Heat Reader. (19.2.14)

I hold my hand over his chest, just until I can barely feel the warmth rising from him. He lives, still as death, half his greenish pale body covered carelessly with a thin, stained sheet. I keep my eyes on that side of him, trying to ignore the gash torn through his other hip. I start to read his heat.

There’s a growl from next to me. “Faster.”

“You know it takes patience.” I say quietly. And he knew the shackles that weighed cold and solid around my wrists got in the way of the read. They all knew.

Though, I could still read faster than they thought. I felt he wasn’t dead. I felt the treatment path. They knew about that part. that’s why I was here, a healer heat reader is useful in keeping their armies alive in the fight against my people.

They don’t know that I can read his importance. His determination, and his hatred.

This man would be incredibly hard to kill. But this time it’s not a bad thing, not a thing I will have to fight. This time it’s exciting.

My keeper tugs my hand away from his body with the shackle. “What this one need?”

I duck my head to hide the flash of excitement in my eyes.

“Take me to the doctor, I must tell him something.”

. . . .

That night I sit alone, finally, in my cell. Legs crossed on the flat sleep mat, calm. My mind races, despite my forced outer calmness.

The man lying on the table this afternoon, he hated the army, the war, his superiors, as much as I do. He wants them to parish.

When I read his heat it wasn’t life simply life, death, or rot heat. I read his heat as the leader of the resistance.

Our Resistance. Salvation.

This man, I’m excited to see better.

To see who my partner in saving my world will be.

Rain, Catalyzed. Watcher Garden #8 (19.2.1)

Vast pool of information catalyzing into chains of molecules, the slime that pours itself from beakers. Found by a girl huddled in the corner of a street in the busy part of the town, where the suits and proper houses stand. Playing in a puddle with a stick or a finger, discovering the strands of water that hold themselves together with a stir.

The girl who’s met the spirits, who would know how to birth sciences, if only given the chance.

She stirs the water, its links finding themselves, information evaporated from the gardens and rained down upon the town.

Mechanisms not understood.

A misery to the one who sleeps in the street. Then a magic.

If she can understand the links, she can unlock the self she longs for beneath her skin.

Complications. Watcher Garden #7 (19.2.1)

Guesses perhaps, are the creation of a new path, for a new universe. Perhaps their guesses permeate our universe, soaking into constraints, shifting the tides.

Each then, walks amongst other universes, casting their own multiverses in their gazes, their speculations.

These complications, they do not stir the otter sleeping in a calm eddy of the quandary river running through the edge of the garden. The otter’s whiskers twitch with dreams, their paws curling about themselves in comfort.

The Loan Beach Walker. (13.7.9)

The night is still, silent as motion can be. A silver moon hangs low across the water, casting it’s light over the rippling waves. They crest at the beach and break over the dark sand. Rocks and seaweed are light against the black sand beach. A sea wall up the beach a way, now the end of the beach, stacks logs against it and things live there. Things besides the children of the day in their imaginations as they play.

Things that you’ve never seen, things you couldn’t see even if you tried.

The beach is full of people in the day, practically swarming with them. They’re alright. They live behind the sea wall only a road and a sidewalk away, where the beach used to end. They put the concrete down and built the wall. They hold the sea at bay yet wish they had more contact with the natural. With something they haven’t touched. Only when they wade in the water and the kelp brushes their legs do they think about this, and then it’s only I wish I could see more, or holy shit, what’s touching my leg?!

Tonight the water is alone, the people are gone. The colors fade between blue, blue green, silver, gray, and black. The picture is layered, water, waves, crashing surf, layers of beach, logs, sea wall, and a jagged reaching of buildings and people’s creations behind it. The fence and gate keeping the sea from the people and the people from the sea are locked. No one should be here.

The beach is alone, nothing shares with it the space beyond the fence at this time. The consequences of such an action are severe, and no one should tempt the harsh government of the time.

The tall figure of a man walks along the beach near the surf’s edge seems to fade into the shades of the beach. He walks here alone every night, watching the sea and the surf. He knows this beach, every contour. He knows what the people bring to it, and he knows what they take away. He watches as it changes, and he feels a calmness the sea brings out in him.

As he walks, occasionally he stoops, plucking a piece of plastic or bit of fabric from the sand. With each thing he picks up and stows away in his bag, the line of his jaw tightens. A spark of fire lights in his eyes, and burns his soul to see the rubbish left here. This is his place to be himself, alone, with his thoughts and himself. Everything he sees is a personal insult, an affront to the sea.

He’s been a boy when the wall was constructed, he had been watching the men always moving things around, building, creating, destroying. Yet through everything, even when the beach looked its worst, it had been his. More than anyone else, it was his.

And no matter what the people did to it, the sea seemed to like them. To care about them, help them. And the beach was his, friend. He would help its task, and he would keep it safe, as much as he could. He and the beach, the man who walked along the monochrome layers of sand and salt and waves, and the water that rose and fell to his step, they were a team.

This piece was originally written for the Seattle Acquarium’s Creativity Inspiring Conservation creative writing course, and was displayed during their 2013 student art reception.

The statement written for the program:

I feel like there’s a deep connection between people and the environment, I think it communicates with us, and I hope it will get easier to find people who are willing to try and listen.

The Woman Dipped In Ink. (19.2.12)

Red dress. Black dress. White dress.

White dress, black flowers, red petal tips.

She drifts through the world. Rain pelts the glass in fat, running droplets as she watches. Their streams distort light, views through the window. Inside, and out.

Her fingertips trail down the pane. Longing, loneliness in her eyes.

Ink seeps from her. Constant, viscous, pooling. From her fingertips, heels, hair, tear ducts, it seeps and runs from her, pooling in places, sticking in others. Reflecting slick highlights.

As she drifts, the ink runs like tears around her. It fills her footsteps, dissipating in rain and evaporating into black stains in the sun. It’s left dark and unseen on anyone she touches, without her knowing. It bubbles up through the skin at her throat, sliding down her chest through her dress’s weave without leaving trace, but marking the whole world around her.

The rain is a mild, warm background noise in a cold city, accompanying her tapping footfalls as she walks through the alley slow, barely feeling the rain. The edges of petals on her soaked, summery dress the only spots of color in the scene.

Soaked in experiences turned potential, is this

Her beginning or her end?

She walks, a lifetime of untold stories no longer contained, flowing away from her in fine rivulets.

Pockets. (19.3.8)

If there are infinite universes, with infinite combinations of physics and laws of nature, then surely there is one universe improved that there are not only proper pockets in women’s clothing, but also pockets in time where rest can happen without existential dread, missed deadlines, or time passed.

Unfortunately traveling to such a marvelous place is impossible as of yet.

Perhaps, by the time our personal rest pockets arrive, some of this world’s injustices will be no longer.

Brought to you by International Women’s Day, exhausted optimism, and accidentally being on time for a moment.

There are many more serious things wrong in the world than missing pockets. There is more time for seriousness tomorrow.

To all who whose energy is spent surviving, I love you.