Why I’m Not Where You Are

Wednesday, December 12th, 2012

And you are the kindest person I ever met.  You are an anchor lodged in the current.  And it’s currency that keeps us apart.  And partly time.  It’s never the right time.  Time is essential but hardly of the essence.  I can’t make sense of myself these days.  The days blur together, one into the next, until they slowly break apart.  Chunks of time in perfect ratio with my splitting personality, one to one and the possibility of one plus one gets pounded back into one of the shafts from whence we came, dust to dust and ashes to ashes and my how the mighty men fall as time keeps passing.

And all the while you remain kind, incomprehensibly so while all I try to do is comprehend myself and what keeps us so far apart.  And my thoughts escape into my headphones and my headphones squeeze all the tighter trying only to hold them in.  And my mind gets foggy and causes rust to build on the dendrites that connect one thought to the next.  And rust holds the chain of my bike still, an immobility to commute or commune.  Stiller and stiller I become even as the anxiety builds up inside causing the acid to gnaw on what living parts of me am left.  And all the while you remain kind.  So kind and so, so far away.


by Deborah Busch
Submitted on Sat, Nov 10, 2012 at 6:42 PM


Monday, December 10th, 2012

Some moments cry out for a drum roll.
I’m standing at the edge of the canyon,
looking down, and it’s so silent,
I can hear the “whoop” of the buzzard’s wing
like a flat tire in the sky.
I’m too awed even to call you over.
“Come see this,” is as dry on my tongue
as the rocky ground beneath.

You’re still fiddling with something or other.
I’m always telling you how you’ll miss
out on the shooting-star, the sperm whale-breaching,
but you never do,
You amble over eventually and hover,
as I do, over this giant crack in the world.
There’s nothing to say
so nothing is said.
I don’t even bother to take your hand.

The scenery has a mighty grip
on all my body parts.

Some, moments require nothing more
than a tin whistle solo,
like when we retreat from the crevasse,
amble back down the trail
toward the parking lot.
We don’t speak and the buzzard’s
too busy riding thermals
but the soft and unfussy melody
of wonderment deflating
would be something

There’s no conversation until we’re
in the car, on the highway,
and then it’s just, “How far
did you say it was to the next motel?”
Some moments want nothing more
than simple answers to simple questions.
But before I get to say “ten miles”
the sun begins setting,
gorgeous colors on the distant mountains…


By: John Grey
Submitted on 11/15/12

Time Unchanged

Monday, December 10th, 2012

Time Unchanged

The year
Goes by.
You are
Not the
Same. The people
Different. You
Remember how
The clocks
Swept you
Up and
You off
In this
Enjoy. This time
Be the same.
Times Don’t


By: Gillian Finney
Submitted: 11/26/12 at 8:53 p.m.


Sunday, December 9th, 2012

What’s wrong? he asks as she moves

her head from his chest to the pillow.

It hurts, she says. But what hurt wasn’t
the position of her ear against his ribs

but the silence between each of his heart
beats, the second that felt like it would

be the one that stretched on forever.


by Emily Montgomery
Submitted on: 2012/11/14 at 8:41 pm

Thirty-Fifth Birthday

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

Today is my thirty-fifth birthday and who am I? I can’t say anymore.

His foot is tap- tap- tapping as I stare at my pancakes. He thinks this is a birthday gift, making me breakfast. It must be his birthday every other damn day of the year.

I know now. I don’t want to be a wife. I don’t want to be a mother. I want to be a woman, traveling the world, making a name for herself.

“Baby, don’t do this,” he says every time I try to pack my bags.

Inside I think, fuck you. Respect me as a dreamer and an artist and a beautiful work of God and maybe I wouldn’t want to. But outside I just stay quiet and sit cross-legged on the floor with my things sprawled around me and start to cry as he calls me to the bed.

He thinks I never will, but I will. I know it’s time. Today is my thirty-fifth birthday and my present to myself is to leave.

The other women, they don’t understand.

“Is he hitting you?” They ask, feeling my arms. “Is he hurting her?” “Is he messing around?”

I shake my head and try to explain that this role just isn’t right for me. That I need to be myself. They especially don’t see how I could ever leave Sara. I don’t know how to explain to them that for some people, being a parent can’t satisfy all your needs. And that I’m one of those people.

I want everything for my daughter, don’t get me wrong. I love her and I want her to grow up and become a beautiful actress or a dedicated businesswoman or even marry a wonderful man. I want to get a Christmas card of her and her family and put it on the wall of my Italian villa. I want her to be happy. But I love myself too and it’s time for me to do what I want to for once.

Today is my thirty-fifth birthday and as they go in the kitchen to frost the cake and light the candles, I pull the envelope out of my purse, place it on the table, and slip out the back door.

I ride the train two hours away and meet a couple women dressed in peacock feathers. We buy tequila sunrises and talk to men who tell us we are beautiful. We tap-tap-tap our feet to the reggae being played at the bar next door, then take our heels off to dance on the beach.

And then, as the sun starts to creep back into the sky, I carry my shoes two blocks back to the station. I board the train, get off at a familiar stop, and climb into bed.


by Emily Montgomery
Submitted on: 2012/11/14 at 2:30 pm

Dad at Dusk

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

by Emily Montgomery

Submitted on: 2012/11/13 at 9:33 pm

Look to the Past

Sunday, December 9th, 2012

by Emily Montgomery

Submitted on: 2012/11/13 at 9:35 pm


Sunday, December 9th, 2012

by Emily Montgomery

Submitted on: 2012/11/13 at 9:27 pm

Marie and Daniel

Sunday, December 9th, 2012


by Olaya Barr
Submitted on: 2012/11/21 at 2:27 pm



Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

I’m immobile. My nervous system is failing to send messages from my brain to my feet.  My mouth is dry. I don’t think I could speak, even if I knew what to say. I’ve contemplated this moment in my head a million times, and somehow I still don’t have a game plan. Not that it matters, even if I had one I wouldn’t be able to follow it at this point.

He saw me, I know he did. I could feel his steel blue eyes piercing my skin from across the room. Our eyes met for a brief second, but his face was unreadable, emotionless. He always had an amazing poker face. I never knew what he was thinking, even when we were close. I look away, I can’t meet his gaze. But curiosity gets the better of me, and I look-up again.

He’s gone.

My eyes search the room, and I see a flash of his coral blue polo amongst the color spectrum of the crowd. I realize he’s making his way toward me and my heart freezes. We make eye contact again and he motions for me not to move. But I don’t listen, I have to get closer.

And when we reach common ground somewhere in the middle, tunnel vision kicks in and he’s all I see. His tan skin looks worn, but I know that if I could just touch it, it would be soft. He’s smiling, and though it’s as goofy as ever, something about it makes me hold my breath.

I try my best to smile back. There are so many things I want to say, so many things I left unsaid. I can’t even remember the last time we spoke. Once again, I’m immobile. Do we shake-hands, all formal and adult like? Do we high-five like we used to when we were kids? So much time has passed, I don’t know the appropriate step to take.

Luckily, he makes the first move. His hands are open at his sides and he takes a step forward. Somehow I mirror his actions. Then his arms are surrounding me and I rest my head on his chest as he squeezes me tightly. But not too tight. The hug feels foreign, yet somehow familiar at the same time. I realize we’ve never been this close before; we’ve made a point to keep a safe distance our whole lives. And yet here I am, in his arms, all past inhibitions floating away like leaves on the wind.

“It’s been forever,” his voice says right above my ear. “You have no idea how much I’ve missed you.”

“I’ve missed you, too,” I whisper.

By: Lori Buchanan
Submitted: 11/15/12 at 2:37 p.m.

I would like a day that goes by slowly

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

nothing to do or say
nothing to be

cars and bicycle bells
people with dogs that smell funny
rich babies and exotic nannies
stack like cards
pigeons roosting in crevices between elbows and eyes
throw feathers over the ledge

I would like to be colored in with crayons and kid sounds
knitted into my park bench
purled around the twenty wisdoms I know
of the curve of my lip
and your index finger

no one knows the depths of the dent in your chin
when the taxis are still sleeping
and the sun creeps its way across the floor
of unmatched socks and feet

when your breath comes in like waves
and I am the one that feels it.


By: Rachel Kang
Submitted: 11/21/12 3:28 p.m.

It’s Only the Middle of September

Wednesday, December 5th, 2012

the wind stung my nose
in the square,
made it
swell, pucker, water,
the leafy rustle
of phlegm.
So the bitter bite
of winter
mugger in the park.


By: Valerie Wong
Submitted: 11/22/12 at 3:19 p.m.