My Light

Silence fills the stale air and sometimes that silent air consumes our lungs. Breathing alone can not constitute living a fulfilled life. What we chose to do with our breath can move people and sometimes move mountains. The air I was breathing on this very saturated Saturday brought back an influx of memories: the time I was lost on a raft with my brother riding the rapids or the time I first experienced loneliness when my girlfriend pierced my heart at the vacant football bleachers. The air has all tasted the same to me and with each inhale memories never fail to inform me the person I am.

The city lights helped guide me to my worn down, inner city apartment that was 2 blocks away from several bars. Anyone over 6’2 would hit their head on the door frame. The apartment felt lonely once again, my bootleg candle is producing company and the only source of light. The sweet smell of tropical breeze helped my nose escape to paradise,but my eyes still told me to get a job, to make something of my life. The wallpaper looked floral, but the ripped material made the room look like a psychiatric ward, but this is home. I continue to question if I am alone in this struggle, if others have to stare at the same damn wallpaper. Friday evenings come and go, but this particular day went slower than usual. The rain drops grew louder and the city’s bedtime is approaching. As I stumble off the pull-out couch, I noticed two thuds…”Open up, it is Jeff, your landlord”. I threw on some ripped jeans and uncrusted my eyes as I stumbled to the door. The door squeaked opened and my landlord looked as he was just told the Mariners lost. Jeff’s eyes said it all, but the mouth confirmed that this Friday evening would be the last one in the apartment. I was waiting for the day where Jeff kicked me out, I haven’t paid rent in over three months, I understand it is a business. I leave my keys at his office and left my tropical breeze candle to burn in my absence.   

I survived the night but with the help of others just like me. The area I stayed for the night was under a bridge down the street from Safeco field with similarly haggard faces. These people had such beautiful lives, some had wives, husbands, beautiful kids and for them to sleep under the same bridge as myself proved that life can be unpredictable. The spirits were high and the campfire style set-up reminded me of the first time I ever experienced love and attention at fifth grade camp. The light and heat helped us survive the dark time we were all going through, The night-crawling, homeless committee and myself shared stories through the night and the cold air reminded me of how tough my skin is and how tender my heart is.

Two weeks have passed and I look around, I am now used to dirt stained skin and rotten breath caused by food we scavenge. The last bite of food was gone, so I wandered off looking for more. I hear “Ken Griffey Jr. up to bat, 2-3 count… bottom of the third” from a distance. I start to follow that voice. The lights from some open stores illuminate my path as I draw closer to the voice. The rancid smell of the bars I pass reminded me why I was in this position, walking down a dark path looking for food. I finally arrived to the lit up stadium, every light behind me has darkened, The lights and the voice from the stadium attracted me and I find myself walking in because no one was watching the gates. I see thousands of dedicated fans around me screaming for the Mariners to win. I shed a tear as a nostalgic memory of me hitting t-balls entered my brain. How could all that innocence go away? What happened? At this point, nothing else mattered, I forget about my divorce, my overdose, my job that paid six figures, I forgot it all. I take a deep breath, take on the strong forces of memories and I exhale, I realize I am at ease when I hear the crack of the bat and I find my new home.  

Coastin’

Curvy hills cut into the still black night.
I coast through tree paths peaking
higher than buildings. Arms of trees
crowded walkways. Branches scraped
while my back locked straight, knees bent,and shoulders
divorced. Chest exposed. My heart expanded
like a balloon and deflated after
another push. 
My head is extended past
my body’s frame 
like a giraffe’s. My arms
thrown back 
like a skier. As I moved
my right foot slightly, 
the grip tape
removed red felt off my shoe.

You take a part of me.
I raised my left knee to my chest
then stomped 
it down
removing pebbles from their previous

spot. Forceful breezes broke
up my swooped-to-the-side

hair and appointed each half of bangs
to separate sides.

The wind pushed through my eyelashes
and vacationed in my eyes for a few minutes.
My ears could of shattered with one flick,

but the sound of fast kept them intact.
Halfway down the hill,

my trucks became seasick and turned a
stable skateboard into undecided piece
of wood. I had my arms to my side and
knees bent lower than before.
I looked like a bad dancer preparing
to perform a surf move. Gravel sliced into
rubber wheels peeling off
stringy pieces.

Six full wheel rotations later, a rock
lodged 
itself in between wheel and ground
sending me
upwards. My shoulder stained the gravel red
I look up and see my victorious friends.
My scraped elbows and gravel
infused in my

hands showed a mangled boy.
Feeling the roads bumps  and a skateboard’s mystery
showed me I still feel.

Kitchen Hunter

Your spiky Spock ears could intercept

alien transmissions and signal in lost kitchens

miles away. Your eye sockets could home

large meatballs and hold milk like a cereal bowl.

Your watery lips closed like an elevator

to protect drool and spit from escaping.

I can see my bushy eyebrows and squinted

eyes in the reflection of your red lipstick.

Your nose vacuumed up a gravy scented cloud

and pointed me in the right direction.

Your nose long like a jousting weapon

capable of prevailing over any kitchen contender.

I fell back to observe your juicy buns.

A trail of shedding hair floated down

like snowflakes leaving a path of stranded

spaghetti noodles that could lead us back

to the living room. The digital photo frame

on the kitchen counter revealed a seventh grade

version of you, but regretted it when you sent a flying

hand in the photo frame’s direction.

Your hands are the ones seen holding beautiful

tacos and hamburgers on fast food commercials.

Your hands are powerful  enough to unlock any

Fridge’s mysteries. Your brain is elusive enough

to choose between mustard or ketchup, chicken or pork,

cold pizza or salad. The fridge door swung open,

slamming the counter and shaking up condiments

hiding from us. The freezer door followed. The icy finish

of Rocky Road ice cream shined like 24 fresh carrots.

I extended my arm and retrieve the prize.

I ran my finger along the cardboard, carving

up the frost. I pulled  my glistening finger tip away

and reveal a smiley face.  She pressed closer

to me raising up her finger. She etched in a heart

to the right of my smiley face.

It’s not too bad falling in love twice.    

Hi I Am…

I am from strangers overcrowding

a small military room, from Top Ramen

noodles and Welch’s jelly. I am

From constant breezes shaping

younger generations. I am from Evergreen

trees envy for green and power,

the thick shells of grown gooey ducks.

I am from fresh French Dip dinners  

on Thursday night and an entanglement

of thick hair. From Cody, Eva, and Heather

posing as clowns, lions, and monkeys

for Halloween, I am from the crazy

on my Dad’s side working in my favor

and the dangerous and creative on my Mom’s

side providing a vibrant life. From the

anything is possible and the express yourself

no matter what. I am from a home that spent

Sunday mornings eating wings

instead of growing them, watching the Seahawks

felt more natural than the possibility of

a higher power; the power I felt I needed

came from myself. I am from Newport News,

Virginia, From the blue sky that made up

my great great Grampa’s German eyes.

From the busted lip of my sister when

I realized my golf swing was unpredictable,

the gash on my brother’s hand when I realized

I’m not cut out to be a ninja and from

when my sister, Sporty Spice, I mean Heather tried

to become a Spice Girl. I am random pictures

thrown in a very valuable cardboard

box. I am from the black ink that bleed out

of my Dad’s unreliable pen and the worn down

shoes passed down that did not have souls,

even though we did.

Smoke Signal

Calling in those who recognized it’s scent

The black sky cut up by puffy cloud formation

Those close enough know what it meant

A sigh is pushed out of a lungs temptation

Its grey shape filters any sunset

As perception fades, so does time

Did you get my signal?

If my signal fades, you’re in the right spot

Breathing air that is sold and bought

Other make sense of the this air I breathe

As smoke transcends into a world abyss

Saying anything, lasts as long as consumed air

Under smoke signals with the ones that care.

Scars

Blood runs blue from the outside

Until curiosity builds too strong

What courses thru us takes human shape

Once a wound can be examined

A story is told of how it opened

Bravery takes a hand and moves it to feel a scar

But hope keeps one finding out more

As a finger’s path exposes each pink bump

Inconsistently weaved in one’s skin,

A story is told of how it opened.

A finger reached smooth skin

But hated how flat it felt.