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02.19

0219

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

(in limbo.)

we were sitting on the swings at a park in the aftermath of a snowstorm. you asked me if i had any cigarettes and i told you no. i don’t know how many times i’ve told you i don’t smoke and i don’t have any cigarettes, but it never seems to strike a chord with you, and i guess i get that. smokers have a certain sick sad desperation to their vice. wow, that sounds redundant. what i’m trying to say is despite the insurmountable odds that i don’t have a cigarette, you still always ask me if i do. maybe it’s not desperation. maybe it’s hope. faith in what is most likely not true.

you were glowing. you were always one of those girls who made sense bundled up in the middle of colorado winter. your cheeks looked good with a little extra red to them.

“that’s okay,” you said about the cigarette, “because i have this invisible cigarette.”

you spared no artistic expense with this. you reached into your jacket and pulled out an invisible package of cigarettes. you pulled out one cigarette.

“phew. last one.” you said, “unless you want one, in which case i have one more?”

“no, i’m good,” i said. you looked a little disappointed.

you put the invisible box back in your jacket and swinging a little you pulled out an invisible lighter. i watched you actually inhale. you were smiling. one of those good smiles. one of those true smiles that wasn’t based on some social situation that makes you feel obliged to smile. you were experiencing actual joy, sitting in that park, freezing our asses off.

and then for the high point of your performance, you blew out cold air, and i swear to god, you somehow made it billow like actual smoke.

“very well played,” i said.

“thank you, thank you,” you threw your fake cigarette onto the ground, “fake cigarettes aren’t the same though. they don’t have any sense of danger to them. you don’t feel any fire in your lungs,”

“i wouldn’t know. i’ve never smoked,” i said.

“yes, you have,”

“no. no i have not,”

“you’re a fucking liar,” you said, “i distinctly remember last time we were drunk in denver, you were chain-smoking,”

“i don’t remember this at all, so clearly it never happened,” i said.

“you are a liar,”

“why are we out in this?” i asked.

“because we both are twenty-four and living at home,”

“yeah, i didn’t see that one coming,” i said.

“you have nothing to be ashamed of,” you said to me, in that sympathetic way you say everything, “you are just in limbo between places,”

“i guess that’s true,”

“i, on the other hand, am a bum,”

“no, you’re not.”

my sympathy didn’t sound as good as yours.

“yeah, i kind of am. rich parents are a blessing and a curse. the blessing is they show their affection towards you through money, the curse is the same,”

“your parents love you,”

“i’m not denying that. some days it just feels like their world is moving too fast and sometimes it’s a dry cleaning ticket that gets lost in the madness, or a pair of car keys, but sometimes it’s me,”

i don’t think you, or most people for that matter, realize how often they talk in poetry.

“wanna make out?” i asked, smiling some deadbeat frozen smile.

“you’re funny,” you said, but i wasn’t trying to be funny. maybe it was a poor word choice on my part, or maybe we were just gonna keep on living in this land of indecision. maybe we’re destined to swing back and forth together in this white nothingness at some time between night and morning.

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2013

READ 02.20, THE NEXT ENTRY IN THE 28 DAY 02.2013 PROJECT

02.2013 is a twenty-eight day project chronicling my february of 2013 through poetry. to read the entries from the beginning CLICK HERE

WHITE LINGERIE

They say it’s bad luck to see the bride before the wedding, but he saw her anyways. She tried on her dress for him, and he told her she looked beautiful.
She was nervous. He could tell.
“Hey,” he said to her, lying in bed beside her, “You’re gonna be fine. It’s just a day like any other, and you look gorgeous,”
“It’s just…”
“Haven’t you heard of cold feet?” he placed his hand on the outside of her thigh, his thumb playing with her white garter belt, “You’re gonna be fine,”
“I’m just glad I can be with you tonight. I don’t care about tradition, any of that. This feels right,”
“This feels right?”
“Of course. I wouldn’t be going through all of this if it didn’t…”
The bed squeaked. Its metal frame was painted white and wasn’t the sturdiest of things.
“What happens tomorrow though? Do you and I change?”
“What do you mean?” she said, looking into his eyes, the way she had since the day she met him.
“You shouldn’t lay on your dress. You’re going to get it wrinkled…”
“Do you really care?” she said, standing up.
He sat up on the bed, facing the bathroom, and the empty closet.
“Maybe we should just forget the whole thing. Call it off. You go your way, and I’ll go mine,”
“I can’t believe you’d say that…”
“I’m sorry, I just know tomorrow’s a pretty big day, and if you’re not certain about everything, I…”
She removed her dress, laying it carefully on the cot. He lost his thought, as through her reflection, he saw her, drowning in white lace – a firm bodice fading down into sheer white stockings. She looked like an angel. A virgin.
“I’m certain about this…” she circled around the bed to his side. Her expensive heels brushing against the cheap carpet. She grabbed him by the tie and kissed him the way she always had. Like she knew for certain he was the man she was supposed to marry. The love of her life. He fell back on the bed, her body grazing over his. She ran her hands through his thick hair, but he places his just above her hips, stopping her,
“Did you hear that?”
“Hear what?” she said, disenchanted, “Who could it possibly be? You can be so paranoid sometimes…”
A knock came at the door. He buckled his belt and opened it, leaving the chain on. A cold winter draft snuck in as he said,
“Can I help you?”
“Yes, sir. There’s a call for Mrs. Lereaux…”
“Alright, well, thank you, you can send it through to the room’s extension…”
“We tried, sir – it didn’t want to go through. I believe your line may be unplugged,”
From the bathroom, she yelled to the doorway, her voice echoing,
“Who is it?”
“A mister James Thomas…”
“He’s probably just calling about the wedding tomorrow,” she said, “Tell him I’m asleep, and I’ll handle it in the morning,”
“Will do, Mrs. Lereaux. Mr. Lereaux, I apologize for the disturbance,”
“Oh, um…” he laughed under his breath, “That’s fine, thank you for stopping by,”
The door shut and the gentleman left, but the cold draft remained in the room. She was in the bathroom, wiping off her makeup, and he turned on the television.
She came out, a cotton swap still wiping her face,
“Really?” she said, “The night before the wedding and you’re turning on the television?”
He didn’t waste time with justification. He turned the television off and he smirked, because he knew he had her already. He looked straight on at her now plain face, and he said,
“You look gorgeous,”
She blushed.
He took her hand in his holding it up, and he said,
“May I have this dance?”
She nodded, smirking a bit herself, and she said,
“Yes, you may,”
They swayed back and forth, careful of the bags on the floor, cautious of the nightstands.
“I’d like to turn on the television again, but I know you won’t disapprove…”
“Fine…” she said, curiously.
He grabbed the remote off the bed and pressed the power on. He pressed a button or two more, one hand still on her waist and he threw the remote back down on the bed.
“Ooh…” she said, “What’s this?”
“Big Band, swing…” he told her, “They have music channels added to the hotel’s programming, just for moments like this.
“Do you have a lot of moments like this, Mr. Harrison?”
“Never,” he assured her, “And I doubt I’ll ever have a moment like this again.”
“What about tomorrow night?” she said hopefully, tragedy on the tip of her tongue.
“I’m sorry, I can’t…”
“And why’s that?” she said, her face pressed right up to his.
“I’ll be at a wedding…”
“Oh, really?” she played along. She always did.
“Yes, really…”
“And who’s getting married?”
“You are,” he whispered in her ear, “You are.”
She grabbed the remote and turned the volume up as high as it went.
“We might disturb somebody…” he said.
“I sure hope so,” she said, “We’ll never get another chance.”

COPYRIGHT BRICE MAIURRO 2012

READ “DEAD POLAR BEAR”