vampirelake (joined about 12 years ago)
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the fog sat heavy
in the valley cauldron.
each intersecting limb
was the peace of a friday
morning, interrupted.

we were singing
all the songs we had heard
before as children, and we
thought of having coffee,
but we didn't.

what does it mean
to be caught under a tree
at the break of what would be
a taciturn day, but wasn't?

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his is what it’s like when you get lost. the thorns of red vines stick into your fingertips as you try to shield your face. your feet kick up the smell of old leaves, and it makes you think of suburban autumnal piles, of the hot cider that your father always made you. it’s strange to think of it now. you’re so far in, working your way towards the belly of the beast. what was waiting for you there? you stop for a moment. you are having queer thoughts. it’s then you feel the change. your hair is the color...

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god finger-painted the sky in blue, and glued on layers of fluffed cotton for the feel of it. he carefully arranged macaroni noodles below it, forming the shapes of volcanoes, of funeral pyres. he was making a field. he imagined sun ripened workers tending his pasta land, sweating and itching, and he made it so. they did not have time to wonder who created them. god was thoughtful enough to give them mountains to look at. he was proud of that. he took his artwork home for his mother to see.

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she kept bird feathers in an old mason jar beside her bed. every night she would pick one, and blow sweet, freshly toothpasted air through the meat of it. sometimes dust would fly away with the wind, other times a few clingy strands of the feather would lazily float through the air. every morning, she would pick one, and slowly stroke her face with it, making soft rotations until she felt alive again. she says it stopped the dreams from coming real. one day, i worked up the nerve to ask her, "how do you pick the feathers you do?"...

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his father painted the top of the lighthouse himself. with the last concise stroke of the red paintbrush, his father had a concise stroke of his own, and slid off the roof to his death, colliding headlong into the rocky ground, and tumbling into the choppy water. his body was never found, though toby often imagine a blue man, with nibbles taken out from fish schools, and skin as loose as kelp on his bones. with equal sincerity, toby imagined that his father had not died at all, and was merely hiding in the system of caves eroding into the...

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he forgot his jacket.
it hangs on the line, like a ghost.
(like the ghost of last night)
i can see it outside my kitchen window
as i wash out our wine glasses.
it's a plaid puff of smoke.
(reds and blacks and whites
the colors of a genie's lamp)
he left for illinois or indiana
or maybe idaho, and he won't be back,
(or so he says)
but the mornings are chilling
and i might wear it on a walk
with our dog.

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