michael king

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

a poem for today.

i’m sitting here, silhouette
against a window to a
wounded world, and,
hands shaking, i’m
fighting like mad to
write hope into this story,

if i’m honest, i’ve wasted
twenty-one minutes
fumbling with my pen

outside, the sky teems blue,
sun pouring over all the
everything, and i
can’t decide whether
the world is saying
‘don’t give up,’ or
shining a light onto
its indifference

i am reminded of
the morning after he
left, the way my
rib cage ached from
making sounds i
couldn’t believe were
mine, how i stepped
outside to find
a world still in obstinate
motion, found hope
in that movement,
ran on injured ankles
until my feet fell
in rhythm

but where can i mine hope,
today, when everything
seems to have screeched
to a deafening quiet

we are children who
cannot board planes
home, mothers swallowing
anxieties and teaching our
children to bake, brothers
who cannot reach to pull
our siblings into a hug,
lovers looking at the
world through a
windowpane

stubborn gardeners of hope,
tamping down soil over
damaged seeds, praying
hope, too, will be
strong-willed.

Hand

book club: ‘the best kind of people’.

I’m not sure where or when I picked up The Best Kind of People, but I do remember knowing instantly it had all the ingredients of a novel I tend to consume: a compelling plot, a family at the center, and a narrative that jumps from person to person as they move through the story.

On the night I cracked it open and read it for the first time, I was meeting my friend at a coffeeshop in Hell’s Kitchen. “I was trying to read something lighter,” I told him, having just finished a series of heavy reads. He read the back cover and scoffed. “Yes, Michael. Light.”

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