My skin reddened and body badly parched,
I take the bus to where I hope there is a fountain.
It is somewhere deep below the southern skies,
well past the keeper of the fall.
They say I will know it when I see it,
but my hope is all but lost after the fourth stop.
From then on, it is me and the driver,
one of us always watching the other.
I, hoping he has a map and compass,
and he, hoping I drift off to sleep.

Families of broken
bones dance around cold fires
where they live.

To the sound
of tattered jukebox hits from
days gone by.

When they see
an open grave, it only
means inevitable war.

But if they
can reach out beyond here,
the sun forgives.

- Thinking outside the box while sleeping in it

- Walking between rooms so fast the carpet peeled

- Never noticing the smell

- Lamp light and old speakers

- Opening hatches

- Cleaning the floors without soap

- Pushups

- Visiting the zoo and bringing home the principals

- Exercising privilege

- More coffee than water

- Using profanity for sentimental value

- Strong hearts and stronger personalities

- Never cheating self

Each day, as my calendar fills, it also widens. Today, next week became annual. And tomorrow, this year will span decades. Color-coded and sprawling, I meticulously plot my life in half-hour increments. Each appointment and event perfectly contiguous to another and another and another. I scrutinize my minutes, and analyze the white space. So why am I always late? This widening timeline always out of reach, always one step ahead of its creator. I am forever everywhere in time. But I will never be anywhere on time.

Melt it down to an algorithm wound tightly around the antithesis of evolution, proudly displayed atop the unified theory of panic.

Its fingers seek help and its eyes fall silent.

for seven years his legs pumped, pushing him block to block in a mile-long loop
he knew which streets were for picking up speed and which were for casual coasting
without glancing down, he could steer himself to the where the uneven sidewalk met briefly enough for his narrow tires
for hours on end, through suppertime and curfew, skidding around corners or tearing through parks
he didn’t stop until dew formed on lawns and the streetlights flickered out
and sometimes he left town, heading north as far as the interstate, only turned around because there was nowhere else to go
except south, to where the blacktop split on the state border and everything looked a little more foreign
night after night and through every weekend, he wore his tires so bald they frayed
and the handlebar grips were no more than shreds
for him, it was never because there was nothing else to do
it was never about escape
it was always about belonging
it was about having a place to call his own

Napsandscriptsandthingsthatrhymewithpurpose
Backtrackingthroughshortstoriestofindthequestion
Tunedguitarsforaworthwhilehobby
Cleancarpetsandapillowfight
Parentswhoareneitherproudnorpatronizing
Accutesenseoftaste

Somewhere in a deep drink of absinthe, buildings are taller and the sun only sets halfway. Gardens need not be tended, yet they will flourish so not a single toad goes hungry. The roads are filled with bicycles, tricycles, and hopscotch games drawn for blocks. When the bars close, the wind sings ballads and couples slow-dance all the way onto their front porch. The air always smells of roasted coffee, rivers fill with stickleback, and no one ever gets ill.

A chocolate croissant
or a brioche bun.

A God of immense determination.

A sun-kissed shoulder
and two hours of frisbees.

A cold shower.

A missing tv show.

A tight squeeze
during a long nap.

What’s over there?
Tell me, how are
all of these bees
confiding in
her? Why doesn’t my
sepia-toned heart
speak to lowly bees
the same way? When, in
the story of my
life, will my chest
house those bees?

Put them in
the castle that my
ancestors built. Mouth
to them the instructions for flying.

Then let them out.

And when they begin flying,
let her out.

And when she begins flying,
let me out.