The Ultimate Summer Playlist: A Poem


tumblr_meawskv1GL1r30mgpo1_500 It made her feel like the sun,

baked sand and happy blisters,

hot but worth it.

It made her feel like a can of something sweet,

snapped open on the beach;

like cicadas,

whispering secrets under the moon;

like watermelon

and strawberries

and lemonade

and iced tea

and hot dogs fresh off the grill.

It made her feel like holding hands,

something she had never tried;

like kissing and blushing

and all the confusion that follows.

It made her feel like a blissful rain,

breaking the sky in two to kiss the Earth,

watching all of its inhabitants skip and glide,

laughing, breathless,

for umbrellas and shelter.

It made her feel like crop tops

and short shorts

and everything she was too timid to touch.

It was just a bunch of songs, maybe,

but especially arranged to create the perfect,

fictitious,

vicarious love

that she could never attempt herself.

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When the Day Met the Night: A Poem


“All was golden in the sky
All was golden when the day met the night”
–Panic! at the Disco

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When the sky is the ocean
and the dandelions are the suns far away,
I find my self slipping into love
with no one.

When the sky is a marigold
and the leaves are the petals,
I can’t help but feel that, somewhere,
waiting, are my pending loves.

When the sky is inside my heart
and the branches are the throbbing veins,
I realize my eyes are blazing
because none of my promised kisses have arrived.

When the sky is the blindfold
and the sidewalks are the drought in my lashes,
I find no one slipping into love
with me.

Spring Cleaning


care_n_clean_african_am_ladySpring cleaning is usually applied to the tidying of the indoors, but there’s no reason not to tidy up the blog too. There are several posts I’m considering taking down, for the sake of neatness. If there is anything that you would like me to keep up, let me know and I will leave it as-is. Here’s the current list, with links:

1. All posts under the category “Summer Vacation”

2. All posts under the category “The Seemingly Stupid Adventures of Non Sequitor” (In my opinion, these are kinda funny, but no one else seems to agree with me)

3. All posts under the category “Reblogs” (both of these are from blogs my friends had, and have since discontinued)

4. All posts under the category “My Life Inside of the Little City on a Computer Chip” (these will probably go up on their own blog, under a different title, when I’m done with Frozen Landscapes)

That is all for now, but I’ll post any updates if I decide to single out posts, either in the comments or in a new post.

Thank for any input. Please let me know if I am making good decisions!

Ciao for now,

Mikki

Spring


Hey there, grass. It’s been a while. Nice to see you again. How’s the lawn holding up?

I can’t tell you how much I’ve missed the color green. (Hint: it’s a lot.) The birds chirp in the morning as I wake up. The precipitation comes as rain rather than snow. I have died and gone to heaven.

Maybe this sounds unoriginal. I know everyone who lives north of the equator is going through the same thing right now. But bear with me for a moment.

I am one of those people who will sit out on the porch and listen to the rain go down the sewer. Sometimes I’ll sit at the end of the driveway, watching the cars pass by and feeling like an endless piece of the universe. My favorite thing to do is ride my bike through the forest, and to be absolutely shrouded in trees and the rippling sound of the creek as I pedal.

You know what I’ve been seeing for the past few months? The inside of my house. The inside of my classrooms. Everything has felt so very inside. I have curled up inside of myself, socially and emotionally. I haven’t wanted to wake up in the mornings.

But now the sun is shining! The grass may be mostly dead, but it’s still grass! And grass is like a promise. Mother nature is telling us that she still loves us. Soon, she will make us happy again.

Today I wore a skirt and boots. I’ve been wearing jeans and tee shirts like every other person who doesn’t care too much about their wardrobe for a while, but today I put in effort. And that means something. I’m beginning to unfurl from the cocoon I’ve been tucked away in all winter, and it’s only going to be uphill from here.

If you are only patient, you’ll be able to watch the flowers go from bud to bloom and fill the world with color. We’ve all waited this long, we’ve all been hanging off the edges of our seats, and now the payoff has arrived. I know I will relish it with every moment. This is the climax. Enjoy.

Ciao for now,

Mikki

Where Did the Time Go?!


Holy crud. Since when is it December twentieth? No one asked me if this was okay!

That means there are four more not-Christmas days until Christmas, today not included. You know how many presents I’ve bought? ZERO! I have bought zero presents! Zero is THIS many:

closed-fist-md

This is unbelievable! Unacceptable! Completely and utterly not okay! I haven’t gotten around to writing any super cool Christmas-themed stories. Heck, I haven’t even put up a tree yet. I’ve been doing some serious slacking. We need some Christmas up in here!

After finals today, a friend of mine (who happens to be agnostic Jewish) wished me a Merry Christmas. And I was like, “SHOOT! CHRISTMAS! I ALMOST FORGOT!”

I have been so caught up stressing out and going on the internet to avoid studying that Christmas has barely crossed my mind. Everyone’s asking me, “So what do you want for Christmas?”

And I just want to say, “How am I supposed to know?”

Maybe I’ll just ask for some Christmas for Christmas. Seriously. Just a deep breath, a cup of hot chocolate, and a nap. That would be great, thanks. And how about some mistletoe, when you’re at it?

Just when I thought my stress was going to be over for the next two-ish weeks, the holiday season has to start blinking its warning signs at me. Not cool. SO not cool. I just hope there’s enough time left to deal with it.

Feliz Navidad,

Mikki

December


It’s hard to believe that today is the first day of December. Only yesterday, it would seem, was October; now Thanksgiving and Black Friday are a thing of the past. There have been some little whispers of snow in the sky, but nothing that survived on the ground for 24 hours. And yet, winter feels close.

Winter is a great season for a few reasons. For starters, there’s the joy of the holidays and all they entail. Go a little deeper, and you’ll remember the good times of childhood building snowmen and snow forts, and then coming inside with a pink nose to hot chocolate and the weird prickly feeling of warming up. For me, winter goes beyond that, to be an inspiration and maybe even an emotion.

Christmas is a big thing at my house, as it is with most who celebrate it, but it has bigger implications for me personally. Each snowflake, each blistery gust of wind, has a story inside it. Something I like to do is find those stories and write them.

Maybe this sounds crazy. Maybe it is crazy. However, the entire season of winter for me is an inspiration. I can find anything in it: survival in the cold, holiday romance, or frozen, broken hearts; maybe even someone coming in contact with innocent joy like one would an old friend. You name it. I’ll find it.

Last year, the coming of spring scared me. It brought the idea that the ink flowing from my pen might come to a halt. Nearly everything I wrote between December 21 to March 19 had to do with winter, even indirectly, and I predict that this year will be the same. It’s a fantastic thought.

Considering the amount of writing that has come from me recently (not a lot), the coming solstice will be a welcome change. And for that and everything else that comes with it, I can’t wait for winter.

Ciao for now,

Mikki

All the Leaves in the World: a Short Story


Lucy puts a cigarette up to her lips. She’s never smoked before.

The view from the front porch is dismal: overcast, like a dark watercolor wash, and still as death. The trees have either dropped their leaves in a brown flurry or look like they’re about to. The cement beneath Lucy is cold, and particularly stiff, as she can feel through her feet. She rests most of the weight on her knees, propping up slightly with her elbows, and pushes a long strand of hair behind her ear. Even when she takes a breath, the air around her doesn’t move.

A cough erupts from her chest. All the tar and nicotine leaves a bad flavor on her tongue, but she sucks it in again anyway.

Slowly, a leaf tumbles from the sky, having a hard time pushing through the undisturbed layers of sky. It’s red, one of the last ones. Nothing else has been truly red since summer ended, since she and Anthony called it quits. In July, and even into August, red was the only color in her world. It was the shade Anthony would turn every time she smiled widely, the color of their matching concert shirts, the color of the sun beading down on their backs. Now, the world is brown, soggy, and left at the curb for a yard waste company to haul away.

The tip of the cigarette flickers orange and yellow, sending a trail of invisible smoke into the air. Quietly, it create a soft mirage against the trees that line the block. Everything is quiet here.

***

In June, all the trees had broad green leaves that captured the late spring rain. It was underneath her umbrella that she first met Anthony, who was walking somewhere indefinite, as he so often did. He had closely trimmed hair the color of red delicious apples, and flaming lips that he bit all to often. Immediately, Lucy saw him as a summer fling in the waiting. She let him stand under the umbrella with her.

“Where are you headed?” she asked.

He smiled coyly. “You tell me.”

She didn’t yet know that he liked the Beatles, or that his favorite color was scarlet, or that this was a line that he had been tossing around in his head all day waiting for someone to ask him the right question.

He hadn’t yet told her that he loved the way she wore socks that came over her boots and dared to wear her hair down in the rain.

***

The hot part of the cigarette draws dangerously close to Lucy’s fingertips. She imagines dropping it at the base of the tree with the warm-colored leaves, burning it to the ground, and the thought excites her. She stretches her legs and wiggles her toes, which are barefoot and exposed. The strand falls into her face again, and she wonders why it can’t stay back in the ponytail with all the other strands. Thunder rips across the sky. It resonates against the houses and the plants, up and down the empty street.

***

Along with the summer solstice came a sudden switch in climate, from soggy to steamy. This was the time she and Anthony found out that they shared an undying love for a somewhat underground band and, by coincidence, they were coming to the Four Seasons open amphitheater downtown the next week. Anthony bought two tickets. They celebrated over ice cream.

The next day, they prepared for the concert by listening to every album in chronological order. Some of the songs, as they flew around her mind, reminded Lucy of Anthony. They were all her favorite songs, even the ones that didn’t have to do with love, but just had a nice melody.

As she walked to his house, Lucy noticed three more red trees. Somehow, these trees had skipped the earlier, more subtle stages of yellow and had plunged directly into the depths of crimson from the beginning. Not even a week of July had gone by yet.

***

A drop comes down from the sky to squelch Lucy’s flame. The cigarette rests limp between her middle and index fingers, damp now, and useless. She moves her arm to toss it into the grass, make it look like some random passerby had dropped it there and save herself the trouble of explanation.But something stops her short.

***

The concert was filled with strangers. None were willing to let Lucy and Anthony get through to the stage, so there was no clear view of the band.

“As long as we’re not going to be able to see, we might as well listen somewhere more private,” Anthony suggested.

Already the ground was littered with leaves, some partially decayed, most still vibrant and intact. He led her further and further into a sparsely vegetated area of the grounds, where there were trees, a bench, and still some sound from the stage. They sat down on the concrete bench, soothing their burning feet, and Anthony laid his hand gently on top of hers.

He began to lean in slowly. Leaves fell from the trees more and more rapidly the closer he came.

“Do you see that?” she asked. “The leaves are throwing confetti.” These words were meant to distract him, throw him off his game, but they were punctuated, instead, with his lips against her cheek.

“This is beautiful,” he said. “I’m going to make you a crown, no, a palace, out of all the leaves in the world.”

She didn’t respond. His words hung like dusty cobwebs, making her choke.

“I can’t do this, Anthony,” she huffed. “We’ve only known each other for two weeks.”

***

Lucy pictures a house made of leaves. Eventually, it would rot and die, or turn brown and cave in on itself, gagging the occupants. Anything built on such flimsy materials will collapse.

With this thought in mind, she strolls, through the pouring rain, to the curb. The leaves are over saturated with rainwater, but she lifts them regardless. She fiddles with one until it looks, in some way, like a boy, and puts a skirt on the next one so it looks like a girl. She constructs three walls and sits the boy inside of them. He falls to the floor. She adds a roof.

Lucy joyfully throws the cigarette into the curb and regresses, with the leaf girl, to her house. While her back is turned, the leaf roof swells with liquid until it falls down, carrying the leaf house, resident and all, away into the street.

The leaf girl sits on top of her cork board like a paper doll might, and here, at last, she is safe and dry.