The Beauty InsideI've been diligently peeling some onions for the past five minutes or so, and I just noticed how ugly the skin on the back of my hands has become. Strange, how much age can surprise a person at forty-nine years old. It doesn't creep up on you like they say. I swear to God, the signs appear out of nowhere, completely at random. This is just like that morning I woke up and realized the lines around my mouth weren't sleep-marks imprinted by the pillowcase. The skin on the back of my hands looks baggy—all wrinkled and loose. I can pinch it between my forefinger and thumb, tug it upwards, and it takes an agonizing one and a half seconds for the skin to spread itself back down along the flesh. There are age marks, too—one large, dark brown circle on my right hand and two smaller ones on my left. I almost can't stand looking at them anymore, but I've got to finish peeling these onions.Belle
Winter WingsAideen's eyes glowed with envy as she watched her older sister Fia dance the Burning Dance in the center of the circle. Fia's hair was a drifting mass of golden tendrils, and her thin, graceful limbs writhed in perfect unison with the movements of the flames. The other fairies merrily shouted their approval and beat their wings together to fan the fire. As more and more of them joined Fia in the Dance, Flint and his band of blowers gradually played their flutes faster and more feverishly, until every branch, twig, and leaf in the forest was vibrating with the music of the fire fairies—with the song called "Incendio."Each year, on the blackest night of winter, the fire fairies gathered together to dance the Burning Dance and bless the dark, cold earth with the light and warmth of fire. The Burning Dance was a celebration of life in the midst of frozen, brittle death. Every fire fairy looked forward to the Burning Dance—that is, eve
The Upside-Down ManOnce upon a time,In Right-Side-Up Land,Lived a very lonely personNamed the Upside-Down Man.People walked on their feetIn Right-Side-Up Land,But the Upside-Down ManOnly walked on his hands.He wore hats for shoes, and he had the blues,Because people could not understandWhy anyone would be so upside-downIn a place called Right-Side-Up Land.They laughed and they snickered.They pointed and stared,He made some people angryAnd some children scared.He tried to greet peopleAs they passed on the street,But everyone refusedTo shake hands with his feet!And nobody knew how lonely he feltBecause of his upside-down style,For when a man frowns, and he's upside-down,It looks like a right-side-up smile.But then one day……The Upside-Down Man tried something new.He bought pencils and paintAnd he started to drawHe wanted Right-Side-Up LandTo see what he saw.He drew people and houses,Painted flowers and trees.So that he could show themWhat an Upside-Down Man sees.And out on
Bathroom Stalls and Pseudo-SexThough I was fully aware that many of the younger students frequently "missed" the toilet and peed on the floor, I sat down. The ugly salmon pink and medical green linoleum seemed the lesser of two filthy evils when I considered the fact that anyone who "missed" while defecating usually left their presents on the toilet seat rather than the floor. I sat in front of the toilet in the second stall from the left (the one next to the bigger stall for handicapped people) and stared down at my plaid skirt, trying desperately to stop crying and to keep myself from vomiting—trying not to think about what everyone in class was discussing. Instead, I thought about how much I hated my skirt and how much I loved my boots.A company named Dennis made our school's uniforms, and many of my fondest daydreams involved burning and shredding the bland, shapeless, maroon and navy blue catastrophes Dennis called clothing. The administration forced us to buy Dennis skirts one or two sizes too big so that th
In the GardenA silent, gentle rain of petalsDrifts down to the groundAs the small and chipper sparrowsMarvel at the soundOf the singing in the fountainWhere the water sprightly dancesAnd the stone frog sits in shadowDreaming of stolen chancesTo crawl across the sea of grassThat blankets his whole worldAnd to taste the cool, clean poolWith his long tongue uncurledThe leafy, brambled wallsOf this earthy paradiseProtect their flower childrenAnd give them this advice:"Enjoy your own sweet smell,For it shall not last for long.Winter is drawing near,And soon you shall be gone."For the trees alone can tellWhat has been and will be,Though they haven't been a forestAnd they haven't seen the sea.
OceanBeing niceto youis likeswallowingbroken piecesof glass.Every kind word--a shard thatcuts the throat.Patience--a gulp ofsalt water.I wouldattempt tomend the wounds withwords ofspite, butmy voice hasdrowned inan ocean ofpleasantries.
DespairBeneath the darkest shadowsOf our deepest doubts and fearsLies the lady who brings sadnessAnd who bathes in lakes of tearsHer spindly fingers graspAt our weak and weary soulsUntil every drop of hopeFalls into her drinking bowlsAnd while our spirits slideDown her blue and slender throatWe cower in our cornersAs she smiles and she gloatsFinally, when all is lostAnd death is in the airShe whispers softly in our ears"My name is Despair."