Standing at the Altar
He steals a glance at her.
She sits in the back, fighting tears.
The bride marches in, smiling, holding peonies.
I want to read the story
that you would have written
if you weren’t afraid, he said,
tell me where you have been,
the nameless cliff that you
fell from, turn it to words,
and keep writing until
it has lost its power
to hurt you.
A Story in 20 Words – 1
This Christmas she received
a four-wheel-walker, each wheel in place
of a child who couldn’t come home.
“Stories under 20 Words” Adventure
In a flash of inspiration, I am starting a new writing series called “stories under 20 words” where I write stories in 20 words or less. This is something I’ve done before and I remember it to be super fun experience. Difficult, I must say, but fun nonetheless! Despite the word count limitation, there is still so much to explore and create from. Never let any rule or restriction to suppress your desire to tell stories. I already have a few stories in the works, so stay tuned!
Now I have the same
look in my eyes as
my mother once had
the ancient sadness
that I never thought
would become mine.
When I was young, I once found
a loose thread
on a brand new sweater.
Not knowing what it did, I pulled on it,
and I kept on pulling,
until I found out.
Every time your fingers dance on my skin, kindling
every fiber of my body into a wildfire,
I think about that loose thread and what it did.
I think about how that beautiful sweater
slowly shrivelled into nothing,
a pile of messy yarn.
her lover makes her feel
like a schoolgirl
on fire drill days.
excited, heart pounding, running
through emergency exit, skipping down
countless flights of stairs, breathless, intoxicated, a rush, so much
fear and despair, and then
she turns around and walks back
into the building, safely in one piece,
no smoke, no burn, no damage. love
does not hurt, her lover says, but
very late at night she
secretly wishes to be engulfed
in a real fire.
You call him on a Saturday night, after leaving a
lousy party. Your head hurts from the cheap tequila.
You want to tell him everything you couldn’t say that day
when he stormed out of the house into the pouring rain.
You tell him that you blame him for everything, and that
you hate him for what he’s become. You swear to
God that you are clearly and completely over him.
You scream again and again that you deserve so much better.
But the funny thing about drunk dialing is
that the callers never say what they mean, and two
minutes after hanging up, they suddenly burst
into tears. And those tears are the unspoken truth.
You know, the truth that you have pushed
all the way down inside you, so deep that
no amount of tequila can give you enough
courage to bring it back up and just admit
that all you want is to hear him say,
– like he’d said a thousand times before –
Baby, I miss you too.
She’d never seen them, these other flowers.
They were his once, carefully picked into
his spring. Their fragrances were treasured
and preserved for a while – a season or two.
She knew their kind, their beautiful pedigrees –
tulips, roses, lilies of the valley,
even a few blushing daisies
that were anything but shy.
No, she didn’t have to imagine how
they gave him pleasures, and how
some love-struck lilacs even foolishly
attempted at surviving his winter .
Surely he’s learned, certain things
they tried to teach him.
For he understood her, although somewhat
shallowly. He knew her climate, her sun and
moon, her ebb and tide in the evening dew; and he knew
how to make her curl softly into the night…
Yet she sensed that he was quite
unaware of the strength of her kind; she wondered
if he knew just how deep she could
cut her stem into the dark arid soil, and then bloom
Alas, the man’s formidable desire
for anything that he could not grasp.
So, she was not surprised when,
coming home, she saw them lying at her doorway.
How lovely they are still, she thought.
roses, tulips, lilies of the valley, and other
withered memories, their petals plucked
and thrown at her feet, a homage, and she knew
that the weight of this love has crushed him.
she trod through years of his love and regret,
following the floral trail into his secret garden,
and there he was,
down on one knee
Well, if you must know –
my thighs still burned
from the bite of your charm, these teeth
marks under my skins – did you have to
pounce on me with such force?
Don’t come any closer. I think you should
stop looking at me the way that you do. Those
soft brown eyes are luring me to
play your dangerous game. I know
you want me, the whole Serengeti
knows you want me, oh
stop that growling, as if you are
the only one burning up here.
Why did I stop running? I guess
I should have kept running. Away from you. Somehow
you’ve cornered me into the mouth
of your cave, the lion’s den, you clever beast.
The night is falling deep, and over on that tall fig tree,
there is a very old owl, looking at us. Amused.
If you come any closer, I will run. I will. I will.
Do you know
that the rolling plains are whispering naughty
little ideas into my ears? Are these the sort
of ideas that you have all along. Tell me how long
are we going to stand here staring
right into each others’ eyes? Is it
my move now? Why does the wind
insist on blowing right at this moment through
your mane? Your perfect beautiful dusky red mane. I mean,
how am I supposed to resist all of this? How am I
supposed to resist…you? You are a disaster; you are
an earthquake; you are everything I crave
but shouldn’t. My knees are getting weak. It is getting late. Even
that old nosy owl has flown home, so why don’t you just
come here, you beautiful danger, take me back
to your dark cave. Show me disasters; show me
earthquakes; show me everything I crave but shouldn’t –
terrible, delicious, regrettable, feverish things…
did you hear that?
The sound of my surrender
has driven the whole jungle wild.