escape plan gone wrong

the air was always hot and sticky there
so thick that it was difficult to move, and
even the butterflies’ wings seemed to flutter in slow motion.

and she never could breathe there
her lungs felt damp and tired and
every breath was a workout

but maybe that’s why she stayed.
that thickness, that suffocation, that
utter
exhaustion
was all she knew now.

and sometimes he would cross her mind
when she saw one of the huge flowers
or the beautiful, brightly colored birds
[and
had she been somewhere else
all the air would have rushed out of her
lungs]

and she would imagine him
with his moonlight skin and his long cool fingers and
his sparkling eyes
[and god, all those annoying little habits
that now she could barely remember].

he would hate it there, in that sweltering sunlight
maybe that’s why she should stay.

but as she stared at the sky
filled with all the stars she’d forgotten the names of
it seemed like the best reason in the world
to catch the next plane home.

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some kind of dreamer

her feet were always tired, you know.

she was a wanderer. a traveller. built out of cliches with a smile so pretty it could melt your heart. and she followed the stars, you know. if they were covered up by the clouds she followed her dreams, and if she hadn’t slept in ohso long then she’d follow her feet.

sleep always came second with that girl.

those shadows under her eyes were big enough to hide all her secrets in; and yet people always said they saw some kind of dream in her eyes – like the whole world was nestling snug in those sea-green beauties.

her laugh tinkled like bells, you know.

she knew all the best jokes from all the best places, and her mouth was full of stories. and whenever she came to a town, she was sure to give as many stories as she got; sharing her worn out old tales never got old for her.

and she always left folks with twice as many stories as they had to begin with.

she was beautiful, you know. she was powerful like the ocean. elusive and mysterious, with the scents of a hundred different places wafting around her. her boots were covered in dust and her backpack carried everything she loved and her face held the wisdom of a woman twice her age and somehow, despite her laughter and stories and talking, people could only guess at who she really was. the women twice her age would sometimes whisper ‘someone travels as much as she does, gotta be running from something’.

her feet were always tired, you know.

 

all those inkstained fingers

everyone has a story of their own, and
every story should be told.

but you know, there’s only so many stories that can be told
the morals and feelings and ideas will always remain the same
being repeated over and over and
over

and then a storyteller comes along
and places new characters and settings and styles lovingly
into the ancient, recycled stories.

and she’ll tell about night trains to Memphis
and princesses fighting curses
and adventures under the Paris moon and the Moroccan sun

she’ll tell about murder most foul
and artists starving in the slums of New York
and pirates on their great adventures

because, really, every story has already been told
but they still come back
playfully nudging the storytellers of each generation
to breathe life into them

and let them live again.