I Forgot

I forgot the soothing sound of your voice. I forgot the soft curls in your hair. I forgot the smooth silk of your forearms. I forgot the little mole under your right earlobe. I forgot the exact color of your eyes when the sky is blue behind you. I forgot the bright crescent of your smile in the dark oval of your face. It’s easy to go on because I forgot everything about you.

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With a K

The street Malcolm searched for should have been spelled with a K. He would never get used to Slavic language phonetics. He found the oddly spelled street in question. It was many more blocks of walking to locate the correct number. He stood outside the door for a long time. His threadbare coat was barely adequate for the cold. It began to snow. Finally, he knocked. The man who opened the door looked . . .

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Summer Holidays

Fireworks 3

Our first summer,
Do you remember that one?
We lived down by the river
And caught fish for the 4th?
Remember that old tub
We filled with ice and watermelon?
We put a blanket on the grass
And watched the fireworks.
We chased grasshoppers in
The weeds behind the house.
When everyone was gone and
The night was quiet
We lay on the blanket all night long,
Just the two of us
In love.

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No Loitering

Jan parted the curtains a tiny slit and looked at the man in the hoodie. He stood under a No Loitering sign on a street light pole. It was his 3rd day standing in that spot. She appreciated the irony.

Jan tested him yesterday by walking to the bodega. He followed.

Today she had other plans. She locked her door and headed for the roof.

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Golden

I remember meeting her. She was a bubble of golden light, bouncing around my friend’s home. She was there as a ‘Girl Friday’ doing various chores and errands for my sick friend. She sang, she smiled, she was cheerful. She was the best medicine a sick person could have in her home.

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That Laugh

I could hear that laugh in my office, which was across the hall and down two doors from his office. Loud, braying, and annoying was that laugh. It got worse late in the afternoon when he took a Valium. You could always tell when he took his Valium. At least I could close my office door. It was hilarious how many office doors closed late in the afternoon.

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The Best Thing

The car seems to know the way to the lab where they draw blood out of my arm by itself. People are quiet there, hoping things will go quickly and they can get on with their day. Everyone stares at their phone and waits to hear their number called. When I finally get called to the back, I realize the best thing about summer is you already have on a short sleeved shirt if you need your blood drained away. Makes it so much easier, doesn’t it?

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Bubblegum

Bubblegum Alley

As soon as the music started, I tapped my foot happily to the beat. “Bah,” he said. “Mere bubblegum pop. Turn on something worth hearing.”

“But I like this,” I said. “It’s happy.”

“It’s simplistic drivel. I won’t allow it in my head.”

I turned it off, but I always remember this as the moment I stopped respecting my dad.

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Autograph

She told a story about a flirty, teasing autograph she received from the author of a book. It brought back memories of my favorite autograph. It was from a singer at a jazz concert. She signed her CD cover with “You were great last night.” I thought that was . . .

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Mac and Cheese

Sam didn’t talk about his childhood much, so when he shared a story, I let him talk as long as he wanted. His dad’s girlfriend, he claimed, made the world worst mac and cheese. It was watery and there wasn’t enough cheese. What cheese there was wasn’t right somehow. Sam explained . . .

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