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On Why Margaritas have a Salt Rim

Ado looked down at the bottom of her shoe with annoyance, “Lot, I just stepped in gum!”

Her husband was busy looking at his tired reflection in the storefront window. His belly girth had grown and the bags under his eyes were swollen and grey. But he caught the shining spark of his gold watch and felt better. All those hard working hours in the office were worth it, when he could flaunt his wealth.

“Don’t worry about it dear, we’ll buy you a new pair.” He held out his arm for her to grab hold so they could continue their stroll.

She muttered under her breath but latched onto his elbow.

The had lunch in a picturesque bell-tower with vines winding up the sides, where Ado complained of the draft and Lot dismissed the wine selection haughtily. They sent their waiter away with a bag of her gum-sole shoes to dispose of as they admired her new red-soled replacements.

On the way back to the hotel they whispered to each other in disgust about the citizens of the city. They were tattooed and pierced, unhurried, simplistic people with easy smiles, and dirty jokes. Lot proclaimed his intention to finish his work early so they could depart the city as  soon as possible without looking back.

A short, purple haired witch stood at a corner market with her wife, an amazonian black transgender individual. Her green eyes gleamed with glee as she overheard Lot and his wife laughing at the city-folk. She could hardly hold back a snort as Ado lamented the lack of yoga centers in the city, and how “un-centered” she felt.

“Let it pass, honey”, her partners smooth maple voice circled her, as they picked through the apples. The witch grinned, “oh absolutely not. I never miss a chance to share a parting gift with visitors to our fair city!” She lifted her wife’s henna painted hand and kissed a knuckle, “I’ll meet you at the ceremony, just have to pop home for a moment” Her wife shook their lovely mane, “Padma will never forgive you if you are late, but I’ll save you a seat love, do your thing!”

It only took the little witch a few minutes to get home and prepare her herbaceous recipe on the stove. It bubbled and smoked up the entire kitchen, while she whispered a few words over the concoction.

A few days later Lot and Ado sat comfortably in first class, and ordered a couple of cocktails to celebrate. “I am just so glad we are leaving that den of weirdo’s and heathens! Did you notice they didn’t even have a single church there?” Ado shivered, “I pity the sinners. They need a missionary to go in and save their sad souls.” She took a sip of her drink and immediately spat it out, “Is this some kind of joke?” She glared at the flight attendant, who appeared surprised, “I’m sorry?”

Ado pointed at the drink in her hand, “Is this a prank? My drink taste like salty water?!” Lot tried to calm her, “Let me try.” He took a sip and frowned, “Yes, this is undrinkable. Just bring her a glass of champagne. Make it fast!” He began raising his voice, “This is unacceptable. when we take off I want to talk to the person in charge.” The shocked flight attendant took the drink and disappeared.

She returned with a freshly poured glass of bubbly, but Lot and Ado insisted it also tasted like salty water and their ire grew. They demanded the flight attendant take a sip, which she did, and tasted refreshing bubbly champagne. Very soon all the officials on the plane were gathered around Lot and Ado trying to calm their frantic anguish at their current treatment. Every drink that was handed to them and passed between their lips tasted like salty water, but to everyone else tasted fine. No one could determine the cause, and finally the pilot offered to have them escorted off the plane and wait for the next flight out. Ado and Lot quickly stopped complaining and arguing and sat back in their seats in stony silence.

On Ado’s seat back tray sat a bottle of water and a glass of white wine. Undrinkable.

The salty taste took 5 weeks and multiple doctor and therapy appointments to wear off for Lot and Ado. They could never fully take a sip of a drink again without the faintest hint of salt in the first taste.

Back at Padma’s wedding, the purple witch stood on her chair to give a toast among her friends- writers, painters, garbage-men, software developers, taxi drivers, students, cooks, and servers. “We Love, Live and work for our existence. In That Order. No judgments, just acceptance.” Everyone clinked glasses heartily and sipped their lovely cocktails through a salt rim.

Padma took her new husbands hand, “Let the salt remind us all that every sip of life comes with a taste of bitterness to drink up the goodness!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The Younger Years

A random Instagram post by The Wild Woman Magazine   was a letter to the authors younger self.
That idea instantly got me thinking about my younger years, and what I would tell little ole me, if I got to see her again.

The thought of it makes me somewhat emotional, because I love younger me. Everything about her is just incredible for her age. I was so strong resilient, and open. I embraced life and was still curious. I was a horizon.

That lead me into considering my partner J, as a younger version. We met when he was a fully formed adult. No trace of youthful exuberance left.
He never seems to reflect back on his youth, and if he does it doesn’t seem as impact-fully fond as my review.

I only know the younger J through stories, photos, and memories. So i sat down and wrote a letter to that version of J. The J I’ll never meet.

I hope he doesn’t hate that I share it now:

Dear younger J,

I know life is a whirlwind and a mess sometimes.
I know that you feel confused and stuck and unmotivated. I know its hard. Believe me! I know.
I want you to know its okay. It’s okay to have no idea what you want, and its okay to change your mind every 10 minutes.
Enjoy your friends, you’ll never be closer than you are now. Enjoy your experiences, they will make for some great stories. And just be the steady man that you are becoming. It’s worth it.
One day you’ll meet a starry-eyed wild girl who drinks and swears like a sailor, but she will love the shit out of you. She will love all the pieces of you that you don’t understand. She will love you hard and mean and she’ll ask you a million questions. She’ll make no sense at all sometimes.
She’ll have her head in the atmosphere and you’ll be her rock. Your heart will be a song she’s never heard but loves instantly. It’ll soothe her soul and lure her home.
You will find your center, and you two will make a life. It’ll be messy and untamed and spontaneous…but you will be loved.

Love,
Me

Should have been

It really is not use thinking about the “should haves” in life, unless you are a writer— then it is an infinite exploration. This flash story is a piece of that. A work in progress, but an idea.

She gasped frantically.
Dying to take in air.
But really just dying. She was floundering in the depths, too far out from the shore to be seen by the few folks milling about, setting up their blankets.
No one had even seen her skim out onto the waves. Her surfboard was the same appealing blue color of the ocean. She was trying to avoid the people, she didn’t want them disrupting her peace on the crisp sweet morning.
Ironic she thought as she struggled to keep her head above water, sputtering out the salty brine from her mouth. Now that peace would literally drown her.
She was a strong swimmer, but even the strongest swimmers can’t fight the power of the vast deep. She felt davy jones’ locker pulling her leg, dragging her beneath the thrashing waves.
She thought it would take longer, the struggle for her life. But it didn’t.

She died.
And when she awoke, she found herself staring up into the eyes of herself.
She startled and jumped to her feet. the being that stood in front of her, was her. Her own eyes, and dark frazzled hair. Her own full lips, thick hips, and dark skin. She was looking in a mirror at herself it seems. But she wasn’t. the other her smiled gently and reached out her hand, “Hello Callie, it’s lovely to meet you.” Callie ignored the hand and frowned. “Who are you, what is going on?”

Other Callie held her hands up next to her head, palms out. “It’s okay. You will be confused for awhile. You did just die. and I’m sorry about that. But, this is hell. and I’m you.”

Callie threw up, it was a vile salty sour mix of seawater and her morning breakfast.She wiped her mouth, “excuse me? hell?”

Other Callie handed her a handkerchief, “Yes, again I am so sorry about all of this.”

Callie choked, “why are we in hell? Fuck– this is too much.”

Other Callie gave her a sympathetic pat on the shouler and looked out over the vast white emptiness around them. “It’s not use asking why Callie, you should have learned that on earth. Its kinda a pleasant place, but you aren’t going to like it as much as I do.”

Callie lifted her chin defiantly, “Why?”

Other Callie sighed lifted her hair off the back of her neck and knotted it into a quick bun atop her head. “Because I’m the you that you should have been.”

Guest Post

Super exciting to announce that my guest post went up yesterday on Harness Magazine online hub!

https://www.harnessmagazine.com/how-i-learned-that-i-love-the-darkness/

It is so very humbling to have your creation (such a personal one too) pushed out into the world via an outside source.

I’m grateful and appreciative and hope you take a moment to check out the Harness Magazine creative community.

 

A Crow’s Parable

Two shabby crows sat in contempt,

Up in a tree whose sapling life was spent.

They watched the world from a rickety branch

Out in the field of a homesteader’s ranch.

 

One said to another, “Now look here”

In the choked bustling city, folks live in fear.

Out here in the plains, under mountains shadow

 People live to breathe and feel their soul grow.”

 

The second crow stared in silence a spell

With a deep resigned sigh he spoke out, “well,

I’ve been both a city dweller and bird who did roam

Truth is, it don’t matter on which loam you make a home

The soul will always be fed.”

 

Both wizened birds had lived long lives

had seen people fall, and conquerors rise

They quietly watched as civilization churned

While the soil turned and earth burned.

 

They stonily observed the folly of humans

In hubris, they built, only to cause ruin.

Still, they admired the simplicity of spirit

The willing resolve to gain the worlds merit.

 

These two wise birds flew away unperturbed

And decidedly left their solemn judgements deferred

 

Blush Crush

It was a scorcher of a day.
My friends and I were sprawled out on the hot plastic mats next to the track behind our high-school.
Classes were out for the day but practice hadn’t started yet.

We splayed on our backs, our heads almost touching and stared up at the Colorado blue sky.
There wasn’t a cloud in sight

“Do you have any girl crushes?” M casually drawled.
I could always be honest with friends back then,
the kind of friendships that last through fire.

“Of course.”

Even then I made no distinction on that issue.
I was never attracted to women.
But I admired them, was inspired by them…
when Nikki Giovanni smiled at me as a teen, my cheeks got very hot, my nerves got tangled, and I lost every word I’d ever learned.

What is that, if not a crush. and what is a crush if not dazzling admiration.

I told them who my girl crush was,”But you cannot tell her.” My glare was not as ferocious back then, but i tried.
“She’s so beautiful, and talented. I think she’ll be better than me at pole vault….but mostly she is kind and sweet. SO kind. I wish I could be as kind as her…”

“You are” my friends had chimed in. Because friends know what you need to hear.

_______

I can fully admit that right now my girl crush-in magazine form– is Loam.

It’s just lush, and gorgeous and reads like a dream, all fluid and familiar.

It vibes at an atmospheric frequency and I’m currently crushing hard.

shhhhh.
Don’t tell.

Away

*this one is for anyone who has lost someone… that is still living*

 

 

I fell to earth with wax on my wings
and you stayed above
golden and prim

the impact knocked the breath from my lungs
and the forgiveness from my tounge

How I hated you

I rebuilt my life with bricks, mortar and
a sad bit of bitterness
knee deep in the rawness of earth

while you smiled above on your pearl-lined streets
my name, a sin on your lips.

The seasons shifted seamlessly
my hands toughened in the winter snows
and my skin thickened in the spring rains.

I thought of you basking in the warm sunlight with less vitriol
and more resignation.

I made my muddy world cozy
and created a home on the promontory
facing into the harsh winds.

There finally came a time
when your feathers rained from the sky
and my old wounds bled for you

I wondered if one day I might invite you in
out of the cold scrupulosity
into my imperfectly lush world.

 

Auf Wiedersehen

“Why linger where you aren’t wanted?”

Indeed.

You will always be the villain in someones story.

But there are no virtuous victims in this life.
Only victims

So you may as well
light your cigarettes on the bridges they burn down in front of your eyes.
Whisper only to yourself, “I am not afraid of the depths”.

Viaducts were built by the conquerors.
The creators learned to swim.

 

 

**Sigrid is a great artist to check out when you are feeling un-apologetically you….**

Malaise (an ode to hormonal based anxiety)

Once a month for about 5 days straight, I’m ensconced in an eerie malaise because the entire world is horrifically skewed towards a random skin color, white and it seems an impossible feat to bring a sense of cultural, ethnic, and racial equality not to mention the injection of religion which don’t even get me started on religious folks i grew up with the churchgoing happy ones who donated time and money to helping the less fortunate but would still completely cast out and deny their own flesh and blood should that deign to express any non-religious based sentiment or lifestyle…..but not just that along with the world being a mess i have to fix myself and how do you do that when all you seem to be is a collection of stubborn vices, unwritten stories, and an ancient soul I’m talking a soul so old it was carved from the very first geologic formation and then i get angry at myself for being myself and angry at everyone else for also not being myself and then comes the fear in the pit of my stomach, rising just beneath the rib cage what if this time I truly am slipping into insanity coupled with a depression that will turn me into a less talented Sylvia Plath that will never write a magnum opus because i’m crippled by those vices that no being or god can absolve me of and i surf the tide of fear straight into judge and blame because how dare my partner not have the same drive, dream and goals as i, i who was raised by parents who challenged and pushed me so hard that I am independent and motivated and don’t need reminding or poking to do the simplest of things…those same parents that loved me into a tight cocoon so painful it took a dip into a spiraling depression to make me pursue my own happiness…am i happy, but am i really happy and should i even aim to be happy or should I aim to be content and pursue happy, is it obtainable for someone like me, or am i driven solely because i live on the cusp of happiness if I obtain happiness completely will i cease to exist, will I cease to be me and how will i know when I’m really really me, and how come i am not working harder today, i worked so much harder yesterday and now my mind cannot focus on a simple task for more than 5 minutes, but its not ADD because I don’t believe in ADD, its fine for other people, but not for myself, because I’m too lazy to have ADD which doesn’t exist, but i couldn’t have it anyways as evidenced by my supreme laziness that allows my home to be a wreck sometimes…I need to write, I have to write, but i don’t want anyone to read it because if they touch it if they peruse the text then the story no longer exists as it does, perfect in my own imperfect handwritten world with yellow crispy pages. And aaaahh i feel a little better now, i feel more solid and balanced now, I feel back to “normal” now. As normal as a chameleon can feel.

Thanks Mother Nature.

 

Neon Black

The kind of black I am
gives people pause

the kind of black that..
well

fades into blackness

you won’t see me as black
and you won’t
hear
me as black

I’m far too dark
to ever been
taken lightly

I’m the quiet black
the creative black
the eccentric black

the undiscovered black

the uncharted vacuum of black

the kind of black that inspired rock and roll

the kind that punk rock wears
that blues black

the kind that hovers
just below the surface
of every deep seated roiling emotional outburst

The kind of black
I am

makes all other shades of black
pale
in utter consternation

“How can I be black
when I act/talk/feel/create/groove
like that?”

The kind of black
that looks in the mirror
in the dark
and sees only
a neon gleaming smile.

 

 

Glowing Cheshire cat created with acrylic, neon & glow in the dark paints on foam board.

Princess

Strange child

with fingers in the rocks

collecting ants

and rescuing roly polies

Wild child

sleeping on the floor

barefoot on the concrete

smelling of chlorine

with sunburned eyes

writing of castles in the sky

and dreaming of a crown

Innocent child

Determined child

thinking a crown

doesn’t come attached to

a wedding

a marriage

a life that is not yours.

Become a

strong woman

creating crowns of paper

and words

that lie weightlessly on her head

her calloused fingers

adorned with spoon jewels

feet no longer bare

but still starry eyed

 

 

 

 

Don’t Think

You cannot fathom
So don’t try
Please

Trust me
Believe me
When I show you

The jagged scars.

Even if I don’t

Even if you never touch the
Pulsing wounds in my soul

Please
Still

Believe me.

I am The warrior.

The dull red blood
Of men who opposed me
Adorns my face

The crushed bones of
The undead
Grinds beneath my heel.

When I welcome you
Inside my Nefreteri palace.

I want you

To wear your leathery skin
Or taste your salty lips

The needs of my kind
Are few

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