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.
Why can’t you be like her?
Why can’t you look at me
Like she looks at him,
Like he’s a god and
Her his most ardent worshiper?
Of all the hurtful things he’s ever said, These words cut the deepest.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.