton candy pulled apart,
like will-o’-the-wisp streaking
in blood orange and crimson
across the night,
and somewhere along the edge
strangers gather as mist
and early morning
fingers of sunlight haze
water, stone, and wildflower
with a soft feathery look —
a Kinkade painting
of juniper and
The ticking of the clock is so loud. My chest feels leaden, my stomach knotted.
I sit within four white walls in a cold room lined with desks and computers. At a small desk in the corner a man hunches over a book, carefully sounding out sentences while a young woman looks on and nods encouragingly. Where… were you born…? I was born in…
Shivering, I tuck my hands under my thighs. My mind wants to remember, to slip back into daydreams. Enveloping heat and vibrant colors. Sounds of music and clear, free laughter… I focus on the distant wail of a siren outside. …
I’ve spent years as the quintessential lost twenty-something, recklessly curious about the lives of other people I bumped up against and the different paths they took, vaguely uncomfortable with my own. The dots never seemed to connect for me; my trajectory always seemed so confusing that I struggled feeling alright with myself and my story.
My life has had its share of disheartening and painful experiences and I’ve gotten into a habit of trying to create something presentable out of it all. I try to make sense of my disjointed, zig-zagging routes. …
Nighttime is a kaleidoscope,
catching and throwing flashes of movement,
of smiles over coins changing hands, of iridescent lilac-gold.
The heat is a live thing emboldened by the hour and spiced air
presses heavy against skin and hair and clothes.
The market tears apart the night in radiance.
Silk scarves swirl in a whirlpool of color,
eddying green and gold and violet,
orange and sapphire.
Flowering soap with unfolding petals,
red glossy chilies blazing under multi-colored tents,
steaming food and gleaming curves of gold earrings and bangles.
While the world sleeps the night market breathes out energy and chaos.
In a maze of sois lanterns throw their glow back against the dark;
hands and faces are illuminated purple-blue-orange in their light.
Weave through crowds, carried along by a wave
of voices and lure under hanging stars. …
My daughter doesn’t see me anymore. She doesn’t look at me, doesn’t speak to me. She doesn’t answer my texts.
She used to have moments of forgetting to say thank you, or being too busy to spend time together. Things like that. And it’s okay, I always understood. She’s grown up, has her own life.
But this is different. I miss her.
We used to laugh. I miss laughing with her. Just last summer we went on a vacation together — drove through Utah and Wyoming, up to Yellowstone. She planned the whole thing. We saw mountains and buttresses (That’s what they’re called, right? Or buttes? She told me, but I forgot.) and fields of wildflowers. It was beautiful. And bison! …
She stands alone, waiting for the train to arrive. It’s been nearly six months since she moved to this city and her hatred of it has progressed exponentially.
Metro’s haunted, her colleague had told her during her first week at the new job.
Haunted. Her colleague shrugged. Weird shit happens, people go missing. You take the metro to work, right? Careful at night, Kat. Just sayin’.
Oh. Has anything ever happened to you? Seen any ghosts? A dry smile had tugged at the corner of her mouth.
Nah, I don’t take the metro, basically no one does. Rachel is the only person I know that takes it. …
A city finds its way into your heart the way a person does. You step into their unique chaos for the first time and feel that spirit — the thing that makes a place come alive — and a missing piece of yourself seems discovered.
When you visit a place like this, you never forget the feeling.
Maybe the glittering Seine reflecting the soft orange-glow of city lights and pink underbellies of painted clouds; warm Christmas markets and snowflakes falling to shimmering cobblestone within the walls of Grote Markt in Brussels; or the living, breathing heat of Bangkok, golden shrines and the River of Kings. …
Take these. Warm, thick gloves are pushed over the counter. And this, you’ll need this. Under your coat. A heavy knit sweater, too big for me.
The room is tiny and cramped but it’s a warm refuge from the whipping wind of the coast outside. I stand in front of a cash register, watching dust floating in the sunlight. The shop owner, a stranger, has taken it upon himself to give me everything I didn’t know I needed before I get on a boat headed out in search of whales.
Do you get seasick?
I don’t know.
A pressure-point bracelet and granola bar. I turn the package over and inspect. Blueberry and ginger and whey. …