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Even with everything that's happened now,
my mind still drifts back to one of my first 'real' nights
in the city when we walked on the beach
after I escaped a particularly stifling party.
Khalil, we were sitting on long pieces of driftwood
and staring out to sea with wanderlust-filled eyes,
the moon-crest waves ahead so captivating.

We were looking for Eden lights on the horizon
but there were none.
We were guessing strangers' names;
people we'd met that day who never once crossed
paths with us in our former serpentine-lives, and
you laughed uneasily,
“I'm glad we're not related!”
I chuckled at your bad joke.
I wanted nothing more than to forget
the way your younger sister's friends danced
too close to me earlier;
their flirtatious smiles making me uncomfortable,
their long hair and glittery dresses
reminding me of all the times
I'd lied back in high school.
Oh it's a silly thought but a sad one, too;
how our hearts were all wrong, spilling out
onto that dance-floor and still,
all I wanted was for you to notice me the most.

Suddenly, I felt a chill creep up and down my spine.
Boy, I realized it was the slow glide
of your sand-glass fingers along my tiny elfin-bones,
making me tremble because the salt-on-violet breeze
cooled your skin and now mine was equally still.
Frozen in a Friday moment-of-weakness;
I could tell you didn't mind it either.
Your lips pressed Henna patterns against my neck,
hands ghosted over my chest
as we sat there; with our shirts off, freezing,
but still so amazingly human.
Oh drop down from the Black-Jack heavens,
I prayed silently as you lifted your head,
seeking my gaze; that moment of lost restraint.
“Genies, grant me a thousand wishes..”
But you didn't hear me, Khalil..
That would've been bad, I thought back then;
letting you know how far I'd fallen
in your constellation-warrior grasp.

And later on, you'd tell me that
your father's love was all used up on
a woman who had died twenty years ago.
It was a family portrait; sun-starched,
no longer visible on gold-dust walls of a foreign corridor.
You tell me now that all your dad's attention goes into his
appearance; a buttoned-up, clean-cut yet harsh reflection.
Khalil, you tell me with real razor-sharp pain in your tone;
that the only talent your father harbors is
the ability to make people envy him.
“Because money isn't a god-sent, you know?
It isn't going to save him from being
a complete waste of heavenly space on earth.”
Here is where you look your saddest, boy.

This is when I decide I don't give a damn about
who might be watching as we sit
up here on an Ottoman rooftop.
Khalil, I wrap an arm around your shoulders.
You continue mumbling about a history of failures,
how you're afraid that there might
still be traces of it in your 'wicked' young-blood.
Oh but that's so not true, you know?
You laugh bitterly but I do my best to make you see it;
kissing your mouth passionately,
a little too roughly in that cut-throat moment, boy.
You shake your head as we break apart.
“I do appreciate your faith in me,
even though I have no idea where it comes from..
Yet, I do believe that my babaane;
my grandmother, was the only one who ever believed
my old man would grow up to be a decent human being.
When she passed, though, he did
his best to prove her wrong.
Or maybe the world broke him and;
exhausted from fighting it,
he let that jewel-queen's ghost die in his memory;
his Hamlet lungs, breathing out hatred
where she once taught him love."
Eyes gleaming like seashells, Khalil,
you scoffed lightly, “Either way,
both my parents are fucked-up!"

But Khalil, I can see it now;
your absolute refusal to follow in their footsteps.
I can see your resistance to
this thing called a “lineage”.
Oh seeing all this and your kid-adulthood tears
trapped behind mirror-world irises,
I rub the back of your neck gently.
The last thing you say before the sun sets
coolly in that war-torn horizon is:
“Friend, that's why I don't want to have kids..”
But I can't help but wonder, Khalil;
is that the only reason?

I'm truly doubtful but I can't respond;
I know you appreciate that,
for the matter at hand.
We stand up, stub out our cigarettes.
We return to that tinkling
crystal-palace where I walk in shadow,
friend; security for your brass-toned, jinn form.

“You're like a genie, friend;
you can grant me three wishes,”
I used to tease when we were younger.
Ten year-olds; we ran around gemstone
floors, playing with paper swords.
“Nah!” you laughed, pretending
to stab me behind a pillar.
“You know more about magic than I do..
Is it true, your mother was a soothsayer?”
Now it's my turn to laugh,
stabbing you with my useless weapon.
“That's just a rumor, boy!”
Then I watch as you fake-die in front of me.
Clutching at an imaginary wound in your side
dramatically; you stumble back, knocking over
a vase of purple irises.
But our chuckles are cut short by a booming voice.
“What the hell are you doing, Khalil?”
It's your father; a modern-day sultan,
a prehistoric terror, dragon incarnate.
He marched over to us;
pulls you by the collar of your shirt, says,
“You should be practicing with real swords,
not playing with these baby toys.
Now, get your ass to the training room!”
And you quietly followed him, discretely
rubbing your arm as his grip tightens.

“He didn't used to be so mean,” you told me later.
But I know the truth; why he never
spared me a second glance; because of the way
I glared beneath these Kurd lashes of mine,
like I was secretly plotting something.
Oh and I was, Khalil..
Even back then, I was sick and tired
of that man's cruelty; how he treated
his own son, a summer-side heir.
Oh I wanted to get you out of there..
And I hope you know; now
that our first and second plans have
failed, our third try to run away, hope
glossed over in my chest as I lie here
without you, boy, in this Afghan bed..
I hope you know that you'll always be on my mind.

Oh free-fall; does it matter at all that,
on the night of those deadly fireworks,
I stayed behind to make sure you got home safe?
Oh does it matter that even if we're seen and
you leave; I get punished instead, but still
I can't say I mind the trade?
Does it matter at all that the saddest day;
for me at least, would mean
watching your profile fall in a cloud of
chemical poisonous gas,
feeling the slow rhythm of your pulse
beneath my hands?
“Of course it matters!” you declare,
heat flushing your cheekbones in a way
I'd never seen; casting shadows on
usually-strong features, making you look
just as scared as any other human being.
“It freaks me out, too; losing the one
person I could never lie to because
he's always seen right through me,
through any glass-case facade I put on.
But don't you see, we're already outsiders?
If we do this; make our relationship public,
then what about our families, our futures?
Do you really want to stay in this
claustrophobic, black-ice kingdom forever?"

Oh and I can't respond, boy.
I feel too crushed and unimportant
like maybe; all along, I was just
playing with fire or some lovesick
cliché meant to elude.
Maybe I was just fantasizing,
never really satisfying this forever-thirsty
spirit inside my chest.
Oh tell me I'm better than this..

That's exactly what I told my dad
when I came home one evening; close to tears,
for the first time in ten reckless years.
“Boys don't cry!” your old man would
yell, slap my face if I were his kid.
Yet, mine had always been different.
Ever since I lost my mom; the same
exact age that you lost yours, boy;
my painter father has taught how
to be unapologetic human being.
"Son," he said. "We can't choke down our fears
and become robots, no matter how much it seems
like the easiest way to live.
Eventually, though; all that self-loathing,
hatred for the truth, catches up to us and
ruins the last flicker of power we harbor
in our candlelit hearts.”

I know that many would say my father was
weak for thinking this way.
But I always appreciated it..
It's why I was so up front with him about
the last night we met at the palace, how
I felt; standing there, accepting the fact
that you were giving up.
“There's no use denying it any longer,”
I told my dad quietly.
“Because all I feel now is broken..”
And he rubbed my shoulder.
I wanted to feel his strength pass onto me,
beneath these grassland-veins.
“Maybe, son, you should have come to me sooner.
Maybe I should have told you to just be brave
and not bite your tongue whenever
the boy you loved brushes by.
Life is too short; you can't just hide the truth
or let it eat away at your jinn-colored flesh,
your magician-white bones, son.
Now I realize, that maybe we would have been
a better family, if I'd just put away my own
petty concerns; what people might think,
in favor of helping you grow stronger
in a harsh world of silent suffering.
Forgive me for making you stand
before demonic red eyes.."

But he did the best he could, you know?
My dad; even falling several ranks behind yours,
he still did more for my topsy-turvy happiness
than your brass-toned parent ever dared try.
You know it's true and so you never did deny it, did you?
You knew he never loved you, to begin with..
“He says I'm too weak, too 'foreign'; a concept, an idea
that he'll never see clearly in the tragic
light of his rising jihad-morning.
But I don't care,” you shrug and smile
suddenly. “I have you, right?”
Once upon a time, that was enough.

But then it happened; like a dust-storm,
this tragedy came barreling out of the blue,
enveloping everything; our separate yet
similar gemstone-worlds in chaos and Egyptian sand
kicked about by a not-so-modest pharaoh's sandals.
Oh boy, what could you say when all I wanted was
to keep you safe; push you out of harm's way and
into a civilian truck headed out of state?
What could you try convincing me of in so little time
as all the women and children screamed in the palace;
pulled thick shawls over their heads, ran for cover
as shots fired and bullets launched from every nook
and cranny in a traumatized biblical city?

I found your sister crying hysterically,
pushed her into your arms,
told you to hold onto her, no matter what.
“Just go!” I screamed,
motioning to your freedom on the other side
of a tear-stained wall.
And that single look you gave me as
you climbed into the rescue-vehicle,
held so much meaning, boy; so many moments
wrapped up in shades of
Persian-blue and Turkish hazel.
“I'll find you someday..”

Oh but Khalil, did you really believe it?
thought the name meaning was really beautiful:
Khalil (Arabic)- a sincere and intimate friend.

this is my tribute to the LGBT people facing discrimination in the Middle East.

"The human spirit is stronger than anything that happens to it."
- George C. Scott
Witch-bred crows collect on the power-lines and
their cloud-gray wings match the eerie sky above.
Girl, your parakeet-yellow scarf is the only color
in this whole weepy Monday-morning setting.
As the bus drives up a slightly better-looking neighborhood
than my own, I catch a glimpse of your wheat-blond
hair peeking out from beneath your newsboy cap and
immediately, I search my brain for something witty to say.
When the wheels finally stop rolling over pot-holes;
cracks in the road, you climb up the steps
of this weekly valley-school transport.

You meet my gaze only because I'm right in front;
sitting in a 1998 seat, holding nothing but a CD player
in my hands, a raggedy backpack lying at my feet.
But to my surprise, you inch closer and don't
just assume I'm “bad news”, try to find
a normal-looking person to sit next to.
No, Heidi, for the first time in years;
you acknowledge my existence and even tap my shoulder,
asking that I move my bag, for you to slide, inch closer.
I yank out my earphones upon hearing
your Betty Boop soprano humbly pleading.
And of course, I do as you ask because
you're lovely, Heidi; because even
though I had you pegged for a snob,
I still can't kill the fantasy of us being friends,
the one I've had since we were twelve.
All Pokemon cards and stickers; bubblegum wrappers
and secret diary entries,
I've always wanted this gap bridged between us.

Heidi, you remember, don't you; the day
that your older sister had to pick you up from school early
because you'd cry yourself sick?
You told me as I escorted you to the nurse's office,
that your dad had just left town,
forgetting all about his wife and daughters.
Sweetheart, I still don't know why you chose
to share that with me all those years ago.
I mean, we were never really close..
Your mom knew my mom before
she passed away and sometimes
she'd still say hello to me at the supermarket,
smiling awkwardly between
watermelon stands, but that was about it..
We'd never really crossed paths,
never stayed for a half minute
in each other's line of vision.
But for some reason, you trusted me with
such a special part of you;
so vulnerable, your true out-of-this-world,
non-plastic, whole-grain emotion.

“Maybe it was just a moment of weakness,” I told myself.
“She was upset and you were there.”
But still, you opened up unexpectedly;
and ever since then, I've craved more of that careless,
tragically sugar-sweet sincerity.
And years later, weathered yet
rose-tinted, this memory still stays with me.

Oh you might see me as pathetic maybe..
Heidi, your friends at school certainly do.
They think I'm meant to drop out and say
I'm nothing but a ghost from a rundown
neighborhood, a mill-bend part of town.
Oh I hear it all the time; that I'm worth less than
their Journeys sneakers, America's lowest teenager.
But “Stop projecting pity!”
you say one afternoon as we ride the bus together
to a summer program, volunteer work.
“My pals are worried; they just want
what's best for me,” you claim and I know
you're giving me that distrustful glare,
because you know why I'm really here.
I did something bad, see; it was either this or juvy
and you wanted me to admit, honestly.
But fire-catcher, I didn't want to give you the satisfaction.
So “No,” I responded evenly.
“I'll kill your curiosity now, girl.
I didn't stab anyone with a blade
or threaten to bomb our school.
I didn't steal a car or get into a fight, believe it or not.
Sunflower-darling, what I did was
spray-paint the word 'Hypocrite'
on the wall of the administration building.
I trashed the dean's pristine office.
You roll your dark walnut winter-eyes and mumble,
“That's not far off from what I had imagined.”
Oh but I know, Heidi, that you're secretly relieved.
I smirk because you were honestly terrified
that I was beyond saving.

“Why should I care?” you shrug.
“You judge my crowd, I judge yours.
What goes around, comes around.”
Then it catches my eye; a soft scar,
half-moon gash below your collarbone.
My eyes travel down the V-neck of your poison-berry blouse.
I murmur, “I guess you're right..”
To my surprise, your cheeks flush hotly
and you turn your Sabbath-eyes away.
We ignore each other for the rest of the trip.

As months pass, red-orange leaves fall and
get caught in your wheat-blond strands.
You sit on the bleachers, watching a football game.
There's a plaid blanket thrown over your lap,
a cup of hot chocolate in your frozen dove-hands.
You're wearing a strawberry beanie that I know
your mother knit herself; so adorable,
a marker in a sea of blue and white-clad seniors.
And when one surly 18-year old marches up the steps
and asks you out to the winter-social, girl;
I have to admit I'm just a little bit jealous.

“It's all fun and games,” I remember reading
this quote somewhere. “Till someone falls in love;
falls hard on concrete and can't get back up.
Oh it's all easy-as-breathing; cherry-top pretty
till you can't wipe the mess of paper hearts and
confetti-scandal, glittery trash from jean-clad knees.”
Oh so true, but I didn't want to believe it..
You were, in my head; just a popular girl with insecurities
hidden beneath layers of candy-cane makeup, Abercrombie
sweaters and irresistible good looks.

But there was so much more that I was leaving out;
so much more that I was reluctant to see because in a way,
you were right about me putting up a front, as well.
We all do it, I realized later in life when we were all
'grownup' or as adult-like as we would ever be with
jobs we hated; ties and briefcases, bills that never got
paid on time and let's not forget; frozen TV dinners.
“Oh boy,” you said meekly.
“We all wear invisible shades, whether they're Gucci
knock-offs or drug store plastic glasses pulled over
our very-real cosmic lids.
The truth is, we'd rather go permanently blind than
let our vulnerabilities show.”

Oh how true your words were..
But still, I kept my mouth shut and failed to tell you,
all because of some egotistical clone; living inside of
me, breathing hatred for your dollhouse world.
But now, what does it matter,
princess of Carolina storms?
If I found your number and called you up
after all these bottomless years; wasted seasons
guzzling down Irish coffee
to keep moving along, would you let me apologize
or would you smirk, girl?
Would you forgive me for all those meaningless,
childish arguments in the school parking-lot?

It's a little too late, I think.
But that's not what you say when
I find you one winter night,
standing outside the auditorium,
even though it's snowing violently.
You were shivering, your bare shoulders visible
beneath the jacket that your date had carelessly
thrown over your summer-nymph form.
“Twenty minutes in and that fool's already drunk,”
you mutter to yourself, unaware
that I'm standing so close; perfectly capable of
hearing your complain about a guy who was already
at the punch-bowl, dipping a ladle in the spiked
coral mess of fallen stars.
“Well, that's what you get for dating a jock,”
I declare and you turn your head.
Noticing me for the first time that evening,
your dove-chocolate eyes narrow
and you ask stubbornly,
“What are you doing here?
I thought you hated this Wonder-bread facade..”

And I do but I shrug, taking a cue from the ice-queen herself.
“Maybe I'm bored as hell in this cow-town.”
But you roll your eyes, of course.
You don't buy my cheap excuses and I can't blame you..
The truth is; I've had this nagging feeling
in the pit of my stomach,  a burning itch on the back
of my neck all day long.
Girl, I know you'd be wasting, not only your time, but
also your carefree romance; unforgettable
beauty on someone who would always take your life,
your dreams for granted.
Oh Heidi, I can't have that, after all these years.
Misunderstandings aside, I guess I really do care.

Deep down, just like you said,
I was like everybody else; lost ever-blind, confused.
But standing there, my eyes traveling over your form;
all decked out in a navy fairy-gown,
I had to admit I was glad that
I hadn't listened to reason earlier.
I was glad that I'd given in to temptation and driven
to that boring school-dance.
You were exquisite, honey;
silver butterfly clips in your hair,
glitter on your eyelids
and a snowflake charm tucked
in the hollow of your throat.
You were not worth passing over for anything,
Heidi; for any amount of liquor,
or freshman tart in lilac-gold.

And that cheap plastic “ballroom”;
a corsage hell in the making, all those streamers
and pretend-friendships melting
with the ice on car windows,
I never thought I'd be there;
among people I'd always considered enemies and
thinking that you, the queen of a black-ribbon
hoax was the prettiest,
deadliest thing I had ever seen.
Heidi, you smirk, try to say something
but I offer you a cigarette, instead.
“Here,” I murmur, stepping closer.
“You look like you need this.”
And you smirk, sigh and shake your head.
“Pebble-beach boy, I don't
suppose you'd want to dance?”
Now I'm the one smirking.
“I've got a better idea..”

Before you know it, we leave that sand-dollar event.
Hopping in my poor excuse for a car,
we whoop as we drive off.
Twenty minutes later, we're on the outskirts of town,
heading towards the state-line.
“Do you trust me?” I can't help but wonder out loud.
And you laugh, ask me if I'm Aladin
or something else Disney-inspired;
weird and unlikely, sweet to dream about.
“Because a magic carpet-ride does sound romantic but
the thing is; I'm done avoiding speed in
a desperate attempt to fit in.”
Then you turn your head, look at me with
a Brave New World gleam in your eye.
“Boy, I feel like embracing my fears for just one night,”
you respond to the silent question I was secretly asking.

Oh and that Iowa-run dawn,
would you regret it later on?
Did you really trust me, Heidi,
or were you just looking for danger;
somewhere nearby, convenient?
“Well, that's cruel,” you scold me
for being rude, in the unholy
wake of our meeting; second-coming
like all those legends about
Jesus, watering-holes where Alabama
preachers try to drown their
most devout followers in greed, swamp-moss.
I'm crazy-wicked but it doesn't matter..
I'm losing my mind, even though that night;
we were as close to heaven
as we'd ever get in the deep, dark south.

Oh and it was glorious, even as we sang off-key;
sipping cheap Wal-Mart wine,
sitting beneath the aging town-sign.
At one point in our conversation about how much
we hated living in a forgotten place,
America's heartland, broken and bent;
you unlaced your shoes, girl, threw them at the banner above us.
I laugh, genuinely surprised by this
random display of trash-talking, teen rebellion.
I'd never seen you so riled up with prism emotion; the fine line
between crying and laughing, pulling
at the corners of your mouth.
And you declare fervently,
“I hate this Blue-blood law!
Babe, I hate the crossroads
of this dial-tone nation..”

We're stranded in the middle of nowhere;
gas is low in the tank in the middle of
a cornfield, no less.
But even with no cell-phone in sight,
surprisingly I don't mind..
Surprisingly, you've got me laughing,
trying to impersonate wicked, bad rock-stars.
I've found a song on the radio that
has you staring out the window; all dreamy-eyed,
vintage siren-like, in love with lyrics soaked
in powdered sugar and dusted off with
notes of coral-toned sea-glass reality.
“I'd give up forever to touch you,” you murmur quietly.

Not even two weeks pass and I know
I'm caught in your net of casual,
yet royally-fucked love affairs.
Don't get me wrong; I never thought of you as
a carnival slut or a spring-fling tease,
dunking boys in the water when they'd try to
'rescue' you from fake-drowning.
No, girl, I never thought you were so cruel
but what I did believe; wholeheartedly, was
that you didn't think anyone was good enough
to be your masked-Zorro soul mate.
“Maybe you're right..”

And is it obsession?
Is it something so beautifully strange
that I'm feeling; tugging at
the rational part of my brain, wanting
to ignore it completely?
Yes, I did feel tempted to see past it,
in favor of playing catch
with your doppleganger;
your island-witch, Ursula-self.

But even though, we started off
on the wrong foot like so many
royal-commoner; love-crazed
matches throughout history,
it was amazing how little I cared
about what was said and done
in the name of popularity, all that
high-school, pep-rally bullshit.
No, because when I drove you home
after gymnastics practice,
you asked me to come inside your wedding-cake
white; Colonial two-story
at the end of a golf-course, lined neighborhood.
And I was honestly surprised;
shocked that you'd let me soil the doormat with
my scruffy coal-mine boots as you led me through
the entryway, up the stairs to your bedroom.
Heidi, when you opened the door and led me into
your secret starlet domain, I thought,
“Damn, she finally trusts me!”
Moss Point resident, valley-spirit; you don't
know how exhilarating, intoxicating that felt..

“Oh, silly boy,” you chided as we sat on your bed.
You unexpectedly ran a hand through my hair then.
“Why do you always imagine the worst?”
But I couldn't tell you the truth, could I?
Back then, I couldn't tell you that I'd seen
worse demons in the real world than
you could ever picture with those dollhouse-eyes;
leaping off the pages of crisp-as-autumn-leaves,
coconut-paper fairy tales.
I could never tell you any of that..
It's why I held my tongue when you said,
“Maybe we were both wrong.
Maybe all this nonjudgmental; clean-cut innocence,
hide-and-seek magic isn't dead, after all.
Our old playground is all rusted now;
but the memory's still there, right?”
Heidi, you leaned even closer,
tracing my jaw-line and cheekbones
with French-laced fingertips.
That day, you were full of surprises;
weren't you, my December incarnate?

“Let me tell you a secret,”
you whispered conspiratorially.
“Those purple chalk-games; hopscotch
and wicked rhymes we once spelled out
on the pavement, even though
the rain washed it all away,
I carved our initials in the wood of
the gazebo by the lake.”
And I can't help but ask,
“Why did you do that, when?”
For a moment, you're silent, girl.
You seem to be rolling the words
on the tip of your tongue.
Then you say them out loud,
“I did it right after the funeral..
See, I thought maybe someday, we'd go back there.”

You drop your hand from my face,
try to move away but I still pull you closer.
Your lips are hesitant, yet mine are thirsty,
carnivorous plant-like.
Cedar wood, cinnamon-toned; careless, yet
still, you don't push me away and I think;
Is that wise, Heidi,
the right timing, nothing fake?
Wild; blackberry-smeared, we don't care..

You push me down on the wildflower mattress,
straddle my midsection; one leg
on either side of my hipbones.
Girl, you unzip your gym hoodie and
peel off the Mamie-pink sleeves
from your winter-sun arms.
You surprise me with how impossibly sexy you are..
“Oh don't look back,” I think
as our lips heat up, Paris-starved.
Heidi, my heart beats wildly
between shallow, moon-pool breaths.
We strip off all our clothes
as an after-thought, almost.
But why not make the moment last?
Heidi, we're unapologetic; blameless,
vulnerable, yet we don't give a damn.

With slanted sun-rays, 5 PM slides
down your spine as I press my lips
between swan-lake shoulder-blades and
over the dream-catcher tattoo that
you got without your parents' permission.
“They'd scold me,” you giggle shamelessly.
“They're convinced that I'm turning into
a wild-child; rebel skank, all because of a little ink;
a little culture; non-white, moon-dust sparkle.
Oh and boy, they think you're a bad influence.”
You continue as my tongue runs over the star-shaped
freckles dotting the nape of your neck,
as though they were drops of southern
sweet-tea quenching the unbearable
thirst in my sandpaper throat.

And you groan when I suck
a flower-wound on your honey-brown flesh;
so exotic, half Menominee,
half French aristocracy;
unforgettable, without question.
But when you mention that
you'd gotten that infamous tattoo
with a bunch of your friends;
mostly 18-year old, hormonal men,
I have to admit that; jealous,
I bit down on your skin on purpose.

A cute groan escapes your throat.
You flip over, grasp my forearms and ask,
“What are you doing?”
I respond with no apologies in my voice.
I'm jealous you can see it, plain as day.
“I'm leaving my mark on you.”
Heidi, you stare at me for a second;
your gray eyes showing confusion,
then basic understanding.
It's human nature, babe..
You push me away a little.
I think, “This is it; the moment of cold,
hard truth, when you'll tell me
it's over before it's even begun.
Oh how sad that is, girl;
you're shooting all my dreams away
with an imaginary deer-skin bow,
priceless arrow, the one you won
in a broken-hearts fight-club.
Darling, this is the moment, I guess;
when you'll close the tiny window of
opportunity that you left open for me
against a numb, dull rain.

But then, you trap my jaw between
those snow-queen fingers of yours.
You press your rough-diamond lips
against my still, shocked mouth.
Girl, you gasp that I've already left
a burning sunspot mark upon
your April trickster life.

Oh and we rock back and forth..
For the first time, we're the same;
inconsolably forever-young and bruised
by a wicked Oz sunbeam, streaming in
through your cupcake curtains as you
claw at my collarbone, passionately hurt me.
Oh and in this hour of secret-coding,
close-call whispering with soft scrapes and
hurried brush-strokes; with ghost-paint
drying over waist-lines and heat so painful,
it's all we need to feel real, alive again.

It doesn't even surprise us when
we hear the click of the door echoing
from downstairs, signaling that
your dad's just come home from work.
No, you just sigh, Heidi; and I tighten
my arms around your waist.
I'm remembering how; only a few moments ago,
I held you in the same position but
I was moving inside you and it was so much
hotter, everything so white and clear.
“Will he come upstairs?” I wonder aloud.
But you shake your head.
“First, my dad checks the mail in the foyer.
Then, he goes into the kitchen and
makes himself a glass of shipmate's bourbon.”
You explain this to me, as if you've known all along.
And once again, I can't help but feel jealous;
wondering how many boys there were before me,
how many boys you unlocked the back-door for
and let crawl along the eaves of your house,
run across the yard and escape
over your garden-state fence.

“Oh you're paranoid!” you laugh,
tousling my hair affectionately.
“Boys don't usually want to stay
for more than a few wet, Grimm
fairy tale kisses.
I assure you, I'm not as desirable
among our friends-slash-enemies
as you might think.”

Oh Heidi, I want to believe it..
Heidi, don't give me any reason
to doubt your wholesome-cupcake
personality, your teenage-dream
disorder, so sweet, sexy-smooth.
Tragic, you're such a tempting tool..
But it's never enough for me, is it?
No, I want to come along for the ride;
a midnight drive, 80 miles per hour,
right out of this freeway-white lie.
Past cornfields; we don't need this hicksville
influence, a grassland culture, hate
masked-prejudice everywhere we look.
No, we don't need bonfire threats at nightfall
like we received before; when we didn't know any better,
when we believed everything the grownups told us,
how the people living elsewhere were the "wrong ones".

On the other side of the sunflower state-line is where
I lost my sister to a stranger
reeking of ale and sour jokes,
compliments doused in Round Rock beer.
He drove by, took my sister and
everything I once treasured; innocence,
her smile and kind, deer-folk eyes.
It was one of the saddest moments of my young castaway life.
I haven't been as disappointed like I was since she ran off.
I wasn't even that upset when; years later,
my father hit me with his raw-hide belt.

Now, sweetheart, you give me hope..
You pull down your old high school notebook and reveal
that you've been hiding those
tattered and torn memories, all along;
a 1998 death-scene in a public library.
Girl, you've kept it all these years and
the question in my eyes is easily
readable in the silver-dusk light.
It streams through a hotel window;
this time, we ran away for real. “Why?”

But you shrug again, a troubled
yet irreplaceable teenager.
Yeah, now you're all honey-wheat limbs,
curled lashes, again.
“I guess,” you murmur, a sad-sweet
smile tugging at the corners of
your button-doll lips. “I guess
you're not the only one holding
onto this hurricane-flower past.”

And for the first time, I feel
completely sane; strong and
solid as a skyscraper in your
closer-to-heaven embrace.
Girl, I say with more confidence
than I've ever felt in my life,
“Let's bury this shit!”
You glance up, confused and I continue,
“Let's bury this ghost, Heidi;
this unfaithful death.”

And we do; in a graveyard
filled with sugar-skulls, painted
prettily on tombstones,
Latin prayers engraved,
so useless yet poetically there.
We're free now, Heidi..
And if love is blind, then it's obvious;
that we've been numb all these years but now what?
With lilies and salt; sea-brine, we can
go anywhere we want with nothing left to lose,
but scraps of burnt memories.
"If love is the answer, could you rephrase the question?"- Lily Tomlin, Many Moons
“The world does not revolve around this secret,”
you told me once but you didn't really believe it.
No, everything had always been about you; your car,
your potential for fame, despite all
the memories of a fake family-tree.
But now, where did we go wrong?
“I fell in love,” you said.
“But not with the person I thought would always be
there at the end of the road;
a sight for sore eyes, no..
I always thought it'd be that girl with
phoenix-feather hair; so fiery,
and flame-proof green eyes.
But it was you, instead; my best friend,
my collision in the dark.”

And it's not all about lust, no..
It's not all about what makes us warm
inside when we dive head-first
into a lake of metallic winter-ice.
No, it's not about angels or demons
or even that clock-tower where
you said you'd meet me in the near-distant future
when you finally say “I do” to the right person.

Boy, you said, “Will we ever get there?”
But that was before autumn hit us hard,
forcing us to grow up and look at our lives
from the outside; no more toy-truck innocence
or sweet-and-tart, raspberry frosting.
No, now all we have is what this copper
season has brought us; everything
so transitory like rainbows reflected on
concrete and pastries crumbling, sweetly
yet pathetically in grocery-store windows.

Oh yes, you say you want to leave this city behind
but you don't know where to go..
Though you don't blame your 'real' parents
for giving you up sixteen years ago, boy,
you also don't think they had to lie.
No, not at all because you insist,
“We're all scared but that's no excuse..
Maybe if I just drive; head west like
a Scottish-American pioneer, maybe I can trick my mind
into believing I'm someone new.
Do you think the Navajo spirits down
in those sweet-grass plains can
turn me into one of them; a bird, too?
Friend, I hope so 'cause aren't you tired of the same
me I've been since our first encounter
way back in middle-school?
Aren't you tired of my hot-and-cold moods; privileged
teen know-it-all voice, my strange,
doubtful prism-shade looks?
Why have you stuck around for so long?”

Well, because I'm a fool; because
I'm the only one who will ever truly know you..
And no matter what you do; who you'll become,
a famous athlete or finger-smith,
even a pick-pocket from the high streets of Brooklyn;
no matter what, I'll still bail you out of trouble.
“Is that what you think of me; that I'm a failure?
Maybe I'm not as clean-cut, easily put-together;
examined as any other pent-house puzzle in this
hypocritical golf-course suburbia.
But that doesn't mean, friend; that
I hate this world so bad, that
I'm killing my chances at happiness by doing drugs,
having sex with throwaway-dolls on purpose.
Oh see-through ghost diamond; just because
displaying emotion has always been
hard for me, it doesn't mean that
I lack empathy, completely.
You should know; you've been here
since we were paired off in gym-class, made
to wrestle like enemies; since
you pinned me down on the floor and whispered,
'Don't think you're so strong..'"

Oh but I shake my head.
“Maybe if you cut out the self-pity part of
your story; maybe if you quit picking fights
with anyone even remotely different from us,
then you'd have the chance
to be undoubtedly happy.”
You turn your face away, ashamed.
And I'm glad, friend; I'm sincerely satisfied
because at least, this isn't a lie.
“So cruel,” you mutter under your breath.
“Friends yet enemies; there's no such thing!”
No, but it doesn't help when
you can't trust anyone; barely the aquamarine,
ocean-eyed creature in the mirror.

You know what I'm talking about..
For so long, you've tried to hide it from me;
how you really felt about finding out too late,
that you were adopted.
Boy, cut it out; the part of you that tries too
hard not to seem weak.
I've got news for you; even though
you strongly resemble one of those Greek gods,
your arms toned by moonlight,
salamander-spirit manifested in your bones and
slick starlight-skin emerging from a North Pole,
you're every bit as fucked-up;
human, beautifully damned as any one of us.

No, I'm not giving up, even as you push me away
and refusing to answer your phone or door
when I attempt to find out what's wrong,
why you've been hiding; claiming illness,
ditching school not-so-subtly.
Oh thunder-heart, back up;
give me some credit because
as you so eloquently yet rudely put it,
I have been here all along.
If you weren't prepared for honesty, then
you shouldn't have dragged me into this
Shakespearean horror-play, to begin with.
“But I didn't! I didn't mean for you to-”
What, didn't mean for me to care so much
and not leave you the fuck alone,
your nose bleeding and breaking mirrors
in the bathroom?
Well, too bad because there never will
be a time when I'll look into your eyes
and only see coldness;
a total lack of witch-bird emotion,
eerie yet intense,
but also infinitely honest.

So set fire to this Dollanganger-type house..
Burn my dreams in an attic somewhere gray and
haunting; devoid of sunlight,
filled with Civil War junk and
echoing with child screams.
Everything changed the night of the Christmas
party at your ex-girlfriend's house.
You were irritated with your friends
for favoring the “new kid”.
You were storming around the library,
ranting nonstop about how unfair it was that
you'd spent almost three years
trying your best; your hardest to win as many
trophies as you could for our lacrosse team
and all of a sudden, nothing matters anymore.
Meanwhile, I was doodling lazily on the back
of a composition music notebook;
sitting behind a desk formerly occupied by
our red-haired friend's great-grandfather.

Finally, you collapsed on the Russian plush carpet,
your back pressed against the liquor cabinet.
Sighing loudly, you murmured lowly;
betraying your conscience all over again,
“What the hell does everyone want from me?”
Oh and a line from a song invaded my brain.
It took me back to a time when we were
carefree and wild; whooping like
Iroquois warriors, dancing around a bonfire.
In your backyard, that's where
the flames were coming from; coral streamers
and code-blue messages painted in stone.
Do you remember how the thought of dying
never occurred to us?
I remember it so sharply, surreal-like prose:
“Easy on my tethered soul,”
the words read on an angel's tombstone.
“Giving you all I got but
you're claiming it whole.
It's the best I can do..
Nothing is ever good enough for you.”

Caught in something that finally makes sense;
it's this recollection of yours;
birthday candles blowing out one by one,
so sad and my cowrie-shell necklace; a gift
from Japan, from a sunken ship's captain in
a Pearl Harbor casket.
And even though it's still glowing stubbornly
around my neck after all
these wicked years, the bloody rum-treasure
doesn't fill me with warmth.
No, I startle when I hear a yelp.
Echoing from your side of this private room,
that noise; a groan and a clang, causes me
to look up and meet your frustrated glare.
“Goddamn it! Can't I do anything right?”
But I roll my eyes, unshaken and
make my way towards your pain.

Picking up the broken gin bottle,
I inspect the cut on your forearm.
“It's funny how you were such a klutz as a child,”
I murmur because you're drunk and I'm not.
Carefully, I pull out shards of
April glass from your amber skin.
“But look at you now,” I murmur quietly.
“You're captain of the lacrosse team;
the fastest swimmer I've ever seen,
the most patient fool in existence.”
I laugh and to my surprise, you grin,
keeping your fair; Sedna eyes on me,
as if you were listening.
But it turned out you really were
because as I was bandaging your hand
with a spare t-shirt, you told me,
“It's weird how you always make me laugh;
how no matter how low I'm feeling,
sinking in midnight-theater quick-sand,
you always remind me how truly alive I really am.
It might sound weird but there's so much
power in knowing that one simple thing.”

And suddenly, the knots in my stomach twist;
my cheeks flush hotly as you lean in,
kiss me unexpectedly on my brass-toned lips.
It takes a few seconds for my brain
to catch up with the electric current
surging through my body; but when it does,
I find myself leaning closer, wrapping
a hand around the back of your head, tangling
my fingers in your penny-tinted strands.

“Why did you take a chance on me?”
you wanted to know hours later as
we crashed in the back-seat of my car.
It was a weird night, turning into
an even weirder; eerie red-orange dawn.
The windows were fogged up with early 4 a.m rain and
my legs were numb where they lay across
the faded upholstery, your arm slung across my chest
and paper-plane rib-cage like one of
those bow-and-arrow straps, a medieval
archer's carry-on weapon.
“You do realize that; fearlessly, boy,
you shoot all my dreams away with an old man's rifle,
like a blast of meaningless violence in the night.
A firework exploding purple-red blood
against a sunflower-lit sky; friend,
that's the effect you suddenly have on me.”
And do you surrender? “Willingly..”

And I laugh out loud.
“You should write that down, Mercutio.
It's as poetic as a hell-bent flower.”

I can tell you're smirking,
even though you tousle my hair, mutter “Fuck you”
under your secret-Abbey breath.
Fair-skinned devil, I know everything about you..
Your sea-glass eyes can fool a thousand people.
Your lopsided smile can win over a million stars, all at once.
And I used to take pride in the fact that my heart
and mind seemed immune to your burning-Paris story-line.
I used to think I was the only one who saw you as “hardly golden”;
barely perfect, a Dorian warrior in the slanted evening light.
Blue Gender, oh were you always meant to be a drop-dead beautiful
icon; a sinking city, all hazard signs flashing
in your cloud-rimmed eyes and careless lips, imperial cheekbones,
sensual jaw-line?
Boy, were you always destined to be such a heartbreaking lie?

“Don't say that,” you insist,
gazing at me with something I've never seen before
mirrored in your thundercloud eyes;
a need for faith to trick you, one last time.
“I'm not playing with you.
You might think that's all I'm capable of;
of feeling nothing but cold,
hard nostalgia in your arms,
of being nothing more than a spring-fling.
But that's far from the truth..”
Oh I cut you off mid-sentence because
I can't take this anymore; this confusing
Santa Monica haze between us,
ruining our friendship, blinding us in
the wake of a vibrant-lily fresh start.
“No, I know you're not using me as some
bitter-sick escape just because you're lonely.
I wouldn't be here if I thought so; that
you were in fact, just an unchained melody,
one-night-stand stuck on repeat.
When all the confusion fades;
everything falls apart, those
card-house walls, decapitated
queens and kings everywhere; I'll still be here,
waiting under a street lamp in
your off-white neighborhood,
waiting for you to wake up.”

So open your eyes, sleeping-angel..
Show everyone how human you really are and
how you need them just as much as they claim
to need your strength, your sunlit confidence.
Just say those words and the spinning will stop;
in your brain, in your world, boy.
No longer pitch-black like a Druid forest;
everything will be illuminated, I promise.
It sounds impossible but if you're so sure
of your failures, why then, do you smile
every time it rains prism colors on the asphalt?

“Why did you take a chance on me?”
you wondered out loud one night as we were slouched
against the town sign near the cemetery.
We were watching the end of a bluebonnet
summer fade on the horizon, steal all our dreams
behind a water-tower; that great, big monster of
a country landmark.
Oh we were gulping down vodka and orange juice
from plastic grocery-store bottles.
We were swallowing rum and coke between radio
broadcasts streaming from your jeep,
even though we were long past high and mighty.
Friend, we were merely escaping
the college-blues; June-gloom,
thin sweater weather around us.

But I tilted my head to the side, looked unflinchingly
into your sleepy gingerbread eyes.
I responded honestly, feeling
probably the best confidence
I could ever dig up out of my Grecian heart.
“Boy, when I moved here,
there was no one else like you in this place;
no one I could trust with
my heart sliding halfway
down my LL Bean sweatshirt.”
You laugh. “Oh I'm so drunk,
you're actually making sense.”
But I shake my head.
“No, we're just a little tipsy
but that doesn't change anything.”

It didn't change the fact that
you were my first real friend here
simply because you reached out,
without asking for anything in return.
No, with you; I learned I didn't have
to be talented in math or fast at playing sports,
run a mile just to prove how determined
I was to win some pointless battle.
With you; supernova, I could help in all
the ways that really mattered.
And boy, you blushed, said
I shouldn't have admitted any of that.

“Well, too bad,” I murmured,
slinging an arm around your shoulders,
playing with the fine taffy
hairs at the base of your neck.
“Then again, you're going to be you and
I'll just have to be okay with whatever
life decides to paint you as;
a clever little star-chaser, random yet
hilarious, a dare-devil or Hercules-wannabe.
Either way, I'll always be here, silently
cheering, waiting for the day
when you'll stop hating yourself,
when you'll finally see the hidden heaven
in your glass-turned hell.”
hardly golden…

"To know me as hardly golden is to know me all wrong, they warn.
At every occasion, I'll be ready for the funeral.
To the outside, the dead leaves lay on the lawn, 
for they don't have trees to hang upon."

- "The Funeral", Band of Horses
It was a typical Wednesday night at the Farmer house.
Daddy was angry again with a glass of stale spirits
in hand, yelling about how I was ruining his life
by being such a different and “difficult child.
Mother was glued to the television,
her porcelain doll-eyes never straying from
the screen, the talk-show within.
She was quietly stitching fake
violet “Welcome Home” doilies,
refusing to get involved, even
when it meant defending her own daughter.
Yes, that woman always chose
to stay clear of the cross-fire.
And I got tired of screaming at the top of my paper lungs,
my pleas of “Momma, come save me”
falling on deaf ears.
Even at age twelve, I was tired of
her passive, cowardly attitude.

This might sound harsh, considering
I was born in the time of “Respect your elders,
no matter how twisted they are”;
but one thing that our Sunday-school teachers
neglect to mention is that even
adults can do bad things, do wrong.
Even parents can take their kids for granted
and above all these silent-as-mice betrayals;
dirty secrets swept underneath the rug,
what our mentors forget to mention is that
even small and naïve, even scared, we shouldn't
have to tolerate abuse of any kind or evil type.
Oh it's common sense but between frozen dinners
and unsigned doctors' notes, we forget that;
our right to smile in the strawberry sun.

Oh but it didn't matter because one balmy night in September,
I felt so free; so reckless and polished clean,
shiny like a pirate-pearl no longer trapped inside an oyster.
And the blood rushing through
these black-satin veins was humming; electric, hyper
with an extra Margarita sugar-intake and these songs
playing in my head were all independence, our right
to party all over this sloping baroque city.
Yeah, nobody could slow us down..
I could ride horses as well as dance the Two-Step
and I didn't mind if I ripped my stockings,  
if I lost my hat somewhere on the race-track,
blown away by a fig-tree breeze.
No, I didn't even care if the competition was rigged
by rich old birds, munching on peanuts in the stands
trading stories about monthly “business” trips to Arcadia.
No, darling; I had it in me to try, back in the day..
I had it in me; that feisty
green-eyed spirit, to do my very best.

Alright, you've guessed it;
it was there that I saw her, my first
real disaster-prone love, seated among
old crows in black-veiled hats; just like an orange tulip,
she was in a garden of depressing and predictable gray.
Smog cast on the horizon but I didn't
want to lose sight of such unique beauty,
whether I was winning or losing; whether
my horse was galloping steadily or
teetering on his ballpoint-hooves.
When we finally crossed the finish line;
third place, second string, I glanced up
and saw you cheering; clapping, even.
And I was stunned but then I saw; you were
applauding the boy who came in first.
“He's my cousin,” you exclaimed as I drew
nearer to the overzealous crowd.
“I'm so proud of him!”
And girl, maybe you didn't catch the envy
in my already-deceptive Spanish moss stare.
But I couldn't stop myself from saying;
honestly with a little bit of longing,
“Girl, your cousin is lucky to have
such a lovely supporter on his side.”
When I saw you blush, girl, I was
even more confused than before..

But we got ice cream later and the matter dropped.
I thought you must've been a curious schoolgirl,
foreign exchange student from Italy
when you told me your name: Caprice.
I thought, “She's one of those girls,
the kind that doesn't get infatuated with
the same sex for long; the kind that
likes to 'experiment' and then leave
when the temperature drops.”
A friend of mine once told me about those types
of damsels in distressed paperback novels.
“They're like birds flying south for the winter,”
I remember she shook her head sadly
as we sipped cafe au lait at a bar in the East Village.
“Girl, you're better off not wasting your time;
your thirsty, unbiased love on one of those fickle doves.”

Oh and I believed her, my friend from university because
we had gone through this cruel, ice-dagger storm together.
She had given me; not only support, but a roof over my head
when my parents disowned me.
But now, I felt so confused, remembering
her once wise-sounding words;
her Turn of the Century advice for ladies with blue collars,
Sappho lyrics hidden under handkerchiefs.
Now I wanted to believe in something; daring,
the sincerity in your almond-butter stare.

And I felt undeniably close to you, girl,
as we lay on the carpet of your uncle's town-home.
We were watching Roman Holiday for the fifth time
and stuffing marshmallow wafers into our mouths.
And I'd wondered, glancing over; if you noticed
how my arm brushed against yours on purpose,
how sometimes I'd listen in as you argued with
your mother on the phone.
All the way in Italy, she'd keep chastising you
about why you were still
single, why you never dated any of the many
handsome boys she tried
to set you up with more than once.
Oh you'd just sigh quietly, lean your head
against the wall of Zia Felicia's kitchen.
You'd tell your mother patiently,
“Maybe I don't want to settle down so soon,
Mama; without a degree in journalism,
without any knowledge of current events;
foreign languages and human nature,
smiling, fighting under pressure.
Mama, wouldn't you be disappointed
if I married the wrong person?”

Girl, I didn't want you to know I'd been eavesdropping
so I scurried off to the back patio,
upon hearing your footsteps leave the kitchen.
You plopped down on the garden chair opposite the swing
where I was pretending to read.
Sighing loudly, you said, “Family can be so annoying;
even stifling, you know what I mean?”
And I nodded awkwardly trying to hide the moon-flower
blush blossoming on my cheek
behind my curtain of dark toffee hair.
Oh but I don't think I succeeded much because suddenly,
you glanced at me curiously.
You asked, “Have you ever been in love,
close to being engaged?”
And I did nothing but shake my head, mutely.
“Never found the right one?”
you prompted and I shrugged.
The truth is, Caprice; like any other little girl,
a day-dreaming princess wannabe,
I wanted to build my own dollhouse with
cupcake wallpaper and a cute fireplace.
The truth is; like any other 18-year old, I wanted
to someday experience both those things,
an epic kiss in a hummingbird rainstorm
and feel a Cartier gold ring on my finger.
But sadly, society made me believe that wasn't possible
for fast-sinning, wayward puppets like me.
But I didn't tell you that..
I couldn't handle the embarrassment.
And besides, where would I begin?

So instead, I shrugged, asked if you liked poetry
and when you confessed you'd never read any,
I invited you to sit next to me on the swing.
We rocked slowly, keeping time; momentum with the tropical breeze,
and for a little while, everything was gentle
like a lazy summer morning.
But then, girl, you laid your head on my shoulder; inched closer,
and it was suddenly hard to breathe.

Even though it was never a 'normal' situation; an epic love-story
what we had in such a short time,
I didn't mind the thunder and lightning of
your presence hitting me, mercilessly.
No, I didn't care or even picture an ending to this weird novel.
I didn't think about tomorrow, girl,
because even though the timing was never right; our meetings
indescribable pieces of lost paperback history,
chapters inked out in bluebird and cardinal hues;
I still chose to live in the moment,
in that classic, unrealistic movie with you..

Oh if you could find me here,
a Saturn-ring floating around; without a home,
a planet-kingdom, that was all that mattered,
that I could link myself to you, girl;
a jasmine-scented piece, a dream of
a high-society damsel, no distress,
just pure; sweet casual-cherry rebellion
in your Napa Valley green stare.

“But I just can't say those words, girl!”
you exclaimed, your voice strained as I realized
your throat was all clogged up with unshed tears.
And even though I told you it was okay to cry;
to show genuine, earth-shattering emotion,
you absolutely refused.
“I can't give you peace of mind with this secret,
threatening to explode;
a water-lily opening in the middle of
a tar-black swamp, girl,” you continued.
“I can't introduce you to my parents right away and
get our housekeeper to make you your favorite dessert,
mocha creme-brule.
Honey, you shake your head like it doesn't matter but
we both know it does;
the fact that right now, I can't tell the world that
I want to kiss only you
beneath a pearl-dot rain-cloud.”

But still, Caprice, I lean closer;
tuck a strand of your cinnamon hair behind your ear and
whisper, “Someday, sweetheart..
That doesn't mean 'never' and for that sliver of hope,
I'll take my chances.”
Oh you shake your head, frozen tears on your lash-line.
“If anyone finds out; my friends,
coworkers or worse, my family, then
I'll be ruined and you'll be gone.”
But to quote only the most reckless of
fallen Hollywood angels: “I don't give
a damn about my reputation”.

And you shouldn't either because how many times do we find
exactly what we've been searching all our childhood, our
wicked and troubled adolescence for?
How many times do we get the chance to hold it in our hands;
as timeless as it looks, as fragile
as it feels and as immortal as it truly is?
“How often does this happen, girl, tell me?
I'm not as knowledgeable as you are; I'm not graceful,
nowhere near as refined with pearls or emeralds,
anything that glimmers at midnight..
But one thing I know; this world might sink like
a millionaire's ill-fated yacht off the coast of Mexico,
but our memories will always remain here,
engraved on the side of Captain Blackbeard's ghost-ship.
And what we did will go down in history;
the first June-gloom wedding that turned out bright,
sunny, as sweet and unusual, exotic as star-fruit.

The city can't hold us, darling..
Nothing can stop us, not your mother's narrow-minded
statements, gross comments about our relationship;
not my lack of a family history, gold-dust lineage,
where I fall behind your Sicily
pride and Casanova-painted setting.
No, girl, none of that matters
because even if our hearts have been
twisted from birth and this passion;
sorbet kiss is something I barely understand,
can imagine happening so smoothly,
these are moments I'll never regret.

When you look worried, I tell you,
“Caprice, I know dawn is nearing
and soon you'll have to get up; wash your hair,
put on a blazer and go to work,
for now, let's stay close; clothed in nothing
but wicked silk, Parisian lingerie,
arms folded around each others' limbs;
inhaling violets and peonies from
the windowsill pot of late August blooms.
For now, let's let our lips travel slowly;
carelessly over each others' throats,
collarbones and subtle nymph-like curves.
Even though our magic-well wishes always
run cold, our timing is never right; never
white-rabbit on the dot, for now though,
let's remain unmovable in our very own Roman Holiday.
Roman Holiday
"Do you remember the taste of my lips that night
I stole a bit of my mother's perfume
Cause I remember when my father put his fist through
The wall that separated the dining room
And I remember the fear in your eyes
The very first time we snuck into the city pool
Late December with my heart in my chest and the clouds of my breath
Didn't know where we were running to
But don't look back

We'll be looking for sunlight
Or the headlights
Till our wide eyes burn blind
We'll be lacing the same shoes
That we've worn through
To the bottom of the line
And we know that we're headstrong
And our heart's gone
And the timing's never right
But for now let's get away
On a Roman holiday"

- "Roman Holiday, Halsey

god, I'm so in love with this song Llama Emoji-23 (Shyness) [V1] 
“Breathe,” you say. “It's hard to stay quiet for too long;
trying to be perfect, sweating through diamond-glands
in the middle of August, believing that you're getting
closer to that thoroughbred American Dream;
race-track, award-winning, blue-collar love story
at the nearest Elvis-drawn heartbreak-hotel.
But in reality, you haven't gone much farther..
No, kid; you haven't made it out alive yet,
sinking deeper in thick, abbey-gray quick-sand.”

Don't patronize me, I thought back then.
But you weren't really talking about prom, were you?
You weren't really speaking of Indian summers;
Saturdays spent under the hood of my beat-up
sweet-sixteen Ford, fixing it for the second or third time.
No, boy, not even in your wildest Las Vegas dreams;
did you mean to describe this golden sun-drug
I had injected in my veins, or the jock across
the street who I was secretly crushing on.
Boy, you didn't even know about that because
I noticed that whenever I mentioned the only
person who had ever made me lie awake at night,
listening to Gilligan's Island streaming from
my little sister's mini TV; who ever made me wish
I were brave enough to kiss him out in the open,
you always looked a little forlorn and even a tad bitter.
So I never mentioned it much; that Swing-lo, Sweet Chariot
part of my life that was never 100% black-and-white, always
so confusing with its traditional photographs,
tasteless desserts and cat-fights in the yard.

You and I; we ran wild through the sun-baked
streets of Brooklyn in summertime, as if we were thousands
of miles away on the other side of the ocean
in an unapologetic, wine-red Paris.
“Moulin Rouge; rebel-blood,
I'd kill it at the theater!” you boasted.
“Singing with all those fallen French monarchs.”
Oh I could tell you were a little tipsy
after all that tequila and rum you guzzled down
between Fulton Street and Jamaica Avenue.
But when I grasped your arm, keeping you from
teetering on the sidewalk, you just warned me
not to be a 'party-pooper' before collapsing
in a puddle of slurred Rock lyrics; gravel-starfish liner,
unraveling bow-ties, disheveled Caribbean charm.

But finally, we make it home; to your closet of
a flat above a pizza parlor and
I unlock the door, push you gently inside.
It's not the best but at least
it's somewhere semi-comfortable,
where you belong with a tribe of other outcasts.
“Stay,” you mumble, peeling off your skintight shirt
and plopping down on the mattress
pushed up against the wall,
beneath a Sleeping Beauty window.
“Boy, where are you gonna go?”
That's a reasonable question you asked,
but I have no response and so;
I pull off my own clothes, lie down beside you.
I have no home..
“Once upon a time,” you mumble.
Yeah, once upon a time,
I was a golden child.”

Now what? I woke up from a nightmare again.
Back in Missouri,
my father was grinning wickedly, telling me
we were going for a drive to the lake where
he used to take me fishing as a kid; where
he taught me how to wait patiently
for minnow and trout.
He even taught me how to play
Willie Nelson songs on his guitar
while we were there; in a rocking
little boat in the middle of
the silver, mermaid-tail water.
But then we drive for miles in
his rusty salmon-coral truck and
I realize he was lying, that
we're not going anywhere in particular.
Boy, I tell my dad he's scaring me and
that's when he stops with
a screeching of tires, pushes me out
the passenger-side door.
Friend, I'm standing in the middle of
a field, sunburned yet
shaking, sweating bullets.
My father pulls out his rife; says,
“I don't know who you are,
but you're not my straight-as-a-stateline,
sandy-haired son.”
But the worst part is the look on my face.
In the dream, I was already expecting this;
long before a shot rings out in the middle
of the teardrop woods, boy,
I was expecting his stone-cloud hatred.

“Boy, wake up!”
I feel your hands on my shoulders
but I push you away, frantically.
“No!” I almost scream.
“Don't touch me, I'm sick..”
You don't give me space, however, to catch my breath
between these arsenic dreams.
No, instead you pin me down on the mattress;
trap my face between your hands, command,
“Snap out of it! It's all in your head.”
That's when I feel moisture on my cheeks,
feel the erratic thumping of my heart in my ears.
It's just like Tennessee;
it's inconsolable, this drumming-noise.

I feel weak but you insist that I'm not really..
“He's not here,” you say quietly once I'm calmer.
“Your old man doesn't have
power over you anymore, boy.
What does it matter; now that
you're out, now that you're free?
No regrets, see; small-town firefly,
you don't need his permission.
Love who you want, no apologies.”

And it's easy for you to say, I think.
But I don't let it pass my stubborn lips.
I know your story, after all; how
your older brother used to smack you around.
Your daddy never intervened, thought
you deserved it for being a “sissy”.
Then one day, your momma caught you
kissing a cute boy from church in your bedroom.
She warned you, wholeheartedly,
“Son, leave before your father and
brother skin you alive.”
Oh and you did; you high-tailed it
out of that godforsaken island.
You came here to the city of
blinking; winking, narcissistic lights and
swirling tye-dye hues,
an ever-faithful libertine spirit.

So I can't tell you, “You don't know how it feels”.
I can't tell you because you've been here longer.
The cold, hard truth is; friend, I'm so ashamed..
I'm so embarrassed that you saw the not-quite-subtle
tears sticking to my lashes as I slept, and worst of all;
heard the raw, uncensored pain in my voice
as I time-traveled to a day in March when;
I swear to God I saw the devil in my father's face, his
copper-toned, brimstone features.

“Boy, I'm here for you.
We're all the same..”
Yeah, friend; I agree when you wrench me out of that room,
take me up to the rooftop and give me a smoke; a Low Tar,
Hollywood cigarette to clear my soiled-dove thoughts.
“Let's go to Broadway,” you say out of the blue.
“Go take a shower, change your shirt.”
Oh I smile for the first time in a long while
because where you're taking me is a bar;
a coffee-shop, an unofficial dance-floor.
It can be whatever we want; whatever we need
in this wicked, time-travel moment.

It's where we watch Judy Garland's smile
on the tiny black-and-white TV.
It's where we hear about the war
somewhere tropical and faraway.
It's where we learn about the riots started by
degenerates like us on these very streets and
we think, “Well damn, maybe there is hope!”

Our own private Manhattan is dark tonight;
royal purple, everything so fragile at dusk.
Boy, we sit on foreign doorsteps,
sipping beer out of paper mugs.
We pretend that we're the elite
of Staten Island; the illegitimate children
of oil sheiks and Georgia-peach debutantes.
We're so high, boy; hollow but we're brave.
“And never fall back in time,”
you claim, throwing me words of
drunken wisdom; poetic bourbon-text,
as I hum a lullaby and you lay your head on my chest.
“Corn-husk teen; country-bumpkin,”
you tease my upbringing.
“Indian-prince, southern king..”
I shove your shoulder playfully
but then I listen quietly as you continue,
“The good thing about being a runaway is;
we've got nothing left to lose but our shame.
Am I right, kid?”

Yes, it's heartbreaking..
It's still the American Dream, though;
this lie we spin so easily.
We don't even notice when our fibs form nooses
around our pretty, fragile throats.
But not anymore, boy..
I feel like you've opened my eyes.
I feel like I've finally seen the light; shining
like a Christmas star at the top
of the Statue of Liberty.
But if it's all about freedom,
then why can't we go home, friend?
Tell me; why can't I love you, openly?

You shrug, fall asleep.
My eyes drift over the gutter,
across the street to the diner where our friends;
all those drag queens are gossiping, retouching
their makeup, fluffing their wild-child hair.
You know it just occurred to me;
they had parents once, too.
They were kids just like us
once upon a time, but now what?
Are they just as lost as we are?
Do you think that beneath all the glamour,
those powdered-sugar gals are just
hiding equally-slowing, dead-nymph hearts?
Maybe if people remembered
what it was like to be fifteen; then,
they wouldn't be so quick to hate us..
Broadway is dark tonight
"Broadway's dark tonight

A little bit weaker than you used to be
Broadway's dark tonight
See the young man sittin' in the old man's bar
Waitin' for his turn to die

You choke down all your anger
Forget your only son
You pray to statues when you sober up for fun
Your anger don't impress me
The world slapped in your face
It always rains like hell on the loser's day parade

You see, you'd love to run home, but you know you ain't got one
Cuz you're livin' in a world that you're best forgotten
When you're thinkin' you're a joke and nobody's gonna listen
To the one small point I know they've been missing around here

Broadway's dark tonight
A little bit weaker than you used to be
Broadway's dark tonight
See the young man sittin' in the old man's bar
Waitin' for his turn to die."

- "Broadway", The Goo Goo Dolls



United States
Current Residence: Texas
Favourite genre of music: rock


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spacedementchen Featured By Owner 1 day ago
hey there,
thanks for the favourite on'unica'.
really appreciate you like my work! :aww:

much love,
autumn-spirit Featured By Owner 19 hours ago
no problem :)
tirasunil Featured By Owner 5 days ago  Student Writer
Thanks for the fav! :)
TheRealPetron Featured By Owner Jan 31, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you very much for your favorite on Fallout! I really appreciate it.
Serendiipitii Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Thank you for the support, it's appreciated ~ <3
autumn-spirit Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2016
duh :P I told you you're awesome, silly!
anylife Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2016  Student Photographer
Thank you for the fav :heart: 
Kathleanore Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2016  New Deviant  Writer
Thank you for faving my "Asphalt Threads" Brevette! :)
Devils-n-Dusts Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
thank you
roadkillKitten Featured By Owner Jan 24, 2016
Hey! Thanks for the fave on "She Has Haunted Eyes"
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