don’t small talk

text me
and without saying hello
tell me a story about your crazy uncle
who fought in WWII
our how your grandmother’s sun tea
was so sweet you swore you were drinking
liquid sunshine nad honey

start a conversation telling me
how you got that moon shaped scar on your knuckle
or what you though about
the first time you felt the ocean
gather around your ankles

instead of talking about the weather
write me a letter
full of run on sentences
listing all the reasons you love the smell of rain
or how clear nights
have always been your own personal time machine
transporting you to midnight road trips
with your cheek mashed against the cold glass
of the back window
just trying to catch a glimpse
of the big dipper
while your dad hummed Johnny Cash
and Elvis

call me on your lunch break
not to ask about my day
but to tell me about the latest chapter in your book
or if you believe in life
beyond the walls of our blue planet

there is no need to bother with niceties
I don’t need an obligatory “how are you?”
start in the middle of a story
piecing together the strange details
if the dream you had last night
just to ask me what I think it means

don’t you see
I would rather listen to you. talk for hours about
nothing
or everything
instead of someone
who just talks about the weather

October 6, 2020

storyteller

from the safety of a nearby hill
she watched the militia sneak
from the corners. of his mouth
dirt billowing around their worn boots
when they hit the paisley carpet
echoing the steady
bu-bum
bu-bum
bu-bum
of her heartbeat
as they headed into battle

she say
unmoving
inevitably captivated
watching the whites of his eyes
the sound of scrawling pens
may as well have been fingers
fumbling to load bullets
into granddaddy shotguns
while he built her worlds
out of his words
and panoramas
out of his paragraphs

September 27, 2020
[for the best storyteller I know]