“Wonder Woman”

its the ordinary things
that make her extraordinary

the way her hair settles unevenly –
tousling in all directions
after letting her thoughts run wild
against the canvas
of midnight

the way make-up quickly smudges
with every smile and laugh
gently falling away
to open the world
to that natural and under-appreciated
beauty

the way her smile
takes over her entire face,
distorting any attempt she may make
at appearing
‘symmetrical’ –
reminding you that
truly beautiful things
are always off-kilter

the way her attempts at
dressing formal
are always at war
with her comfortable and causal
ways of being –
a single dress never stopped her
from feeling free

the way she writes and talks
about those she loves
with such vigorous admiration

while constantly forgetting

she’s worthy

of the
same
praise

 

I want to be my own Wonder Woman

his 4-year old world

“I’m the draw-bridger”

the proclamation settles in
to a leather couch cushion
quickly recruited to play the part
“bridge”

tender tiny hands
hoist the bridge on its side
until it leans delicately
against particularly placed
kitchen stools
(assigned the job “castle walls”)

slowly

tediously

the living room transforms
under the touch of grimy fingertips
compelled by
the vivid workings
of a mind I can
no longer
seem
to
grasp.

A wedding at the tides

the ocean’s rough spray
is gloomy and grey
on a wedding day
at the tides

charming groomsmen smile
as if they’re on trial,
waiting to defile
their young brides

before the affair
begins, on the air
floats the stench of their
suicides

“He Cleans”

Three p.m. on a warm Monday afternoon. The air is thick with the stench of holiday celebrations: alcohol swirls on the breeze intermingling with the smell of smoked foods and sunscreen. Alexis sits, twitching every minute or so, in her burnt orange hammock. Strung up on the back porch beneath a hand-made turquoise tarp (an unnecessary preparation for rain that never seems to come).

Inside Cory moves with precision, a ghostly figure behind the closed screen door, cleaning the one-bedroom apartment in comfortable silence. He wanders between the kitchen and bedroom in a seeming random pattern, fluidly cleaning the bedroom light switch, kitchen counters, and bathroom mirror in what seems to be one extended movement.

Alexis has often wondered what Cory’s mind fills with as he cleans the space. Every Sunday afternoon, without fail, he pulls out the neon pink duster and grey rags to brush away whatever dust has gathered in six days. Alexis rarely partakes.

She sits and observes his movements. Watching the same dance with fresh eyes, always wondering if she should be a partner in the whole affair. Yet, the dance seems to be intimately choreographed, a secret language Cory speaks with only himself.

“Do you need help?” Alexis shouts through the screen door. Her body tenses as she waits for his answer. Her toes point to the concrete pavement beneath, her fingertips curl into themselves, her neck arches towards the door – she appears like a lion prepared to pounce, but desperately hoping something or someone else will intervene.

“No – I’m fine” Cory’s response floats from the kitchen where Alexis can hear the silverware clanking against their marble counters. Alexis’ body relaxes, her head falls into her hammocks’ embrace. Cory is never angry with her for not picking up the cleaning supplies, he’s never bitter or passive-aggressive. It’s become a source of humor at parties and family dinners with their respective parents, but Cory never seems to hold it against her.

 

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