“Aida drank her father’s unsugared coffee” by Julia laying

Sunday August 4, 2019
5 minutes
A Dull Yellow Presence
Mona’a Malik

Aida lays with her left eye in her palm, pulsing, pushing. Her father is across from her in his easy chair, perusing the daily flyers. That’s the only thing he enjoys reading. The last book he finished was in 2000. He doesn’t remember the title, but the year is easy to recall.

Aida doesn’t like to be gaurded, watched. She feels like her parents keep taking turns on “Aida Duty” and neither of them really want to do it. Aida clears her throat, a bit strained.

Her father leans over and passes her his cup. She takes a sip and shudders.

“For real people” by Julia on the 9

Wednesday November 22, 2017
5 minutes
from a storefront

They can come to your window and watch you live if you leave the light on. They can smell the cookies you’re baking for “Fair-Bear”. They know where you got the nickname for her in the first place.

They can learn the family recipe for your mother’s famous onion soup. They can see the receipt from Whole Foods even though you tried to hide it. They can count how many onion skins you’ve let curl to the floor.

They can steal your moments if you let them win. They can steal your kindness if you forget where you’ve tethered it. They can make you wish you bought the black-out blinds. They can watch you live if you keep living for them.

“bound in chains” by Julia on her couch

Saturday April 8, 2017
5 minutes
from Poems by Christopher Marlowe

we can’t touch pain that does not belong to us
we watch from behind our screens
and from behind our great luck
we think we know what it’s like to be broken but we don’t
not when the chains we use to bind ourselves are made out of paper
macaroni necklace nooses
tie dyed t-shirts dressed up as bullet holes
we have no idea about loss
when we’ve never lost anything

“Speeding through space…” by Julia at her kitchen table

Wednesday October 29, 2014
5 minutes
Leaves of Grass
Walt Whitman

Like a rocket on fire and a mission to complete
You go straight for the chest
Exploding it open
Right through to the heart
Pumping life blood
Pumping patience
You stare at it with the first quietness you’ve ever had
You watch it thud
You watch it pulse
You fall in love with it
All its depth
And all its power
Your burning mission now over
Your new mission
To hold it
To help it
To protect it
To fix it
You put aside your invasive tools
You throw away your distraction manual
And you wait until it’s ready for you

“I can’t wait to meet you” by Sasha at R Squared

Tuesday June 4, 2013 at R Squared
5 minutes
From a Target billboard on College

I can’t wait to meet you, on Mars, with a good watch on my wrist and a tummy full of honey roasted cashews.
I can’t wait to meet you, at the dock, by the pier where we jumped, with a heart full of Dolly Parton and my veins pulsing youth.
I can’t wait to meet you, with a picnic, with a basket, and a bottle of red wine, with a wedge of brie and a jar of lactose pills.
I can’t wait to meet you, to trace your eyebrows, to kiss your eyelids, to stand on my tip-toes, and press my tongue to your third-eye, like you enjoyed once, like I’ve wanted to do ever since.
I can’t wait to meet you, the photo that I know so well, you won’t be wearing track pants, you won’t smell of cigarettes, you will have well-kept fingernails.
I can’t wait to meet you, at the busstop, turning down my iPod so that I can listen to you talking on your phone – “I’m running late,” you say, “I’m sorry,” you say, “I’ll be there by ten to eleven.”
I can’t wait to meet you because I’ve been waiting for this moment since I doodled the name I thought you might have on the leg of my jeans, since I a picture of what I thought you might look like in a Rolling Stone Magazine at the lake.

“The scent of perfume” by Julia at R Squared

Monday, December 3, 2012 at R Squared Espresso Bar
5 minutes
The contained scent of perfume

Hillie and I are going to the opera tonight. She’s bringing me there as a birthday present. Hillie loves the opera. I, on the other hand, do not. Hillie bakes me zucchini bread every year because she’s convinced it’s my favourite. I try to tell her gently that I’m off sweets but Hillie is stubborn and crass at times. She tends to make spectacles and I’m not really interested in that kind of thing. I was told earlier to wear my best suit and I told her I only had one anyway. She laughed the way a muffin would laugh if it could. She said I was silly. It’s 6:06pm and Hillie is never late. She made sure I was ready by 5:59 just in case. I think about calling her to make sure she’s okay. I don’t. I enjoy the silence of the cool knowing that I’m ready before Hillie and that maybe the opera will be an afterthought instead of the only thought.
I look down at the silver watch Hillie bought me for Christmas last year and I look again to make sure. The opera begins at 7:00. It is now 6:48. How did the time pass: me in my silence?