Sunday, April 30, 2017

Day 30: Gravity

Day 30, write a poem about something that repeats.

Gravity

Everyday
Comes with the dawn
With the alarm
With the sun
Peeking through
Curtains
My joints
Cracking
And creaking
Everyday
Comes with gravity
Heavy on

My eyelids

Day 29: Icarus

Day 29, do a freewrite on a noun from one of your favorite poems. The poem I chose is The Best Drink by Lee Upton.

Icarus

All poets write
a poem of Icarus.
Just like a basket
cannot carry fruit
when it’s full of holes,
his wings failed him,
feather and wax
melted by the sun
just as my pen
cannot carry my thoughts
many slip away
fall
die on the air.
My own wings of ink and paper
can only carry me so close
to the sun before they will char
and burn into flame
Before I, too, will fall

Into failure.

Day 28: Crazy Young Nights

Day 28, write a poem in skeltonic form.

Crazy Young Nights

We smoke tires
And light fires
Scream like liars
And drink for hire
We dance without pants
And eat fire ants
We sing our song
Party all night long
We travel fast
Our youth will last

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Day 27: Chai in the Cafe

Day 27, writers often neglect sense of taste, so today's prompt is here to remedy that. Taste often brings back memories and also defines so many experiences.




Chai in the Café

The taste is in the time;
the sounds and swish
of bodies in a café.

The taste is in the heat
in the steamed milk
and the steeped tea.

The taste is in the smells
of baked scones and pies
warm ovens and soft bread.

The taste is in the touch
of your hand holding a mug,
bringing it to your lips,
to your hungry tongue;
cinnamon, clove, cardamom. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Day 26: Headphone

Day 26, write a poem in the perspective of someone in the future that is looking at an object that we use in our current day and age.

Headphone

They hung them from their ears
Some small, others like large hats
Hung them and decorated
Their auditory senses with colors
And high definition sounds
Cords dangled from them
Hooked into their lifelines
Into voices and music
Into universal tones
All shaped into a thin
Plastic rectangle
Filled with electrical
Impulses
Scattered across
The mother of boards
That moved and sparked
Music up to their hungry ears
They listened to themselves
Speak and sing over and over
Voices repeating a generation.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Day 25: Quiet Distance

Day 25, write a poem that talks about a space, small distinct spaces.


Quiet Distance

You contain words
And hold them as long
As you keep them
In all your floor boards
Cherry stained
Dark red wine
And your stacks of books
You contain words
In your walls
And space within
Space within 
Space
You hold universes in your cubbies 
And wooden grooves
In the spaces that dust creates
The borders that book
Spines and objects create
You hold the spaces
Between words
And the spaces
Between
Each letter
And all the margins
That circle the ink
All of it is space
With a quiet distance.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Day 24: Marginalia

Day 25, write an ekprastic poem based off of the marginalia of medieval manuscripts. This was so much fun! I chose the following marginalia...



Marginalia

Laying eggs is not difficult
The same sensation as the trickling down of breast milk
Need and nurture
The sacrifice of body, soul and time
Not difficult to feel the urge
To gather nests about me
Lay and not be bothered by
The passage of time
It is not difficult as I stare at nothing
Warm in my red cape
Warm in my fatherless body
My breath rises and falls
I gather my insides
To offer up as golden offspring
My body bare for all to see
It is not difficult to stretch
What most cannot stretch
To tear over and over
The agony is all for you
My golden offspring

Day 23: Moon

Day 23, write an eleveny poem...

Moon
Works best
In the sky
Without clouds to obscure
Luminance 

Friday, April 21, 2017

Day 21: This is India

Day 21: Write a poem from something you overhear someone else says....

This is India

This is India,” Twinkle said.
A catch all catch phrase.
No need for an introductory phase.
This is India,
She didn’t say with her arms wide;
She didn’t say with a sweeping gesture.
No. This is India.
Matter of fact and hands on hips,
Her black hair ragged and her brow drips.
Sweat so sweet from every pore
Until the body can dry no more.
This is India.
115 degrees and the sun keeps beating us down.
The Taj Mahal gleams, but it’s all sweat now.
This is India.
Week long weddings
And vermilion bindis.
And white tiles black with a blanket of flies
And mounds of garbage yea high.
This is India.
Dancing to the beat of the dohl,
In the street
With the rain showering us all,
Yelling, screaming, we’re alive!
With the heat and your dark eyes.
This is India.

Day 20: Ping Pong

For Day 20 of NaPoWriMo, I wrote a poem with sports word and I had to choose ping pong....

Ping Pong

Bent in a low crouch
Blade in my hand
Red and black
I
Ping pong
With pips
And rough
Rubber
I
Ping Pong
On and off
The ball falls
Flat, curves, spins
I
Ping pong
Shuffle
Attack
I
Ping pong
And whack;
The ball
Cracks

In half.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Day 19: First Human

Day 19 of NaPoWriMo and I have been tasked to write a creation myth. Don't know if that's what this is, but the prompt took me into an interesting place.

First Human

Someone threaded the first human
out of old carpet and recycled plastic
molded her into 10 fingers, 10 toes
injection mold without sink holes.
The carpet fiber was for her hair,
eyebrows, and eyelashes.
Her organs were 3D printed
out of hard, breakable plastic.
But the devil was in her details;
her finger tips held moon shapes
and her ears echoed ocean sounds.
Her nose could smell snow coming;
she just couldn’t see herself.
But she could feel her way to salvation;
She could bend if someone bent her.
She could speak if someone spoke for her.
She could pray when someone prayed for her.
But she could smell fear
All on her own.

Day 18: Lean Mean Veggie Queen

Another day of catchup! Trying to write a poem with made up words is harder than you'd think...

Lean Mean Veggie Queen

I traveled vegan and lean
Mean and weened
From the suckle of beef
Ate lentils and beans
Medley of veggies
I stuffed my mouth full
Of fiber and steamed greens
It was philosophical
In intention
But catastrophical
On my innards
Sudden health made me
Unhealthy
My body rejected and resented
Spasmodic and shivering
I contracted a healthful-fever
My temperature spiked
As my body broke down
All of these new green
Carbocomplexities
Brown rice and grapefruit
Sprouted grains and prunes,
I ate myself all of the way
Into the bathroom!

Day 17: Night Moments

Playing catch up for day 17. I posted day 16 directly on NaPoWriMo's comment section since it was a short poem. For Day 17, the prompt was to write a poem similar to a Nocturne (a poem set at night and melancholic)....

Night Moments

I glide into your mouth
Along with your cigarette
Smoke. The cylinder of white paper
And tobacco sucking
Your wet tongue
Dry with heat and cinder.
There are no peace pipes between us.
I want to cry the black night into stars,
Connect tears into our names,
The curves of our faces.
But no one will write us into the sky.
Our names and bodies
Masked and stifled by time,
No one will remember this moment,
Except you and I.
Only tears and your smoke,
In the air,
Impermanent,
Will signal the future
To come a little closer

And proceed.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Catch up Post: Day 15 NaPoWriMo

I'm playing catch up. Even though I hand wrote all of these poems the day of, over the weekend I didn't have a laptop to transfer them to my blog.

Here's my poem of in between for day 15 of NaPoWriMo.

Green Card

after we wrote with black ink
on each form
wrote out the check
notarized prints and copies
gathered leaves and leaves
of paper, bound them
together
after we packaged
and sent them
we waited
between uncertainty and doubt
between yes or no
between after and before
waited with our maybes
our fear and hope
prepared ourselves
to help with the waiting
busied ourselves
to pretend we did not wait
prepared ourselves
for giving up
prepared ourselves as if
our bodies both teetered
on the edge
of a canyon
we waited days and months
in the after and before
for status
authorization
for a stamp of approval
for a card
not green
but with a barcode
with your face
your name
your new
beginning

Friday, April 14, 2017

Day 12: Alliteration

Day 12: Alliteration

I'm getting to day 12 two days late, but alas I did write a poem!


wild water
woman
weeds the winter
wind
out of dawn
while
she whispers
grass
sounds into
summer
and sings
rain
clouds into
the sun

Day 14: Tweet and Trump

Day 14, write a four lime poem, a clerihew. A clerihew most often is used to write about a famous person in a funny way.

Tweet and Trump

Donald Trump
made a lot of promises
to "Make America Great Again,"
but now he just tweets and gets audited.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Day 13 of NaPoWriMo: Write a Ghazal

Day 13: I wrote a 7 line ghazal for today's NaPoWriMo prompt.

Her Night

Armies gather in the crossroads of her mind
As she tosses and turns, lying awake at night.

He lights a cigarette to calm the edges of his anger,
Counts how many women he can take at night.

Her body strangled by sweat and rigid dreams.
Her limbs wrapped in sheets and snakes at night.

He walks with his head down, bent against the rain
Wags his tongue at any woman that makes him ache at night.

Her eyes shutter open and watch the flash of traffic lights;
She lays silent and listens as her heart breaks at night.

He follows the click of her heals down the alleyway,
Slams her into the wall as she fights and shakes at the night.

She walks past me her face covered in pale tears.
I touch her hand and make the day break her night.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Day 11 of NaPoWriMo: Without a Compass

Day 11: Write a Bop Poem

A bop poem has the following stanza form, 6, 1, 8, 1, 6, 1. Each single line is a refrain, similar to a song and the long stanzas follow the rule of a sonnet. First stanza, introduce a problem, second stanza develops the problem or discusses, and the third stanza resolves the problem.


Without a Compass

Little boy will go right up to a car,
There his body will collide
Beg, bang the windshield, scream, cry;
he points at his mouth, only one direction;
he desires is food, food, food,
thin face, wide eyes, hungry dirty eyes.

His body is not a compass, point, and he has no direction.

He runs from feral dogs, barefoot
skinny legs pace the world tempo,
dodges bikes, cars, and everyone’s anger.
He makes his small body smaller,
hides under stoops and inside gutters;
he edges the town like a martyr.
Men and women shoo and hit
point at him, point him in another direction.

His body is not a compass, point, and he has no direction.

There is no direction where little boy
is welcome, north south east west;
welcome has no direction.
All the people smack and shake him
they run after him and chase him,
Throw rocks, point and laugh in his direction.

But his body is not a compass, point, and he has no direction.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Day 10 of NaPoWriMo: Write a portrait poem

Day 10 of NaPoWriMo: Write a portrait poem

Portrait

A line of oil lamps
flicker shadows
into the mouth
of the temple.
Outside the line of light
all is loud and dark,
full with heat and
cars honking deep
in the valley below.
Behind the water moat,
you stand by the line
of empty shoes
your feet fully clad in the
day’s time and soil.
Hands interlaced
cradle your black hair;
the space between your arms
sharp triangles of night.
Your eyes search
for answers
as the clouds cup
monsoon rains
and flood the air
with ozone and thunder.
From your mouth, not a whisper.
You look far away,
past this temple,
past its silent marble
that you will not walk on,
will not touch with naked feet.

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Day 9 of NaPoWriMo: Into the Market

For today's prompt, I wrote a nine line poem...



Into the Market

Chili peppers, rose petals, heat
dust and trucks, sandals, heat
walnuts, guava, and mangos, heat
beggars and car horns, heat
saris and pyramids of dye, heat
tattered rupees, cumin, heat
dung, urine, and jasmine, heat
rickshaws, buses, engines rev, heat
clangs, shouts, and screams, heat

Friday, April 7, 2017

NaPoWriMo Day 8: Sky

Sky

I wrapped your clothes in sky
Sewed them with cloud
Mended their holes with
Thunder.

I wrapped your eyes in sky
Covered them with atmosphere
So you would only see your favorite
Color.

I wrapped your neck in sky
To hide the bruise and then
I fashioned a cloud necklace
Around you.

I cleaned your body in sky
Wrung the clouds like wet cloths,
Sponged off your old sorrow
Rinsed your creased brow
I tugged down the last of the sky
Brought it down around you

I wrapped your body in sky
Tucked it close to your skin
It made you so light that
The wind gathered you up
and you slipped out of my hands
and now you’re gone.

Gone.

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Day 7 of NaPoWriMo: The Penny



The Penny

The penny was hers;
She dropped it here
In the gutter,
Next to the alleyway
Full of vomit, rust,
And wet cardboard;
This place where
even the bricks of the buildings
are worn and sad,
where she walked
In her laceless sneakers 
And tattered coat,
Pushing her shopping cart
Filled with black plastic bags.

She dropped her penny;
She did it on purpose
So I would find her story
Written on Lincoln's visage, 
So I could read her regrets
On the smudge
her thumb left behind,
So I could translate
Her dirt and grit
As if it were a language
Of smells, mumblings, and rhythm;
Convert it into a form
Where people would
Stop.
Listen.
Try to
Try to
Try to  
understand.

Day 6 of NaPoWriMo: The Cascade Mountains

Variations on a theme....

The Cascade Mountains

1.
You reflect the sunlight with your miles of snow, illuminating the valleys, rivers and hills.

2.
You are a silver halo under the moon; you used to be the earth's outer rings, but gravity dropped you to your knees.

3.
Your peaks like wings flutter into the great expanse of sky. You are the silent dove perched on the continental divide.

4.
Your silhouette is a sharp knife that cuts the night like fabric to reveal the morning.

5.
Your glaciers move like slow rivers, milky cold; the salmon greet you, their mouths open and close, open and close.

6.
You made the valley of the snow melt river, gave these cliffs waterfalls, these salmon water, these rivers momentum.

7.
The sun rises behind you like hot metal and blanches your body warm and red.

8.
I look East from the bridge and see you covered in a white sheet, wrapped tight across your face

9.
I can barely see you from the bridge now, the rain masks your image, blurs your sharp edges into curves.

10.
You are my most frequent dream. Your peaks like spindles sharp enough to draw my blood. Your snow melt runs in my blood.

11.
I look to the West to find you, but you are 3,000 miles away. I look atop hills and skyscrapers, but I cannot find you in the distance.

12.
I dream, you dream. I see you with my eyes closed; I can feel your weight pushing me, pushing me, pushing me home.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Day 5 of NaPoWriMo: Mary Oliver

I've always been an admirer of Mary Oliver...My nature poem...

Mesa

I heard red without seeing it,
directed my ear to the curve
of the cliff face as the sunrise
opened itself on its surface.

I heard it like a swarm of
honey bees in summer
as the night’s frost broke
into a cold pale dew.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Day 4 of NaPoWriMo: Enigma Poem

Day 4 of National Poetry Month: Write a poem about something without mentioning what it is.

Enigma: Guess what it is...

You can smell it like a storm coming,
can feel its electrons charge in your lungs;
dense and heavy like breathing steam.
And then you see it edge the horizon
like a dark mirage against the desert strata.
A man-made layer of sediment;
barbed wire and tall chain link.
Someone took a black marker
and drew with a zealot’s ink
a new definition of dreams deferred.
But your body is covered in sweat and desert;
you move like layers of sand, over and under.
You come out on the other side,
reborn, with your heart on fire.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Day 2 of NaPoWriMo: Recipe for Revenge

Day 2 of NaPoWriMo....recipe poem


Recipe for Revenge

Spit your spit
Into the pot
Just one spit
Back of your throat
Kind of spit
Greenest phlegm
Your head back
Like a stork
Swallowing
A whole fish
Your chest and arms
Your body shutters
To spit your spit
Your greenest innards
Into the pot
Then stir
Stir
And stir
Add the beef broth
All other ingredients
Ladle it into a bowl
And serve
To your boss

Day one of NaPoWriMo: Friction

Day one for NaPoWriMo.....A Kay Ryan-esque poem


Friction

wind
moves
against
the lake
makes ripples
with friction.
friction twists 
your hair into
impossible
knots
into nests
for birds.
friction
makes your
hair
like time
past
present
future
all
connected.

Day 3 of NaPoWriMo - Elegy

Elegy to my grandfather....who prayed laying down.

Faith

He prayed lying down
with his quiet smoke;
and folded prayers
into his wrinkles.
At the bottom
of his coffee mug, he kept
grounds divined into futures,
none of which were his.
They were mine,
brown bitter symbols;
he would swish them
like rose petals in water.
He taught me how to pray
with my fingers and throat,
how to sing away anything.
So I prayed lying down, too,
into the crooked shade of night,
sent my prayers high up
into the clouded stars.
I cracked any measure of faith
like an egg onto the moon
and set its dial to high;
cooked it into charcoal
and dust, burned it into
something bitter he could taste.
I wanted to make faith
into something I could rub
rough between my fingers
just like when he rolled
tobacco between paper.
I wanted it to brand my insides
just as smoke tarred his lungs.
But that one morning,
he smudged his coffee mug
with his desperate soot,
while he smoked lying down.
I tried to collect his ash
in a tray, tidy it up, like faith I tried
to pick it up, tried to make it stay,
but just like him, it slipped away.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

National Poetry Month

Spring is in the air and that means 11 more days until National Poetry Month! I will participate in NaPoWriMo for the whole month of April and will finish off the best month of the year at the Mass Poetry Festival in Salem, Mass, May 5th through the 7th. I attended last year and learned how to write a ghazal and got to work with some of the most inspiring northeast poets. Hope to see you writing and enjoying poetry all April long!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

The Necklace


“Thailand was fantastic.” Phil gushed and Kate perked up to listen. He had talked so much already, it was amazing her ears hadn’t fallen off.
“You went to Thailand? Where?” It was hard to imagine him travelling anywhere outside the United States. Canada was even a stretch.
“BANG-kok, I saw so many beautiful places, beautiful women.”
“Um, ok.” Kate paused, playing with her silver necklace. “What did you eat while you were there?”
“Eat?” He looked stumped.
“Massaman Curry?” He shook his head. “Coconut rice?”
“I-I don’t know.” His brows met in one ridiculous line.
“Um, have you ever had Thai?”
“Of course, I have!”
Kate leaned back in her chair; he was lying and she didn’t like it, “I don’t believe you.”
“What?”
“I don’t believe you.”
“But I have!”
She caught her breath, “No, you read on my profile that I wanted to go. Do you think I’d sleep with you or something?” She pursed her lips, “I think you should leave.”
He guffawed, “So much work to get laid.”
Kate gripped the table until her knuckles turned white. Before she could say a word, poof, he disappeared.
Kate looked around at the people in the café, no one had noticed. No one ever did. It only happened in fight or flight situations, when she was emotionally charged, nervous, or angry. And only when she wore her necklace. Plus, no one ever got hurt; they ended up a couple miles away from where they disappeared, safe, but struck with a short-term amnesia.
Kate played with her necklace and realized Phil’s last words were similar to what her old prom date had said 10 years ago. She never forgot how Daniel had groped her butt; when she told him to stop, he had sneered, “It’s prom, isn’t it?” She had trusted him so much, she hadn’t brought her necklace with her, but after how cheap he made her feel, she swore to never take it off again. Since then, wearing the necklace was like an addiction. She knew it enabled her, but she couldn’t stop wearing it. She liked having an escape route.
She leaned back in her chair in a huff and checked her phone; 10:35. The guy said he’d be there at 10:30am. He was already five minutes late…
It was Kate’s friend Sam who concocted the idea of speed dating; she suggested to enforce a 30-minute time limit for each guy. Kate didn’t like it, but it was better than suffering through a full evening of awkward silences. And Kate didn’t have a lot of time to spend; she was a busy woman.
Sam helped her create an online profile and advised Kate to remain calm by visualizing each man as a food, instead of imagining naked, which would have only made Kate more nervous. Kate tried it out.
Phil reminded her of a grocery store donut. One that you scarf down as you drive to work and end up with a stomach ache shortly after consumption.
Kate tapped her nails on the table, what will Mr. 10:30 remind me of? She looked around the café; it bustled with clanging dishes, people talking, and chairs scraping on the cement floor. It smelled like coffee, baked bread, and warm bodies. In one of the glass cases, she spied a raspberry scone crusted with turbinado sugar. She licked her lips, but resisted. She didn’t need to eat her feelings right now.
She fiddled with her necklace and checked her phone again; when she looked up, she spied him outside, leaning against the brick wall, a rose in one hand, a cigarette in the other. He had used younger, thinner pictures of himself on his dating profile.
He looked to be in his forties, overweight with his belly hanging past his Def Leppard t-shirt. At first, she thought it couldn’t be him, but then he looked right at her and started walking into the café.
Shit.
She looked down at her phone, pretending to text. Her neck prickled; she smelled him before she saw him.
“Kate Finn?” She looked up was muted by horror; he looked like a sloppy joe, old chewed up beef and mystery sauce between a hamburger bun; a sloppy joe that smelled of stale sweat and weed. He reached to give her a “first date hug,” while Kate leaned as far away from him as possible. Just before he encircled her shoulders, he disappeared, leaving her with an aftertaste of his body odor.
She decided she would have the scone after all, and maybe scour her hands, face, possibly her whole body in the bathroom. She debated whether to just get up and leave; it was 10:55 and she had time to bail.
But before she could get up, Mr. 11:00 waltzed in five minutes too early. She couldn’t catch a break, but then she saw that his photos on his profile did not give him justice.
He was gorgeous like a French macaron. Or more accurately, a glass case full of French macarons all lined up and organized by color. She rarely could bring herself to buy macarons; she never wanted to bite into them and be responsible for ruining something beautiful.
“Kate?” She looked up into his clean-shaven face. She stood up suddenly, knocking her latte all over the table. “Oh, here.” He grappled the coffee mug before it fell.
“Oh, geez-um-sorry!” She fumbled and almost tripped over her chair and she felt like she lost something.
“Uh, here.” He caught her arm and helped her right herself. Just then, a barista came around with a wet cloth and mopped the spill up.
Mitchell complimented the barista, “Thanks that was a quick.”
Kate turned to Mitchell, “Um, I-I’m so sorry.”
“Not a problem, I’m just glad you missed my face.”
Kate laughed nervously.
“Now we can officially meet. Mitchell Ganter.” He extended his hand and Kate shook it, his fingers and palm were rough and callused.
He leaned forward, “You like mochas?”
“Yeah.”
“Alright, let me get you a new one.”
“Oh, you don’t have—”
“Nah, it’s a date, right? I’m honored. And it’s not every day you make a woman nervous enough to spill her coffee.” Kate felt her cheeks turn red.
He walked over to the counter while she stood by their table awkwardly, she decided to push herself and stand with him while they waited for the coffee. “Thank you, I appreciate it.”
“My pleasure.”
“So, you don’t make women spill their coffee often, just me?”
He smiled, “Only you so far, but one woman caught her heel in a grate and broke her shoe within five minutes of a date.” He pointed down at her shoes. “I like a practical woman.” Kate wore black flats with memory foam.
“Mitchell, large mocha and Americano.” The barista shouted out. They grabbed their coffees and made it over to their table.
He settled into his chair looking both nervous and comfortable. Everything about him was a beautiful contradiction. “So, what made you decide to go on a dating site?”
“Uh,” Kate decided the truth was the best option; she was too nervous to think of anything creative anyway. “My friend Sam forced me to make a profile. I don’t go out much, I-I work a lot and my weekends are today and Tuesday; I miss out on a lot of things.”
“No Friday night escapades around Portland?” Kate shook her head. “That’s too bad. Did you know that bad karaoke is essential to start a good weekend?” He took a sip of his coffee and looked at her in all seriousness.
“Uh, I didn’t know that. I’ve never been to a karaoke bar, it’s not really my thing.”
“You can’t know until you go.” He thought a while. “What about rock climbing? Have you ever done that?”
“Actually, yes, I have, but a really long time ago. I liked it.” She paused, “Is that what you do? Your hands are callused.”
“Yeah, I try to go every day. It’s a lot of fun and it keeps me focused. Um, you know, would you like to go with me some time?”
Kate got more nervous, Is he asking me on a second date? He likes me? “Oh, that sounds super cool, I would love to!” Kate got ahead of herself. Who says super cool except a thirteen-year-old from the 90s?
“So, you work a lot, only have Mondays and Tuesdays off, could never consider karaoke, but rock climbing is super cool. Now I’m curious, what job is worth giving up Fridays and Saturdays?”
Kate laughed, “You definitely cut to the point.” She fiddled with her necklace. “I’m a chef and I own my restaurant with my best friend Sam. She’s the head pastry chef and I’m the head cook. Technically, I work every day.”
“A chef? Wow! You wear practical shoes and you cook? I like you already.” Kate realized that he was the first man to ask her questions instead of talk about himself. She suddenly felt self-conscious, Am I talking about myself too much? She didn’t want to be that person.
“And you? What do you do?”
“I’m definitely not as cool as you. I push paper, organize paper, buy paper, and then I calculate numbers.”
“So…you—what would you call that, exactly?”
“Hmm, you really want to know?” Kate nodded. “They call me-well-an administrative assistant. Yes, before you say anything, I know what you’re thinking, I’m just as rare as a male nurse or a unicorn, right?”
Kate laughed. “That’s a coincidence.”
“What?” He lifted an eyebrow.
“Sam and I, we’ve been looking for an admin to come in and help us. Actually, we’re interviewing some people today.”
Mitchell tilted his head, “Really? At your restaurant or something?”
“Yeah.”
“Huh, um, I work as an admin at a brewery right now, but I have an interview today at Milagro. It’s just a mile down Alberta Street.”
Kate’s eyes widened. “Wait, what?”
Mitchell scrunched his eye brows together. “Um, are you the owner of Milagro? Really? Wow, your place is almost as famous as Salt & Straw or Voodoo Donuts.” Kate wanted to make herself small. “I heard the main chef—it must have been you—was on Iron Chef. Were you on it?”
Kate covered her face with her hands, completely humiliated. She never did well with people noticing her. “Um,” was all she could manage, she felt cornered even though he meant well, she got up all of a sudden. She knew she was getting close, so close to it happening. She didn’t want it to, not with him. “I-I’ve got to go to the bathroom.” He looked startled; his eyes widened. He appeared like he regretted mentioning anything.
“Wait—” But she bolted before he had a moment to say another word. She locked the door and leaned against the sink.
She took a deep breath. Then another and another. A lot of people had seen her on Iron Chef and she never liked the attention it had given her, it was great for the restaurant, but not good for her. She was a chef, not a celebrity. She felt bad leaving him there, but she didn’t want her emotions to get control of her and let the necklace do its thing. She didn’t want him to disappear; she wanted to keep talking to him.
She looked at herself in the mirror and then she realized her necklace wasn’t around her neck. Her hand went immediately to her throat as if it were there, but she just couldn’t see it. It wasn’t there.
She hadn’t been wearing it the whole time with him. She suddenly felt naked and exposed but also liberated. She had managed to have a decent and adult conversation without her security blanket. She was proud of herself, but then her fear started settling in. The date wasn’t over yet and she could screw it up or he could screw it up. Without her necklace, she didn’t have control, she would have to live each humiliating minute, if things took a turn for the worst. She stared at herself and could feel panic coming on.
She pointed at herself in the mirror, “You can do this.”
“You can do this.” She said with more momentum. “He’s a French macaron. You’ve made those, you’ve conquered those, beaten those egg whites. You can beat his egg whites. You kick ass in the kitchen, just make the world your kitchen.” Her voice crescendoed, “The world is my kitchen!” She took a heavy breath, rubbed her eyes, and adjusted her bra.
“Ok, yes, ok, let’s do this.” She walked out of the bathroom confident, standing tall, breasts forward. But her legs turned to rubber the closer she got to the table. He turned his gaze on her, looking worried. He looked ready to say something, but instead he stood up and must have stepped on something; he looked down to see what he had stepped on, bent down, and picked up Kate’s silver necklace. “Is this yours?”
Kate rushed forward. “Oh, that old thing? Yeah, it is.” She reached out to take it, but then she bee-lined for her purse sitting on the chair. “It must’ve fallen off, here you can put it in this.” She didn’t want to touch it, she refused to touch it. She knew her nerves would trigger it. He looked puzzled, but let the chain drop into the small pocket of her purse. “Thank you for finding it.”
“No problem,” He pursed his lips, anxious, and ran his fingers through his thick hair. “Look, I’m sorry if I upset you at all, that’s the last thing I wanted to do.”
“Oh, it’s fine! I just-I just don’t know how to react when someone says things like that; I don’t deal with attention well.”
“I get it and it’s admirable. You’re just you.”
She let go of her breath, “Thank you.”
He smiled, “Well, I have to get ready for an interview; gotta dress to impress.”
Kate laughed, still feeling nervous, she grabbed her purse and held it to her chest. It was in there, close, but she didn’t need it, not with him. “It-it’s funny how-well- you’re a male admin who likes rock climbing, Americanos, and I’m interviewing you in two hours. Mitchell, I believe you’re rarer than a unicorn.”
“But, I do exist.” He gave her a parting hug and whispered in her ear, “But don’t worry, I won’t disappear.” Kate couldn’t help but smile.