“Why not?”

I can’t believe you’ve asked me to do this.

“Are you scared? Are you afraid of me?”

…I can.

“It’s not that I’m afraid of you,” I say. “It’s that I’m afraid of where you’re going. I see the path you’re headed down and I see that it’s in the exact opposite direction as mine. That’s what terrifies me.”

“How do you know which way I’m headed, let alone yourself?” Your voice is like velvet even when you’re angry. Smooth and just slightly condescending. It’s too rich for me. “You say yourself that you have no idea what you’re doing with your life most days.”

You smile, all white teeth and full lips, but it fails to sway me. Not this time. “I don’t. Not really. But I know what I’m not doing, and I can’t do that. I can’t follow you.” I shake my head and for the first time I turn away from you. A different path, the opposite direction.

“…I guess I was wrong about you. You’re nothing but a coward.” Your voice has become sharper at my rejection, losing its saccharine smoothness. Your words cut into my back as I walk away. “You’re just afraid!”

And you’re right. I am afraid, but not of you.

I’m afraid of what you’re becoming.


Holy Mornings

You deserve the dew, the breeze, the morning sun.

Those holy mornings where we would walk barefoot on the damp grass are my most cherished memories. Cool skin and cooler air, the dawn light reflecting off the droplets and making the water look like gemstones. They would cling to each blade of grass before falling like tears, evaporating into the air, or being squished beneath our toes. You would smile beneath a rose-gold sky and your eyes would glow so warmly.

You deserve countless sunrises like that. I wish I could them to you.

If I could pluck the mornings from others and bring them home to you, I would. Not all of them, of course; I would never steal all the daybreaks from one unfortunate person. I know you would never want me to be so cruel.

No, I would just take one – a single morning from everyone in the world (they wouldn’t miss just one, surely?). I would take them as gently as I could, swath their sunrise thoughts in my arms and carry them to you so tenderly. Then you would have a morning from everywhere, from north to south, from east to west.

You deserve them all.

I wish I could give them to you.

Starlight Satiation

You satiate me.

You are the heavens in these skeletal arms, you are the cosmos in these shaking hands. You are saccharine starlight, so sweet, so divine, so good. I could pull the true skies apart – leave you unscathed and instead reach my talons upwards, tear open those celestial bodies and make the heavens themselves weep… but those crystalline tears would be flavorless compared to you: mere water to your liquid gold.

Everything you are consumes me… and it seems only fitting as I consume you, too.

When you’re here.

When you’re not.

Your radiant luster clings to my palms long after you’ve gone, your seductive sheen gets stuck under my nails – evidence that I’ve clawed just a bit too deeply, that I’ve taken just a bit too much.

It’s never too much.

I dip my own fingers in my mouth and taste the lingering notes of rapture.

I lick my palms clean and drink every remaining morsel of paradise.

Soon, too soon, achingly soon… my palette is cleansed, my tongue, dry.

I’m left thirsty again.

Only Power, Chapter 7: The Games

The games were sure to be extraordinary.

Even Hadrian could attest to this—determined as he was to think otherwise. He had never attended the games and had never wanted to, but now that he had arrived in the arena, making his way to the Emperor’s box with a guard at his side, he quickly found himself getting caught up in the drama of it all. The tangible excitement, the bristling energy of the crowd, the imminent violence…

And Hadrian had a front row seat.

Full chapter here


Conversations: II

“I have a theory – ”

“Here we go.”

She smiled. He glared.

She could tell exactly what was going through his mind. An internal battle about what was more important: yelling at her, or making his point.

The latter usually won out. “I have a theory,” he went on, speaking as though he had not been so rudely interrupted, “that when we die, our… soul, for lack of a better word, disperses into an infinite number of particles. Energy that bursts apart, each tiny fragment then somehow reconnecting with something else.”

“Like reincarnation?”

“No, no, no.” He shook his head, looking exasperated already. “That would mean your soul stayed intact, and just woke up again as something else. What I think happens is that when we die, our souls essentially explode, that we are all our own ‘big bang’. That when I die, maybe some part of me will find its way into another human, but maybe some of me will end up in a cat, or a frog, or a dandelion.”

“So… do you believe that is the case now, then?” she asked. “That right now, at this very moment, we’re all just… pieces of recycled souls, basically?”

“I do.”

She hummed thoughtfully, imagining human souls as patchwork quilts.  “Maybe some part of me will end up in a spider, next time around. I’ve always thought I would make a nice spider.”

“But not all of you would,” he instantly pointed out, like his bizarre theory was already proven true. “Some of you might be an arachnid, but maybe some of you could also end up as the fly.”

“You think it possible to be the predator and the prey, you mean?”

“Yes, exactly.” He nodded fervently. He always got so excited about his abstract ideas, it was almost easy to start believing them herself. “We are all things. The beauties and the beasts, the villains and the heroes… the weavers of the webs, and the very fools who get caught in them.”

Conversations: I

“What’s worse,” he began, “to regret, or to carry on unknowingly?”

She thought about that for a time. “…Are those my only options?” she countered. “Failure or ignorance?”


A pregnant pause.

“Regret,” she eventually answered. “Regret is far worse.”

“And what makes you say that?”

His tone was light, mildly interested. She shrugged. “Well, I’ve felt regret, and it feels something terrible,” she said. “But ignorance? I’ve never felt that. Ignorance doesn’t have a feeling. And I’d rather be numb than miserable.”


Don’t lie, it’s all right

There’s no need for truth tonight

I just want to keep painting this fragile fantasy

Let me

Let me

Don’t try, it’s all right

There’s no need for us to fight

I just want to float around in this snow globe fantasy

Let me

Let me

I’d break skies for you

Grab the heavens with my fingers, rip them open, tear the clouds

Bleed sunsets into your pretty head

Make you hear navy, taste violet, know red

I understand now

I understand