michael king

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

wednesday post: untethered.

Sunday Post rainbow

On the best days, I find the light without trying.

My hands stay gentle all on their own, for myself and for others. Everybody around me is a rich tangle of humanity, a cocktail of hopes and fears and breaking and trying again, and I’m no exception. I’m ready to endeavor, and every direction strikes me as right, and stories unfurl themselves at my feet. I may not have everything figured out, but something beckons me to believe I’m well on my way.

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red and blue.

sunny day and i’m stealing glances of
you through rose-colored glasses,
winds billow around us, earth
stretches, makes way for hope in
green threads, everything coming to
life again for the sake of the living, but
none of it moreso than the tentative
stretching of the heart that’s
shed stitches

here in the wild city i
once believed a faraway dream, two
men who were once boys
quietly coaching their heartbeats to
want differently, at least to desire
behind bars,  here now
wanting, hoping, reaching,
breathing honest air, we
get to be here, now, in the
midst of everything



she is the surface of water, devoted
to stillness even in the
company of thunderclaps, she
is the way light and color
spill into each other, mesmerizing
cacophony of silence

she is the sound of
needle against vinyl, a half-second
before the music pours in, the
way we all hold our breath
before the melody rescues
the room

she is belief splashed
against the concrete slabs,
art for the sake of survival, love
burrowing its way through
cracks in the sidewalk,
hope defiant, the gentle
exhale of arriving
and unfurling


book club: ‘a little life’.

‘I have a book for you,’ a friend told me, ‘but it will very likely break your heart.’

I took him at his word, tracking it down immediately –– A Little Life, Hanya Yanagihara –– and setting it in my Amazon cart. ‘I’ll get to it,’ I promised, ‘when I’ve got time to have my heart broken.’

I was, at the time, poised to close my second chapter in Muncie, facing my own series of heartbreaking goodbyes. I would move home, savor a few fleeting weeks in the warmth of my family, and then move my life to New York. The months would scuttle by underfoot, my legs stretching to keep pace, and I would all but forget A Little Life.

Then, one afternoon, I reviewed my Amazon cart and found it there, nestled between a piece of wall art (Indiana, by county) and a pair of happy socks. Feeling ready, I clicked it into existence, unboxing it a few days later, beginning.


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monday post: letting wounds.

Sunday Post Red


I was eleven the first time I figured out I’d made a habit out of holding my breath.

It was a muggy June afternoon, smacked in the middle of a week at camp, and I was on a hike with about six other boys my age. We came to a river, and they all broke into motion, water parting and spilling against their reckless limbs. I watched them, frozen, and scanned the surface for rocks. Testing them first, I stepped slowly across, tiny ripples and silent steps.

I made it across, caught up to them once my feet found solid ground. Our entire hike followed this pattern. Later, as we sat around our bunks eating fruit snacks and granola bars, they poked fun at me. “If we didn’t take Michael with us, the hike would have been five minutes.”

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sunday post: people who stay.

Sunday Post PWS

When people leave us, no matter how tidy their exit, they scatter behind them a trail of heavy absences. The drawer, top-left, we cleared for them to keep their things. The corner of the mirror we crowded with photos of them. Songs they sang to us, emerging suddenly at coffee shops and pulling us back to times we imagined them forever. Where once there were good morning texts, now we find our screens empty. The message is cruel but clear: We are responsible for our own rising.

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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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