Solo Dining

Solo Dining  I’m counting the droplets as they accumulate on the other side of this window.  I shiver, too aware of the chill trapped in the glass, drinking my water too quickly  without pause of conversation. I’ve already been to the bathroom once, lugged all my stuff with me—purse, coat, phone— uncertain if I could trust its loneliness at the empty table.  I’m pretty sure they had sex last night.   My server tells me she remembers me from last time, it’s the side of peanut butter, my signature.  She says she admires the solo dining. I chuckle, an utterance infused with amusement and lies, wondering when I got so used to eating alone.   I lay my napkin across my lap, adhering to the good graces of decorum, even though no one is here to care if I pull the pieces of my French toast apart with my hands or if I lick my fingers or that I dragged my bracelet through my maple syrup, pulling a trail of sticky across the table or that I used my spit to shine up the charm again.   I know they had sex last night.  She’s in his bed now, a morning cuddle.   My server asks if she can get me anything else. A shot of whiskey, I think.  She fills up my water before bringing the bill. I’ve sucked it dry by the time I sign the receipt.

The weather’s bringing me down today. Side note: I’m also obsessed with this FOB song.

This is usually the moment I tell you to make the most of the rest of your weekend, but that would be hypocritical as I’m currently sitting on a couch in the dark basement of my parents’ house. At least I’m listening to pop punk.

–Leanne Rebecca

To Have You

To Have You  I swallow nostalgia with the mucus building up in the back of my throat, a ball of what once was scratching as if I’d tried to take a pill without water.  Behind every blink I see flashes of friendship, come and gone, the days when I never feared lonely afternoons, when tomorrow was a hopeful word, when I didn’t want to run from today and expunge yesterdays  with a worn out pencil eraser, a smeared memory not quite deleted.  Those were the days of club dancing, sleeping until noon, pajama parties and vodka, when none of us really cared that we didn’t have boyfriends because we had each other.  I swallow the nostalgia, the distance of our cities stuck at the back of my throat, a lump growing like a tumor as we get older and farther away from the days of not caring that we don’t have boyfriends.

Today is one of the rare afternoons on a weekday that I have nothing to do. It’s in those times that I tend to think too much, thinking about every aspect of my life, and not in a healthy way. I have a habit of looking too closely at the minutes of a day, wondering too much about why I’m doing what I’m doing and making a list of all the things that are missing. I envy the people that live so carefree, loving the moment and embracing alone time with love. I wonder if they’re acting.

I hope you catch some sunshine today!

–Leanne Rebecca

I’m Not

I’m Not  I believe in pretending for the sake of functioning, the persona of silence— what people see when they look at me.  In the superficial light of artifice I believe in the beauty of my body, the posture of fitted sweaters and long necklaces draped across my collar bone in nonchalance, of tight pants and knee-high boots— the attitude of asking for jealousy.  I believe in daytime smokey eyes because it means I can’t let myself cry. There’s strength in my beliefs when make-believe becomes truth. But not today. Today I lied and they all believed me.

Another week has come and gone. Today is the only day that matters. What will you make of it?

Happy Saturday!

–Leanne Rebecca

Jawbreaker

Jawbreaker  I caught my mistakes in my throat, choked on the acidity of sour reality staining my tongue.   My lips tinged purple as if I’d eaten a grape Popsicle the blue of not breathing, suffocating as time and energy blocked my airway as if a Jawbreaker had lodged there and I couldn’t cough it up.  My neck cramped and I waited for the sugar to dissolve, the lump to melt as I tasted all the flavors of my choices.   I swallow now with freedom as intoxicating as  spring air, but the scar’s still there, a scratch caught in my throat, the mistakes etched in the memory of my breath.

I sat here in front of my computer for a solid ten minutes, staring at the screen, trying to think of something to write here. Maybe it’s more profound that I couldn’t think of a single thing.

Have a splendid Wednesday!

–Leanne Rebecca

Should

Should  The TV signal died. I spend the next twenty minutes pressing a button off and on to spark a response.  Off and on because there should be stimulus. I should do what I can to expel the silence of a blue screen and error message because I can’t be here in the quiet should be moving in some direction mind should be engaged in something, can’t waste this time on doing nothing. I press the button off and on, squatting in front of a box, expecting a different result and the damn receiver won’t listen to me. I’m here, trying, but it’s not enough. It’s never enough.  I should try again.

Last week was rough. Here’s a hint…don’t catch stomach bugs. Luckily, I like to think of Sundays as the day to start anew. I survived Hell and now is my opportunity to bounce back. Good thing the TV lost its signal, because now I can say I started the new week with a poem.

There’s still time to accomplish something wonderful before Monday rolls around, folks. It’s up to you to figure out what it’s going to be.

Love,

Leanne Rebecca

Unfurl

Unfurl  She felt scared to let go, bound up in crossed arms as if encased in a plaster cast while the bruises healed.  It hurt when he touched her, hurt more when she liked it, wanting to unwrap her arms, uncoil the wire from her wrists and open her chest to feel the sun and the wind and the rain against her skin, unprotected and unfurled in trust.  But she hugged her elbows tighter, scared to let go, binding her palms so she wouldn’t push this one away.

I can’t explain why it’s my favorite word. It’s something to do with how romantic it sounds and all the connotations it holds, both good and bad. It’s animalistic and peaceful. It’s simple and loaded with meaning. It’s perfect. Say it and listen to it’s beauty: unfurl. What’s your favorite word?

Today was certainly a Monday. Unfurl a little tonight.

–Leanne Rebecca

Mischievous You

Mischievous You  I wanted to shut it all out, the thoughts of boys, the obsessing over the way I look for the boys, the glances into my future life with a boy, the frustrations of never finding the right boy, that the right boys don’t find me.   Shut it out, so I could stop obsessing over what I was eating, to see the now, to love the now, to know I’m worth it.   I set out to stop thinking, shut off feelings for a minute, just a couple of minutes for me, playing hide and go seek with freedom to breathe without racing heartbeats and blush in my cheeks, to guarantee tears wouldn’t find me for those two minutes of pause.   I thought I could do it, distract desire,  to trick the thoughts to get lost by turning up the volume so loud in my car that I couldn’t hear them anymore.  But you snuck through, mischievous you.

Time has felt irrelevant for the past few days. Cheers to 2015 and the end to another weekend. Good night, my friends.

–Leanne Rebecca

Anything

Anything Driving in a car and it's raining. I touch all the buttons on the radio anything but talking only commercials, radio shows, white noise of Saturday mornings when you didn't quite force the body to sleep long enough. We're going to walk the mall, anything to leave the house and stir the blood, to move the mind out of the place where thinking's bad too much, too fast that it sounds like static.

I’ve eaten nothing but cookies for the past five days. That’s what happens when you make them on Christmas Eve and double the recipe because your mom told you to and end up with a full box of leftovers because you made too many cookies. I think I’ll go for a run today.

I wanted to post this poem yesterday. I’d set my intention the night before: I will write a poem on Saturday morning. But somehow I slept in and before I knew it I was out of the house, starting my day, and I’d forgotten about poetry completely. It’s a rare occurrence–me forgetting about poetry–but I’d like to think there’s some meaning behind it.

Happy Sunday!

–Leanne Rebecca

Emotional Creature

Emotional Creature  There's nothing wrong with me.  I'm swallowed by feeling, the realness of feeling, feelings not wrong, just deep, deeper than yours, extreme manifested in shakes, holding my stomach.  There's nothing wrong with me.  I stand in front of the toilet weigh the pain, it hurts no matter what, hurts more than you could know. I'll never say, just hold my stomach in silence.  There's nothing wrong with me.  I curl my knees in, shoulder crammed to the floor pools beneath my face drowning in feeling. I feel. I live. I feel.  There's nothing wrong with me.

I’m currently obsessed with “Out of the Woods”on Taylor Swift’s new album and that is the most important news I have to share. Sing with me.

Have a splendid Wednesday, friends.

–Leanne Rebecca

Guest Post: Philip Dodd

Philip Dodd - Bright Side of the Sun

Philip Dodd - The Witch of Endor

About the Author:

Philip Dodd PortraitPhilip Dodd was born in 1952, lives in Liverpool, England, has a degree in English literature from Newcastle University, and has been writing songs, stories and poems since he was twelve. He has had poems published in his local newspapers and in The Dawntreader, a quarterly poetry magazine, published by Indigo Dreams Publishing. His book, Angel War, was published in April, 2013, and is available as a paperback and as an E-book. Reviews of it can be read on Amazon and Goodreads.

Find more from Philip Dodd on his blog


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