michael king

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

sunday post: soundtracks.

Sunday Post Surfaces

Big New Day. May of 2014, summer stretching herself sleepily across the Midwest. I’m pacing my apartment, pulling things down from the walls and bundling them in boxes. Two years rose and fell, graduate school already blurring at my fingertips, a Polaroid shaken perhaps too emphatically. Now I’m here, hands shaking, heartbeat a steady thrum, learning again to breathe.

Against the wall, my CD player occupies the bookshelf alone, pouring music like sunlight into the cluttered apartment. The playlist is hopeful, heart first, a series of anthems about the magic that just might come if we’re brave enough to be seen. Brave by Sara Bareilles, Luck by the American Authors, Pumpin Blood by NONONO, Something I Need by OneRepublic, Invisible by Hunter Hayes, This is the New Year by A Great Big World. I tiptoe around a maze of my own creation, bobbing my head all the while, every last lyric like a love letter to this, the age of learning to want out loud.

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nowhere town, i
have the habit of
showing up to you
broken and hopeful,
suitcases bursting at
the seams, seven hundred
stories in every corner

nobody tells you
this about the spots
you mark as ‘home’ onto
the maplines: this is
the soil that will
cradle you in your
days of breaking, and
these are the skies
that will whisper you
back together


i love you.

I love you. Here, now, this very second. I know, I know –– there are a million metrics, a multitude of ways we convince ourselves we’re not measuring up, but you’ve got no argument to make here. Right now, as you are, I love you.

_\.. /

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sunday post: roses.

Sunday Post LW

the white rose,
evoking innocence, charm, purity

It took months for me to feel clean again.

That’s the trick to love –– we spend years figuring out how to stand tall in ourselves, training our hands self-sufficient, learning to grin at the hard-won person staring from the mirror, and a single human stumbles along and shatters the whole illusion.

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what if they’re right.

grab the sink by both sides
and glance up, try not to
laugh or cry or take hold of
whatever ropes we reach for
in these moments, facing
our naked selves

and what if they’re right, the
ones who left, saw
our shaking, blistering
brokenness, ran, what if
all these fragments won’t
ever come together, no
matter our frantic

what if they’re
right, voices that chase
us down in the darkness,
outrun them all day and
find them curled up
against us on
the sofa

what if they’re
right, drowning out
all the i love yous and
the friends who insist we’ve
got something worth
sticking around
for, what if we got it
all wrong when we
imagined things revealed
in the light, hidden
away in the dark


sunday post: small rescue.

Sunday Post Grape

January in New York City, and the sun showed up and washed gold over everything. I’m standing in my apartment, palms at the edges of my window, peering not out but straight down. A hundred feet below, men are at work pulling down the scaffolding.

Steel beams punctuating the sidewalk, green panels linked and reinforced with wooden planks, scaffolds across the city signal humankind’s ongoing effort to hold its own in the fight against nature. For sidewalk travelers, however, scaffolding is a strange nuisance, narrowing the sidewalk and shrinking an often-claustrophobic city. When, at last, a project is completed and scaffolding disappears, city blocks are washed brand new. The time has come, finally, for the scaffolding in front of my building to come down.

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tuesday post: third draft.

First Draft.jpg

Hey. I’m not sure where to begin. I feel fragile, writing this, writing to you. It’s been a fragile few weeks, like all my bones are made out of glass, and I’ve been walking around with them, breathing and bracing and waiting to shatter and fall apart. But I’m here, and I’m healing, and I’m writing you a letter.

You asked me if I had any questions, and of course I do. On the night you left, they ripped themselves loose from me, involuntary. Roars against the tile, “why’d you go, why’d you go?”

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