michael king

stack of stained pages, redacted love letters, spilling ink, pressing it into tomorrow

and some nights.

for months, i
came home to find somebody had
rearranged the living room, set
flowers up to live along the windowsill,
drink up the sun and exhale color,
cover up the words i scratched into
those grains myself, bare fingers,
nails worn down to the quick,
people who want to stay
stay and your palms cannot
remember the wind while
you’re clenching them shut
, hidden
again beneath beautiful things

and some nights i
took them down right away,
set to work remembering you
with honest eyes, cracked
open the door and delivered
pretty lies to the concrete

and some nights i
saw them and set
my things down to
the floorboards, sat
there in it and
let myself listen
to faraway music

poetry

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sunday post: past selves.

sunday post def

 17 – 

The bus rolls into the city, hisses and roars from its underbelly as it acquaints with the pavement, a commotion all but ignored by the people on the streets. Michael glances up from his iPod, looks out at the blue-gray washing over everything. On his iPod, the All-American Rejects vow that It Ends Tonight, and his thoughts are pulled to a love that sifted through his hands before he was ready to let go.

Along with him for the ride are a few dozen high school students, all members of the marching band. In the summer, they don white shirts and sunburns, devoting the month of June to a parking lot under the Indiana sun. Brass melodies, staccato drumline exercises, jokes made covertly to one another while the band director watches overhead. Right now, though, it’s December, and they’re bundled beneath coats, Midwest kids preparing to explore the urban colossus.

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monday post: fall & rise & build.

Sunday Post Turquoise.jpg

I. Pulled to the Pavement

A disaster looks ridiculous in retrospect. Who the hell was he to wake up that day, eyes stupid and bright, and pull on running shoes? Such obstinate nonchalance, willful oblivion, as he stepped out under the sun. Perhaps if he’d listened, he’d have heard the wind whispering a warning. Surely the birds, perched on electrical wiring overhead, surely they braced in the watching.

He’d led a watchful life, all things considered. In the abstract, he knew the world was an unpredictable place, but he’d found that good things came to those who listened, learned, took off with confidence. If nothing else, running gave him this insight. The ridiculous courage of that first mile, discovering those walls to be of his own making. A lesson from the pavement, and he carried it with him to work, to life, to love –– he took that inch and stretch it for miles and miles.

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sunday post: gentle resolutions.

Sunday Post NYE

Ten. How on earth has it already been a year? How can a year feel like an eternity and a heartbeat at the same time? And what do we make of it, 2018? How do we summarize all these days stacked up, pains and hopes all scribbled together in the same handwriting, before we’re lost in the blur of 2019?

Nine. Shit, New Year’s kiss. I had 365 days to hold auditions for this part, and I’m coming up empty. In nine seconds, confetti flies in the air, everybody shouts ‘happy new year,’ and everybody lucky begins the year with a kiss. Love, promised in a wine-stained blur of cheer. What is wrong with me?

Eight. Okay, okay, but I’ve got things to show for myself in 2018. I moved to New York City, wrote and shared hundred of poems, ran a thousand miles and kept going. I traveled freely and loved wildly, and I’ve got the photos to prove it.

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sunday post: darkest days.

Sunday Post Gorgeous Dark.png

Winter Solstice. Through the window, the skies are reluctant to wake, a feeling we know all too well. Nagged by the ticking of our internal clocks, we coax our bodies into coats, step out into all of it, scuttle pathways to work. During the lunch hour, if we’re lucky enough to lift our eyes from our phones, we notice the sky is blue and bright, as though the sun knows it only has so much time. After work, and the show is over, blanket of dark over everything, quieting some part of each of us.

This is it, the longest night. Everything led us here, fiery sunsets of July gradually giving way to modest midday surrender. The sun and the moon, constantly in chase of each other overhead, have unsteadied the dance. The moon pirouettes, reveling in the hard-won opportunity to revel, the sun a faraway spotlight. And here we wait, searching the sky for stars while we hold our breath.

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sunday post: to the wind.

Sunday Post Neon

I. I wrote you fifty-one letters in the year after we fell apart.

Losing you was my first brush with real grief, the kind that consumes a person like a housefire. Each time I looked, my heart was reaching for you from the attic windows. I knew, for your sake and mine, it was better to leave the rambling paragraphs unsaid, but all the smoke had to go somewhere.

I made a deal with myself: Each time the urge came over me to pick up the phone, reach across maplines to drop myself back into your proximity, I’d open up my laptop and write to you. Fifty-one times, I twisted the faucet and allowed the grief to run free. At each letter’s close, the current had given way to soft, distant drips.

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sunday post: life in images.

Sunday Post Me

Queens Plaza. The train lurched and hissed, shrill roar, metal colliding cinematically against metal; hardly anybody even looked up from their phones. Michael sank a bit further into his coat, his scarf lifting up and around his mouth. He’d found an edge seat, snaking his left arm through the metal bars, gloved palm holding one for support. He closed his eyes, heavy exhale, and felt himself begin drifting under.

The secret to sleeping on trains, aside from never telling your mother, is embracing the commotion. Periodic lurches, electronic voices announcing stop numbers and closing doors, the shuffling of feet, sighing negotiation of personal space, whirrhiss, beginnings and endings. Welcome it all, bizarre lullaby, and you might find some rest in the midst of all the everything.

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