Category Archives: Fiction

your smile knows 

​skin so soft 
pale even as the sun
bestows a carefully placed kiss
you won’t look up
and i won’t speak up
you need to know
how the furrow of your brow
how the purse of your thin pale lips
how the ease of your laughter
how your fingertips find the top of my thigh
makes the voices melt into
the soft hum of the world’s noise
i can feel your gentle grasp
around my heart, easy pulse
when you do look up
your smile knows 

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sometimes the silence

sometimes the silence
is ever threatening
choking off the airway
right before the last breath
and isn’t it inconvenient 
how everything seems to darken
dim compared the bright
octave of your voice
of your laugh
of your smile
sometimes there are whispers
breaking the noiseless air
and that too chokes 
like fingers curled too tight
against warm skin
now idle melodies try
to keep the quiet memories 
away

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I wouldn’t consider myself a predator. I just know what I want and how to get it and there isn’t a day I don’t thank my ancestors for my South Indian genes. Dark hair. Almond eyes that droop every so slightly (is she sleepy or tired of your shit?) And lips. Lips that are made to wear red lipstick and smear it against my victims of the night.

She’s at the bar, her shoulders curled into herself, her long dark hair covering the expanse of her back and though I can’t see her face I know she’s perfect for me. I want to know her, want her to spill her story to me, want her to be shy when I buy her a drink – like she doesn’t know why I would do such a thing.

I stroll over, pulling at the lapels of my black biker jacket (gotta fit the persona, you know?) and press my red lips together. She doesn’t look at me when I take a seat beside her but I don’t let that discourage me. This is routine by now.

Hennessy with Coke on the side, I start to mix my own drink together (only order a Henny and Coke if you like your drinks watered down and weak) as I tell her this weekend is much needed. She turns, her face bare of makeup and utterly striking as someone who doesn’t know they are beautiful. Whispering her agreement with a weak smile she goes to turn back to her iPhone and drink (white wine – probably the house Chardonnay). But I stop her with a hand on her wrist and this isn’t apart of my act – an anomaly that has a mind of its own. Her startled eyes narrow quickly on my grip on her and drop my hand quickly, apologizing just as fast. Not knowing what has come over me, I bounce back with an easy smile and tell her it’s been a rough week and I could use a drinking partner.

And I thank my ancestors again when she believes my drowsy brown eyes and turns her body to face me. It only takes her seven minutes to tell me her life story and her current problem (her boyfriend’s a dick yet she can’t leave him – I am pretty sure I meet about three of these each week). I let her drone on about him and how she doesn’t want to throw away a two year relationship but it’s always the same.

Her story isn’t any different from any other woman’s story I have heard before but there’s something in the way she keeps her eyes focused on her drink, her fingers trailing the bottom of her wine glass. Everyone else always looks me in the eyes when they tell me their despair, like they’re looking for another person to be on their side. Not her. Not this woman who presses her lips together tartly after every sip, like she’s wondering what the hell she’s doing drinking such disgusting wine.

It doesn’t stop me from playing out my game however. I brush back her hair telling her she’s too beautiful and smart to be stuck in a relationship she doesn’t want and order her a cosmo instead (personally I can’t stand the drink – too sweet). Like many before her she declines the drink, citing she can’t accept my generosity but I insist, offering an open smile and a light press of my fingers to her wrist.

She accepts. They always do.

My rule is never to have anyone so drunk they cannot make decisions for themselves. That is not how I work. I listen. I offer an ear, a shoulder and a drink. It’s not that I don’t care about my acquaintance for the night – on the contrary actually. I want her to feel like there’s no one else in this world who wants to listen to her – help her – than me.

She leaves with me. They always do.

And when I kiss her in the taxi back to my place I expect the hand that presses against my chest and pushes me back and the words that follow. She can’t. She never… But I lean forward and kiss her again, a little harder this time yet putting enough distance between our bodies. I tell her I haven’t either but there’s something about her – about this – that feels so right.

She believe it. They always do.

And when she’s spread across my deep red sheets, her dark hair fanned underneath her, her eyes wide and trusting, like many before her, I push aside the feeling that settles in the pit of my stomach.

She’s ruined me. I know this as soon as I pull her in for a hug, our bodies pressed together from head to toe when it’s all said and done.

Play The Game

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