Comforting Stranger

A little old lady waiting for the bus saw my hair was going wild in the wind and my cheeks were pink with cold. I thought I’d be polite so I paused my music, took off my headphones, and asked about her day. She says she has a granddaughter who’s a spoiled brat, an only child who gets whatever she wants. “You remind me of my Natalie,” she says, “but not spoiled. You don’t look spoiled.” I thanked her with a warm smile prompting her to take a step towards me to pull my hood up around my ears and we waited peacefully for the 115.


White Chocolate Mocha

Driving quickly with quick stops
In the passenger’s seat I sit, sipping
a white mocha --bought with blood money--
between moments of panic.

“Thur are a lot of idiots on the road,”
he says with a slur. “Having a bad day,
late for something or other, a few too
many drinks… I’m just saying, thur are

a lot of idiots out there, so pay attention.”
As he swerves to avoid a vehicle in the
next lane over, I take another sip. At home,
wondering how I could possibly still be living,

all that my dog wants to do is play. And all
that my cat wants to do is watch the birds
outside and all that my little sister wants
to do is sleep until noon.

And I hate this delicious cup of coffee.



Apocalyptic snowfall

paints the road

of our cul-de-sac

with tragedy and logic

A delicate brushstroke

paints my toenails

so I can stare at them

between chapters

In the morning

I forget to breathe

cream cheese paints a bagel

with flavor and texture

“The world is ending”

Belts over the phone

I take care to smile

At least one honest smile

An open package

covers the carpet

with packaging peanuts

waiting to be tossed

As the radio

reveals a guilty pleasure

I wiggle rose-colored toenails

and swallow the last bite of bagel