Creative Fiction

Your daddy is no Rumpelstiltskin and I’ve not got the Bones of Betsy Ross.

Like any normal child, I started writing letters to my One Day, Some Day daughter when I was 11-years-old. I’ve been writing her into the margins of my diaries for eleven years now in hopes that one day she’ll find these books buried somewhere in the attic and know, through the etchings of my messy cursive, that I wanted the most for her. Even when I’ve had no idea what to want for myself, I want the most for her. The following posts are for her, my One Day, Some Day Daughter. 

Dear Daughter of Mine with the neon pink nails,

Honesty sits square on the kitchen table in our home, somewhere between the salt shaker and the pan of brownies that I managed to burn. And so, I’ll just be honest and tell you straight: Your daddy is no Rumpelstiltskin and I’ve not got the Bones of Betsy Ross.

I’d be lying if I said I never thought how your life might be different if I’d been the girl all wrapped up in thoughts of red, white & blue while your daddy Rumpel watched me from across the roller rink. If I’d been thinking of stripes as he said to his fairy tale pals, “There’s my star.”

I’d be foolish not to tell you that some days I wonder what it would have been like if he and I had collided like a firework pent-up in the garage for far too long. And if the rest would have been just called History. If we would wrapped ourselves up in an American Flag and laugh up to the rafters about a One Day, Some Day Daughter: You.

Dear Daughter of Mine with the zebra-striped nails,

I would have started sewing early for you if I’d been a Betsy with a Rumpel by my side. While Sleeping Beauty snoozed in our recliner and the dwarves played Apples to Apples on the floor, I’d hold up the latest cloak for my gal pa Cinderella and she’d nod at me with approval.

“This one is Strength,” I’d say, folding the finished cloak and handing it to Little Boy Blue. “Can you run upstairs and hang it up for me? Right in the middle of Grace and Peace.”

It’s a fine, fine collection you’ve got for her there,” Cinderella might’ve said. “I only wish my mother had been alive to knit me these kinds of cloaks, for the days when life gets tough and shoes don’t seem to fit right. But why are you knitting them all so early? She surely won’t fit into them until she is grown.”

“Cinder, Cinder, Cinder,” I’d tell her (because everyone knows her nickname was never Ella) “The sooner I make them, the sooner I can wear them. I’ll wear them Monday upon Monday so that no One Day, Some Day Daughter of Mine ever questions if my for her is like a well-worn sweater. She will feel me all around her, even when I’m no longer there.”

Dear Daughter of Mine with the pearly white nails,

I know there will be a day when life is going to hurt you, crush you, make you feel lik the magic has seeped out from your billowed sleeves. And what will I do? What will I do without a cloak of Strength to place around your shoulders? How will I manage without a closet full of Hope & Serendipity & Agape– hemlines of yellow & purple & silver– for the days when life starts showing you that she’s got teeth and she’s got bite?

Because I know I cant stop it. Cant stop the first boy who will break your heart. Cant stop the first time that you start to doubt the One who made the sunsets all for you. Cant stop you when you cry & spit & curl into a bucket of tears on the floor. No piece of silk will stop that. No cloak of gold will halt the sting.

Dear Daughter of Mine with the aqua blue nails,

I’ve come down to my knees for you nearly 1,000 times in hopes that He’ll give me what it takes to stitch it all within you. Because I’ve not got the fingers of a Weaver and I’ve not got knitting needles all up in my hair.

And so I tell Him everyday, “Break my heart and shatter my bones if it means I’ll have something to teach her when Growing Up hits her like a tidal wave. Place me into spots where I am weak, where I am hungry, where I am helpless.  Show me how to crawl instead of walk, walk instead of run.”

Dear Daughter of Mine with the red polished nails—my Some Day Daughter Sleeping Soundly Somewhere South of Saturn— there’s no closet full of cloaks waiting here for you. But I am waiting. Waiting for the day when your laughter becomes the soundtrack for my way to work, the lullaby for the sleepless nights.

And I am learning. Learning to go as Black and Blue as a Bob Dylan song to make you feel my love.

And I am stitching. Already stitching my heart into every sleeve you’ll ever own.

Creative Fiction, Love Letters

The Forgotten Fairy Tale of Should’ve, Could’ve & Would’ve

Like any normal child, I started writing letters to my One Day, Some Day daughter when I was 11-years-old. I’ve been writing her into the margins of my diaries for eleven years now in hopes that one day she’ll find these books buried somewhere in the attic and know through the etchings of my messy cursive that I wanted the most for her. Even when I’ve had no idea what to want for myself, I wanted the most for her. The following posts are for her, my One Day, Some Day Daughter.

To my One Day, Some Day Daughter:

This is a story made for the day when you wake up, Hair Knotted by the Pull of your Pillow, and stumble straight into Should’ve & Could’ve & Would’ve: a trio of sisters that the world should call witches, for they’ll snatch up your dreams and scarf down your desires, and Fix You Up Pretty in a Too Tiny Box that God Never Made You For.

He made you for dancing—for words too eloquent to say with more than a whispered voice—for tinsel delicately strewn on the branches of baby evergreens—for icing, thick and sugared on the tops of every little thing you touch. 

But one day, one gloom-stricken day, you’ll stumble into a cottage of sorts, with doors that lock behind you, to find Should’ve herself and the things she thinks you were made for.

You’ll know her by the rings piled on every long, stickly finger. The Diet Coke she clutches in her hand. The mole on her face, right beside the curl in her lips caked with a lipstick color that Chanel phased out two decades ago.

She’ll look you straight in the eye and ask you where you’ve been.

“A little late to join the par-tay, Babycakes. Aint that right, Could’ve?” she’ll say to you, slapping her gum. “HA, HA, HA, bet you were off thinking you could make something of yourself. Like you could move, bah! Like you could make a difference, BAH! Could’ve? COULLLLDDD’VEEEEE!!! Where are you!!! Getttt innnn hereeeeee nowwwww! And bring the cat!”

Could’ve will emerge, wearing a bathrobe. Always one to wear a bathrobe. And a hazard zone of red hair perched upon her head.

“Yea, yea, yea,” Could’ve will say, shuffling into the room with a fat orange fur ball tucked under arm. “What the heck do you want…. And WHO are YOU!?”

“My name is….” You’ll start to say.

“Shhhhhh… we really don’t care! Names don’t matter in this place. Dreams don’t either. And certainly, certainly, not your silly little ambitions. Leave those at the door. Should’ve, get the remote. Judge Judy is on!”

From a corner of the cottage, you’ll watch Should’ve & Could’ve sink into the television, into a world they’ve always known. A world with no pushing, no pulling, no climbing. No maybe. No possibly. And for that matter, no Possi or Bility.

With a creek and a slam, the front door of the cottage will usher in a young lady. Young and fair, wearing a green cape, the hood draped over her long black hair.

“Where the heck did you run off to, Would’ve?” Should’ve will holler, not turning back to see her sister’s flushed cheeks. “We’ve got Doubt coming over for dinner in an hour and you gotta sweep the floors!”

“A date…” Would’ve will say meekly.


“A Date.”

“With Whommmmmmmmm!?!”

“Try.” The name comes out short. Abrupt. You’ll feel the heavy gust of shame whipping through the cottage the moment Would’ve lets the name drop from her lips.

“Try!?!” Could’ve will roar. “You went on another date with Try? You stupid, stupid girl! What have we told you one million times before? Try does not go for girls like you.”

“I know you’ve said that but he’s charming and endearing and…” Would’ve will say.

“You are different, Would’ve! Cant you see that? He will notice soon enough and then he’ll break your heart. People don’t try on a girl like you! Give him up….”

“You think you are special and you are not,” Should’ve will chime in. “Stop it already, Stop the Some Day, Stop the Day Dreaming. Stop the Special. Stop the Stand Out. You’ll only get hurt from boys like Try, he’s probably already forgotten your name.”

You’ll see it unfold. See the happiness seep straight from the bones of Would’ve as she stands in the center of her Too Tiny Kitchen and tries to erase Try from her memory.

Dismantle his name in some sort of fashion.

Boil the T in the pot for the dinner made for Doubt.

Sweep the R under the staircase, beside forgotten cobwebs.

Wash the Y away in the sink after the dishes pile up.

She’ll forget the flowers that Try brought her. She’ll scrape away the times when Try showed her how to climb a tree and look down from the top.

She’ll take to pushing the felt of the eraser across the chalkboard of the time when she and Try laid down in a pile of leaves and he took her hand in his. “Would’ve, do you have a middle name?” he asked.

“Well, I suppose it’s Have. My name is really Would Have but people call me Would’ve for short.”

“Hmm,” Try said, “Have. It is a really pretty name. What does it mean?”

“I don’t really know. I’ve never really known it and I’ve grown up hearing from my sisters that I’ll never know it. I guess it is word that makes it possible to believe that if you want something then you could hold it, secure it, clutch it. All those things.”

“Are there things like that for you? Do you want things like that?”

“Well, no one has ever asked me that. I don’t really think about it.”

“You should think about it more,” Try said. “I like it better than Would’ve. I will call you that from now on. Have. Have. Have. My Little Have.”

She’ll forget that Try ever told her she was different in a good kind of way, special in a certain kind of way. And you’ll watch her Sink, Sink, Sink into a Stew of Sadness over the Try she’d never have.

And Would’ve, not quite the Have she wanted to be, will see you standing off in the corner, in the Shadows of the Shack. And she’ll give you a look that aches, saying, “Go…. Go….” And you better go then. You better go then.  “Before they notice you’re gone… Go… Go…”

And as you go, slipping out the door and away from a world where Too Pretty Girls get pent up into Too Tiny Boxes, Would’ve will tuck a note into the crook of your hand. And you’ll become a messenger for a girl who needs her Try.

“To my Dearest Try,

One day I may know you better, in a way where I am not so afraid of you and I am not so petrified by the good you could bring to me. Right now I am just the Would’ve, stuck beside the Could’ve and the Should’ve that I’ve known my whole life. And I am longing to know something different… longing to know what the world would be like if I could just be Have. Have. Have. Have.

One day, I’ll fly away. One day, I’ll fly away.


Your Little Have”

Creative Fiction, Girl meets Boy, Letting Go, Staying

And I am sorry, like Africa. Sorry like Montreal.

“No man is ever gonna chase you through an airport,” my mother told me on my 25th birthday.

At the time, it was 25 years that I’d managed to live just fine without you.

“He might wish he could chase you through an airport, you are certainly pretty enough for that. But he won’t dare stand at Gate 16 and lose all his manhood for a girl who’d never stay.”

Little girls learn to suck and swallow their mothers’ words like throat lozenges. You should probably know now, I gritted my teeth into those very words nearly every night of knowing you, wondering in the dark when you’d turn to leave. Turn and slam the door and leave me breathing or maybe some kind of breathless on the other side, saying, “That door has never quite sounded this way before.” Never so hollow. Never so cold.

But my mother was right, because of who I am and what I won’t sacrifice, I’ll be the kind of girl who has to stand at Gate 16, staring down at her shoes, asking a part of her heart if it will still remain when the plane’s wheels kiss Beijing’s runway.

That part of her heart that’s sitting in a window seat right now. Ordering a glass of wine to take the edge off. Inserting ear plugs. Left. Then. Right. That part of her heart that is already learning that holding on was a foolish thought to begin with. That part of her heart that is reversing steps and spelling words backwards: oG reH teL reH TsuJ

I’m about 600 yards away from you right now.

A few gates.

Two security guards.

A couple of steps.

And a long aisle away from you.

It’s not really romantic. I didn’t expect to catch you at the last moment. You are so prompt, so timely, that you make these kinds of “don’t go, hurdling over suitcases in an effort to get to you before the gate closes” kind of scenes impossible.

But I am here, 600 yards away from you. Feeling like I’ve already placed a couple countries between us. Uruguays of Unsaid Words. Senegals of Stupid Fights. Mexicos of Mixed Emotions. Koreas & Chinas & Japans of Where the Heck Did I Go So Wrong?

And I am sorry. Like Africa. Sorry like Montreal. Sorry as the whole Indian Ocean, bloated after swallowing the Pacific for a midnight snack.

Sorry because I don’t need you. I really don’t. And the last thing I want to tell you is that I need you. And so I’ll tell you that I don’t. I. Don’t. Need. You. 

Stop, please stop.

Stop and decide to stop right there. Go back on me like a road map that one gave you a hidden turn. Read me one more time; find me in the lines one last time. Find that I don’t mean it, under the apostrophe like rocks in the garden. Climb to the top of the “d” and jump down to the “y,” to see the strength it’s taking me to Slip from my Pride like a Silk Dress and stand Needing before you.

I don’t deserve it. I know. I shouldn’t have you. I get it. I’m barely breathing here. It’s scary. I’d like to walk away. “Like to” is a keyword. I’ll let you down? Probably. You’ll do the same? Surely. But I am better with you. I actually believe that. Better needing you.

And I am standing here. 600      yards     away    from     you.

I didn’t get to chase you through the airport. No hurdling the suitcases to grasp you.  But I’d be willing… for the first time, I Am Willing. If you’ll have me.


Creative Fiction, Tragedy

He’s a tear catcher and I’m a fist fighter but all He asks of me is Love.

I’ve decided to take up pottery.

There might be nothing more soothing to me in this moment than the chance to sink my hands deep into a mess of clay and spin something wonderful into existence on my little potter’s wheel.

Plus, I think I’d look cute in an apron with clay smeared on the edge of my hairline and I had a semi-fine infatuation with Joey Potter, from the Creek, for a good five years so I figure this is the closest I’ll get to being a Potter, this whole pottery gig. Unless I meet a Dawson somewhere down the line but that’s for another day.

So why Hannah the Potter so suddenly? What’s fueling the visions of vases and pots & adobe stoves?

I need to make a basin, people. A very large basin.

Lately I’ve spent my workdays knee deep in monitoring the media of the food crisis in East Africa and, while I know surviving in this field requires a focus on the solution instead of the problem, I flick through enough tragic photos of the babies, hungry and needing in that area, to wonder: Who catches their tears? Who catches and counts their tears, values them enough to put them in a big basin? A Big Basin of Salty Tears.

Who treks out into the night, into the thick and high grasses of Africa, to gather up and account for the tears of babies crying with no relief?

I’d probably fist fight God if I could. If I thought I stood a chance. If I thought the swiping at the Creator the Universe would even get me anywhere or offer me anymore clarity into my latest question for Him: WHY do some people seem placed on this earth for Suffering and Survival?

But I can imagine God holding His Pinky against my forehead, a flimsy but mighty effort in holding me back, as I am Swinging, Swinging, Swinging.

I’ll grow tired and eventually sit down and that’s when He will finally speak… “Hannah, haven’t I told you time and time again? I didn’t make you for the question ‘Why?’ That’s a manmade question and no human will surely ever know the answer in his or her lifetime.”

“You could spend an eternity asking why…Why suffering? Why pain? Why less? Why more? Why Sunday and not Monday? Why today but not tomorrow? Why you and not me? Why me this time, not you? Why him? Why her? Why this but not that? And why this? Why this? Ah, Little One, you are wasting time. Precious time I’ve given you.”

I’d probably whine to God. Pull out a crumbled laundry list of excuses to rattle off to him, reasons why I think He needs to be clearer with me. More specific. Because I cannot save babies. And I cannot hop on planes to get to Africa and collect the tears in my amateur Basin.

He’s God, so naturally he’ll pull something out from his pockets as well. I think God has full pockets. Ridiculously Full Pockets. So what would he pull? Two pieces of paper, shining like tin foil, of course.

And he’ll place them side by side before me.

“Please don’t make me sign some contract,” I’ll wince. “I’ll only let you down.”

“No contract. Just job descriptions. Read and compare, Little One. Read and compare.”

“For who?”

“You & I, of course.”

Oh, God.

God, God, God, you are tricky and cunning and you’ve got this delirious grin but I will not be able to help but be in awe when I stare down at the gleaming sheets of paper. Only to find that God’s “To Do” list is far more cluttered than mine.

Mend 10,283,333 broken hearts. Fix 56,203,494 friendships. Open 33,293,492,310 pairs of eyes. Get 888,929,841,111 people to their destinations safely. Heal 710,296,443,090 sick people. Help uncover 39,283,555 pairs of lost keys, 66,327,000 lost eye glasses, and 101,672 left socks.

All in a day’s work.

And yet my job description will hold a single word in the middle of it. Scribbled Big & Bold. Juicy & Red.


He absolutely knows that I’ll flip the paper over, look for something more. So he will have already thought to write another message on the back. Even bolder than the first.


–Love, The Guy Who Catches the Tears Before You Even Think to Mold a Basin

Creative Fiction, For a Better World, Uncategorized

One hour before the world is destined to end, a girl will find the courage to call a boy after six years.

Some fiction to flesh out the stories that are often true.

“Hey… it’s me. I hope you still know who ‘me’ is. I think you do, but its been a while. Almost six years.”

Five Years. Nine Months. Fourteen Days. But who’s counting, really?

“And normally I wouldn’t call you, because we haven’t talked… and you’ll think I am crazy for even trying. But the world just might end in an hour and I thought this might be the best time, or the only time, to catch up. You know… Before it all ends.

And nothing that I am saying right now is making much sense at all but I just called to ask how you are doing. It’s funny, I’ve been waiting to ask you that for nearly six years and it takes an 89-year-old preacher predicting that the world is going to end in an hour for me to actually find some kind of spine to call you up and just ask you.”
I play over what I will say in my head.

I am getting ready.

I am going to call you at 5p.m. today. 

May 21, 2011. 5:00p.m.

One hour before the world is destined to end a girl will find the courage to call a boy after six years. Before earthquakes tumble through hometowns and destroy playgrounds from childhood and take  down old oak trees that still play home to abandoned tree houses crooked up in their branches.

And I am going to ask, “How are you?”

How. Are. You.
Three anvils coming off the tongue.

“I feel kind of silly, just blubbering to your voicemail. But I have been telling myself for the last three months that the world would end today because, well, if I didn’t then I would probably never call. I wouldn’t search for a reason. And I think one of us has really needed to call the other. I could be wrong. But…but…”

For the first time in 22 years, my mouth will fail me when I finally call. Completely fail me. For I know I’ll want to say Ten Thousand Things all at once but I am already stuck with the task of saying them One by One.

“I don’t listen to the Beatles on Sunday anymore; that was kind of your thing. And my hair color has changed three times since I last saw you but maybe you saw it on Facebook. Most people still keep in touch on Facebook. That’s how I find out about all our friends’ engagements and baby showers at least. Crazy; thought that might be us.

And I haven’t forgotten your birthday. I know I haven’t called or said anything but I never forgot it. To be honest, I still get these nervous rashes sometimes when someone even brings up your name…. I finally learned how to kayak.”

I watch the numbers on the clock skip forward. Past five. Half Hour until the World Ends.

“I hope you are doing well. Really. I have only ever want the best for you but I think that wish got lost somewhere in the last few years. I hope you’ll know it now. I saw your Aunt Marge last month. She might have told you that though. I really should have called years ago; that fact is not lost on me.”

But a boy can cast a crazy spell on a girl’s fingers when it comes time to gather up bravery by the arm load and make those fingers crawl toward the keypad and tap out his number. An area code is suddenly heavy. The number itself is nearly impossible to dial.

“I haven’t decided if I want you to call me back when you get this. There will probably only be a few minutes left. So don’t bother. Or maybe bother. If you feel like it. But promise me, promise me, that you won’t say you miss me. Don’t find a way to plop that sentence into one of my seven inboxes either. Because suddenly you’ll be filling all my spaces again. And it won’t last ten seconds before you pull away and begin apologizing for the mess.”

This Muddy Mess called You & Me. Sometimes Us. Rarely We. Lately, these days, They & Them. Two People wandering far, far away from You & Me.

The minutes sprint towards 6:00p.m. I close my eyes. I wait.

“And please don’t call me back asking to know what happened to Us ten minutes before the world goes ending.”

6:00, 6:01, 6:02,

“I can tell you how it all began: We were young. We knew nothing at the time but everything in the moment. We tried. We fought. We stumbled. We didn’t know better. We wanted it to work. We wanted it so bad.

6:03, 6:04, 6:05,

“Life got harder. Time taught us lessons. Pain. Jealousy. Foolishness. Resentment. Don’t you remember? They all showed up to throw a Bon Voyage party for the two of us.

You chose south. I needed north. You were moving. I was shaking.”

6:06, 6:07, 6:08,

“We really shouldn’t spend the last ten minutes before the world ends tying all the reasons behind our own ending to red balloons. Letting them go. Watching them float up to the Solar System. We’d be left with only one reason.”

6:09, 6:10.

“We both needed exits. And they needed to be graceful. I would not cry this time. You would not call. We’d grow bigger someday. But we had to learn to do it on our own.”

Silence. Nothing. No ground shaking. No world crumbling.
I was going to call you at 5p.m. today.
An hour before the world ended and I was going to call you. 

I was going to ask, “How are you?”

I am sorry I never called. I am still wondering how you are.

Creative Fiction, Humanity, Poverty, The Tough Stuff, Tragedy, Uncategorized

Any writer knows that there are words that go said. And Words that Go Unsaid. Here are the ones for you.

Hey, when you are a famous writer, can you give me some of your money?”

I snorted at your request. I don’t even think  that I snort that often, but I definitely snorted at this.

Writers don’t exactly make bank,” I told you.

All you have to do is write the next Harry Potter.” You said it so nonchalantly, as if we all have a plotline packed with broomsticks and magic tucked up our sleeves waiting to skitter out and walk the tight rope of our lined paper.

Let’s clear one thing up: You and I, we don’t really talk. We don’t share secrets over coffee. We don’t contemplate our lives’ callings together. I don’t know if I could ever tell you that a lot of us are not looking for a bestseller to make us rich. That isn’t the reason we roll out of bed in the morning and scribble a storyline onto a grocery receipt. I wish I could tell you that it happens more like this: One day we begin piling characters into our notebooks, we begin stealing dialogue from the mouths of those we eavesdrop upon, we begin studying the way His hand slipped into Hers, as if we had never seen anything quite like it before. And then we begin looking for the words to talk about the things that we can never fully understand. Love. Loss. Happiness. Robust Sadness. And when we started talking– letting our dialogue & characters & ideas touch down to kiss the paper– we realized we could never stop. We realized we had found a way to fill our days and some kind of longing in our souls writing about the things we know we will never fully understand.

I’ll just add that to the list of things you will never know. Things you will never understand.


A Cloak of Somber fell upon our conversation. Like the snow outside the window, light & lofty. Before the Blizzard Hit.

But seriously,” you said. “When you become a famous writer, will you write a story about me and give me a more heroic ending?

I realized our differences in that single question. Tucking the tears back, I tucked a strand of hair behind my ear.

I spend my days plucking heroic endings from a sky and you spend yours praying upwards and outwards for a more heroic ending. I’m struggling to call myself a writer these days. You are looking for the backspace button for nine years of Wrong Turns that brought you here. Right Here. Asking me to find a fictional ending for your nonfiction disaster.

I cannot give you a heroic ending,” I told you. “You have to do that for yourself.”

Any writer knows that there are words that go said. And Words that Go Unsaid. Here are the ones for you.The words I left unsaid:

I would Struggle & Wrestle & Grapple with the Gods of Fiction and Nonfiction all of my life if it meant I could stitch up a new ending for you. I’d throw out rules of “good grammar” if it gave me a shot at handing you a comma before you picked up your own period. I would put down my pencil for good, never tell another story, if it meant you could tell your Single Story and have it come out Happy.

But it is just one of those things that I don’t understand, another one of life’s little concepts that I can never find all the answers for. Why you lost & I won. Why you stayed younger when we all got older. Why you found the darkness when we all stayed to play in the light of the street lamps.

I have asked a lot of you. I know that. I get that. But if you allow me to ask you just one more thing then I promise we can leave the rest behind. Crumbled & Messy. But Left Behind:

Come to me when you are ready. When your Pride falls away. When your guard comes down. Come to me and we can search the ground for syllables, just like we used to scour the yard for chocolate eggs. I’ll stay searching with you until the street lights come on. Until Long After. Until we unearth every Letter, every Point of Punctuation. Until we piece all the words together to make your Heroic Ending.

Come to me and we can search. And we can label our story together as “Lost and Found.” But I will scratch off the Lost and just focus on the Found.

Together we will Lose ever knowing that you ever got Lost and just focus on Finding the truth in your Found.

Big Dreams, Creative Fiction, Girl meets Boy, Letting Go, Loneliness, Uncategorized

No Hacer Ruido: Some love letters stay silent.

**A little more fiction to feed the soul. Would adore any feedback**

Lately you say that you are ready to pack up and leave.

You say this place has been perfect. It was exactly what you needed. You uncovered a sense of self within these four walls.

You talk and talk these days about Machu Picchu. The Rio. Bogota. And each one of your dimpled smiles serve as an illustrated example as to why we have to let some of our biggest dreams go. So That They Can Make Their Own Dreams Come True.

I wrestled with indecision over making your stay comfortable. Not too comfortable. Not so comfortable that you would never leave. Not so comfortable that you would debate on staying here with me instead of chasing them. Those dreams of yours.

The ones that resided there first.

You came to me with those shattered dreams. Emaciated Soul. And when you held them out to me I knew it was my job to fix you. Not Hold You. Or Grown Tender To You. Fix You. Fix You To Then Release You.

Some days you turn your head toward me and I can chart out your childhood, your boyhood, your manhood and my place in each one. But I  gently put my finger to your chin and nudge you to look not at me. But at the horizon. You were not made to look at me for too long. I am not the prettiest photograph in an album of sepia-toned miracles that this world is going to grant you.

When you turn toward the door these days I can already sense the intention. The difference in your turning. You are already letting the melody to my laughter, the sound of my lisp that you never told me was there, slip from your keeping. You are already leaving nicknames and secrets at the door.

How could I be so silly to believe that a memory of me could fit in your mochilla full of dreams?

If I could preserve your turning at the door, tuck it into the back of the sock drawer, I might pull it out one day and show her. “This, my love, is called forgetting,” I would tell her.

I guess I will be the smallest of your worldly experiences now. You’ll touch monuments. History. Frozen Chunks Of Time. Their surfaces will glisten with remnants of your idle tracing thumbs. Thumbs that once circled my shoulders.

And those travelers you come across. The Other Seekers. The ones who have taken the time to master the love languages but still will never be as fluent as me in the only language that is Love. The ones you swore only needed to open their mouth and let out one sweet syllable to lock you up in God’s existence for eternity. They will be the ones to receive the broken Spanish from your lips now.

I swear I would take anything from your lips. Broken or not.

And so we sit at the table and you highlight your travels for me. I grow jealous of the borders that will keep you in their arms. I grow bitter at the oceans. The rivers. The lakes. “I am a better basin for his tears,” I want to tell them. I am a better basin for your tears.

But you fold up the map and I see you smile and I know that whatever you are looking for, you are going to find it. And this is every reason to let you leave. Or watch you go. I am not so sure which one it is these days.

And I am sneaking from your half embrace lately and letting the night listen to me as I practice Spanish for you. I am learning words that you might be proud of. But intertwined with each word that I practice, each “R” that I roll, is the best lesson that my father ever disciplined to me: No Hacer Ruido. To Make No Noise.

To make no noise, even when I want to tell you that Amarillo means yellow. Corazon means heart. Permanecer means to stay. Ojos means eyes.


What I would give to steal Peru’s hazel eyes, the big brown Ojos of Colombia, to peek through the long lashes of Ecuador and see you feel at home. Laughing. Grinning. Stunning.

In a way that I always knew I never quite could keep captivated forever.