The sublime courtship

It was once so simple. They were children and they danced because they wanted to, holding on a little longer, tiny lights flickering like candles. Gentle…luminous…softly melting …gone by daybreak. She, who was not yet Queen, used to say: “One day I will make you my King.” He, who could not yet read between the…

He knows where I am

He sings to me. His voice, I hear it in the aching grind of the earth’s steady turn. It calls to me from the radio, seeking me out, a cat in the shadows that never pounces. This gives me hope. I’m a cynical bitch most times. I believe in nothing, but I play the game…

Unnoticed

He used to have a life. Wife. But it wasn’t good enough. He’d lay in bed next to her wondering about other possibilities. Looking over the fence. She’s gone now, and so has he. Gone off the rails. Gone to pot. Smoking every day. Getting wasted and rolling round the city on countless little sorties….

The season of bare shoulders

Isabelle remembers when he used to look like that, when the sight of his chest made her draw breath deeply, like drinking, and her hunger sighed in her, ancient and strong. There was a time when Elliot could not see past her, when the mere whisper of her skin deafened him to everything else, and…

A distance not measured in miles

Is it a thousand miles? I could drive there in a day and a half but still it would not bring us any closer. The space between us is measured in silence these days. Every day I read the weather forecast for the far-flung town you now call home, yet no matter how I try…

They were the darlings of heaven

They were the darlings of heaven. Van and Cecilia. He was beautiful. God, how I loved him. But she…she was the angel of songs. Like crystal. Every heart was glass around her. Mine especially. Cecilia smashed me almost every day, cut me up with the trinkets of her affection. Her smile, her kiss, like a…

Secondary highways

The guy I think I’ve fallen for is out there, miles from here on one of a thousand impossible back roads. W.O.W. William Oliver Weston.  His long dead parents mustn’t have thought too hard about acronyming their child. He hates it. Calls himself Willo instead; but he spells it without the second ‘w’ because he…

Queen of the four vignettes

She is a blurred Madonna, hovering like smoke in slanted light. Has she come to save me? he wonders. Is this the end? He is in bed, an old man with photographs he can no longer make out. He is sitting, propped up in the late afternoon, when she first appears. He sees well enough…

Seven days between

“He’s Brandoesque.” This is what Farud’s wife is saying about the guy in the jeans and the red t-shirt; the one who has just walked into the restaurant and made the ladies gasp. Farud looks him up and down and wonders what it would feel like to be so effortlessly charismatic. Though handsome enough himself,…

The man with the same name

I keep my ex-lover’s secret; safe as the house we once shared. On her side of the bed, another sates the curiosity I now regret. Not her fault. Mine. Did I start it? Maybe, maybe not. I had known for years that it would come to this; sitting next to him, knowing she was marking…