by Leslie Noyes

She liked to think she could leave if the need arose, if the weighted words and angry posturing turned into closed fists,

But the time never seemed right; he always apologized for the stinging insults and delusional declarations.

In the end, she finally left. The ambulance arrived and carted her away, bloodied and bruised. Still, he said he was sorry.

The Sounds of Making Plans

The Sounds of Making Plans

By Leslie Noyes

Percolating pensiveness, a dollop here, a shuffling of papers there. Tap typing a google search for some

Place warm, but not too hot. A clattering through a drawer of pens and pencils, finding one with ink or another with

Sharpened lead, or sighing in frustration and tossing the whole lot clutter bang in the garbage bin then wondering

If the recycling box is more appropriate for this detritus. A nose wrinkling search through mushy mulch reveals the remains of 

Coffee grounds and last night’s leftover pizza among discarded writing implements in the bowels of the trash. 

Dropped lid, startled cats. Swishing of soapy hands under running water, ripping strip of paper towel to dry. Sliding out 

Boxes of atlases and crinkled yellow maps. Exclaiming over destinations visited; sighing over those that might never be. 

Go Fourth!

Double down on democracy, speak your mind, and honestly. Support a free press, and denounce those who’d silence

The Fourth Estate. A patriot is neither left nor right, but one who upholds the Constitution. Refuse to succumb

To the treachery of bluster and lies. We know better! Some have had their eyes clouded, others feel dismay,

Yet we are Americans. We believe in liberty, in justice, for ALL, and we will not be led astray by this sham of a leader.

Slimy Lies

Like multi jointed worms, oozing from the earth after a thunderous summer storm, slimy lies wend their way from

Dark places of hiding, feeding on hate and prejudice until the traction they gain propels them through the conscienceless

Oral orifices of greedy politicians. Alternative facts, misrepresentations, broken promises, all squirm from their tongues.

The Fear Gremlin

There are nights when I lie awake, terrified for what the future might hold. Tomorrow is a gremlin crouching in dark 

Corners, his fingers wrapped around all the possibilities. There are madmen in charge of our security: liars and mobsters and

Thieves, that some hailed as saviors. But now, those of us who’ve studied history know we’ve crossed lines that may

Never be uncrossed. Who will save us from the gremlin? Who will pry his bony digits from our lives? Only we can save ourselves.

Endings and Beginnings 

I never cared for endings, the final breaths of dying embers, glowing stubbornly, banked against the coldest 

Night. Beginnings, though, bright promises of better days, slipping through the grates, landing on my doorstep, 

With a grand thud. Extra! Extra! Dream all about it. Wrap a ribbon around the past. Cap it off with a shot of tequila.

When Things Change

We age, first in slow-motion, will we ever ride a bike, drive a car, kiss a guy, marry well, bear children?

Then in a blur of wrinkles and gray hair,
Burgeoning numbers of bad cholesterol
Measured in blood tests,

Weighed against stress tests, when we thought our testing days were done. The numbers now matter

More than did our percentages on history tests and English exams. We only thought those were matters of life and death.

Climbing El Capitan

I watched the news, the pictures of a man climbing El Capitan alone. A solo feat, no wires, no safety net, 

Only chalk and hands, feet and guts. I struggle climbing stairs. I’ve fallen on level surfaces, tripping on my

Own shoelaces, or worse yet, over nothing at all. I’ll drink a toast to the man and his mountain, and ask for help getting to bed.

It’s a really long walk, and the tiles are slippery.

Because I Can’t Scream in Public

There is a gargoyle living in my gut. His gruesome stone snarl scraping against my colon. The heartburn never ends.

He must have moved in as a pebble, a tiny worry about what could be, and every minute since that shitty November day he’s

Grown more abrasive, more corrosive, taking up too many centimeters of my being. He spits acid from a contorted tongue,

Searing the lining of my duodenum, creating blisters that won’t soon heal. Resistance hurts, but acquiescence kills.