Sheep and berries

After a scrumptious breakfast of waffles, home-made syrup, and melted berries picked and prepared by his beautiful wife, a hunter hungers for a prey. He leaves his cabin in a rush and tracks a creature's footsteps through the forest. To his own wonder, he finds a sheep, and when the right moment comes, his breath having found a balance with its environment, he shoots a bullet through the creature's heart. The sheep, having followed the sweet smell of berries the hunter had left behind from the fields and into the forest, found itself harmed by its own craving, tempted to want as if berries offered to light his universe. Melted berries smell so sweet, but even a hunter can leave that tasty scent behind.

The Great Gatsby

"[Gatsby] shivered as he found out what a grotesque thing a rose is and how raw the sunlight was upon the scarcely created grass. A new world,  material without being real, where poor ghosts, breathing dreams like air, drifted fortuitously about..."

Maybe we're all dreamers until we become victims of our dreams,
all victims until we take our dreams like drugs- a necessity that might
 result in our own destruction, but surely worth the tragic joy ride.
Life is a thrill. Death is an idle brute.

two red travelers

Two travelers in red converge among a room in black and white. After the usual eyes interlocking, hands accidentally brushing, and awkward giggles reaching in for something more, the music sways them into a dusty room (think Gatsby's study) where the encounter turns into an interplay between desire and sacrifice. Waterfalls crash within their ribs. Two red travelers exchange their hearts. Had it always been so easy to give a heart? While most fusions result in polychromatic explosions, the shared redness blends their motions into one slightly lighter red (cooled down by the breeze and moonlight brought in by the aperture of the window) scribble among the shelves of books and well-kept secrets. Two lips lock so perfectly, paddle in each other's warmth. Months later, they decide to travel the world, sleeping under a restless sky in Arabian deserts and feasting under the Maharaja's lavish eye. They cross the Atlas mountains on horses,  dance to "kpanlogo" in Ghana's streets,  and feast on crepes while watching a sunrise from the tip of the Eiffel Tower (security is easy to outdo when you are related to Obama). But of all the wonders they explore, they are most amazed by the one they find within each other, and as gravity sucks them through the New Zealand sky, they decide to take that red fusion beyond the crossing of space and into a crossing of time. But forever is a long time...

the sun's effect on caged birds

 She looks at the sun till her eyes are exhausted and clouds begin to dance like drunken trees. Senses protest a bird caged in sight, a glimpse of absent wrinkles in space- a rebellion handled by the appetite of a crocodile's spine, tranced by the waters of its own lagoon. Toes weigh prints on grass. A bird's wandering for worms is no different from a lion's hunt, but who's to say her gown was white? Maybe they're just colorblind. Tell me something I don't know. 

right way

They told me to run towards the finish line and forget the race, so I'm waiting by the sidewalk,  lipstick in my pocket and heart in my palms,chocker tied so tightly around my neck,
waiting to breathe in the right way.

Excerpt from "Blue wind"

This is an excerpt from a memoir I wrote about childhood shenanigans. Although some elements are fictionalized, and timeframes might be warped, welcome to my childhood in Rome with my best childhood friends Maddison and Cooper:

When Spring showed up, we realized we needed money to begin building our clubhouse. We made fliers and sent them out around the neighborhood offering to wash cars, clean houses, or do any other “service” needed in exchange for money or means for us to build the clubhouse (wood, nails, carton). Unfortunately, we didn’t receive any phone calls and resolved to wiping the windshields of passing cars. Our arms didn’t reach all the way across the windshields, leaving every car looking worse than it did before we touched it, but we were paid anyway. “For the effort,” they would say.
Filomena, our neighbor, who sometimes offered to give us cigarettes by the pool if our parents were not around, had consented for us to wash her car. The result was calamity. We found some sponges and buckets in the kitchen, filled them with water, and headed towards the Filomena's little blue car, which was waiting for us in the garden. We scrubbed, and scrubbed, and scrubbed some more, scouring every inch of the car until we had no scouring left inside of us, the bubbly soap completely covering the surface of the car like a fuzzy carpet. We had no idea what was going on underneath the white fizzes. “One job well done is better than nothing,” Cooper said right before we launched the buckets of water to get the soap off, and saw, jaws wide open, the unfortunate surprise that was in store for us. 
Every inch of the surface of the little blue car was scratched, grazed, and skinned to the point where we could see the grey frame of the car. We looked at the sponges in our hands and realized that we had mistakenly used the coarse pan-scrubbing sides. Filomena had to repaint her car, but didn’t make us pay a dime. A couple of weeks later we smoked our first cigarettes with her (and decided we didn’t like the taste it left in our mouths) while her two-year old son, Simone, swam in the pool with his arm-bands on, flapping his hands like a duck in the water. We could almost hear the quacks.
With not even a tenth of the money needed for us to build our clubhouse, we used the fifty Euros we had raised to buy walkie-talkies. Each one of us got one, and we took them everywhere. We could talk to each at night from our bedrooms, from one end of a field to the other. And we did eventually build our clubhouse out of bits and scraps that we found laying around.


On my Island there are no names, 
no bodies, not even brains. 
The air is cool, 
sunsets are long,
and the sky is smooth like velvet skin. 
Remember the time we drowned in the ocean?
We were so close, we almost reached its shore.

Lilly, a short story

They called me Lilly when I was born, although I’m not sure that it was the right name for me. The name ought to belong to someone who can identify with it, or who can at least see it. When I look into a mirror, one eye green as fungus, the other red like blood, I see a Gertrude, a Frambruka, a Brumhilda.
My dad worked the local airport grounds handling the arrival and departure of little jet planes. One day, he left a note at home saying “I am chocking,” and never came back. I heard my mom say that he was sucked in by the vacuum of an engine. I knew he didn’t want to be around anyway, so I was glad he was gone. But sometimes, I wished he had taken me with him so we could solve one-thousand-piece puzzles together like we used to, but I never said a word about that because I didn’t want anybody to worry. I knew death was not something to wish for if you wanted everybody to think you were fine.

When I was fourteen, I used to have this strange dream night after night. I was in a black room, watching a pair of pale hands strapped around a child’s neck, choking the life out of his eyes. Emptied lungs and cries sounded like nails scratching on cobbled floors, then a silence, and I woke up.
This morning, like the past four hundred and seventy mornings, I woke up to the white cat mewling by my leg. It’s been my wake up call ever since my brother George drowned in the public pool and my mother decided to kill herself. These two deaths happened a little after the dreams began, but I know for sure that the dreams are not to blame. Three days after I found mama dead, nose plugged with a cork and hair-balls stuck down her throat, the white cat started following me.
Aunt Jenny, who had taken me in (“poor orphan,” she sobbed), was too much to handle and I knew she was lying when she said that reciting a bunch of Hail Marys would make sure I’d go to heaven when I died. “That’s where your mommy and brother will be waiting,” she said, voice tuned in “baby mode” and lipstick smirked from one ear to the other. I told her that as long as she wasn’t in hell, I’d be just fine there. Aunt Jenny was a bitch, and I never looked back after walking out the front door.
I was a call girl for the colder part of the year, when raw body warmth was necessary to stay alive. Men in suits, nuns in gowns, weightlifters, and old ladies with peculiar carnal wants were among passing customers, and I did all that they asked for. A scrawny man who was on a lunch break from his Santa Clause job came to me one day telling me he had a retrograde ejaculation disorder, and I healed him. He said I was a miracle worker and that he’d make sure I’d get what I wanted for christmas. I satisfied these strangers and their urges, and they kept me warm when the icy air outside stung like needles. They would call me sometimes, after we were done. They would say “Lilly, Lilly, I need you tonight,” but I never answered because it was a one time thing, and who was Lilly? In the winter, I spent most of my time at Mrs. Flench’s humid apartment, sorting the spiders she’d caught by the size of their eyes, and sometimes their eye color too. Some had purple eyes, others blue.
Mrs. Flench, an old glove seamstress, did not approve of any cats lingering around. Her mouth, containing a machine within that continuously wrestled with tobacco, was always dry. It shed skin like the shell of a coconut, and on Sundays I was told to collect the mouth debris. “Feed it to the white cat outside,” she snickered, “that oughta kill’it!” Her fingers, impaled by the needlework, were always moving, as if each finger had a heartbeat of its own. A carpet that felt like lizard skin crawled under our feet in her living room. It gathered dust, and gargled on our words.
I’m in a town square, watching the wind caress the curves on the buildings and faces. A plastic bag floats adrift from one person’s head to the other. I feel like I’ve been infused into that scene in American Beauty, except I am that bag, elastic, in constant metamorphosis, swimming from one head to another, a mask. An aging man sings along to some seventies music on his way back home from work. I am not Lilly. I am not Lilly. They say my name as if it were a carrier of some sort of truth. If there was any truth in my name, I’d be a peaceful flower in a pond. My case is static. My case is branded in iron and gold, woven into my pores, tattooed into the way I breathe, the way I eat, the way my heart beats. It is a running film in my head, constantly rewinding, and constantly reminding me, I do not exist. Because if I did, I’d be long gone by now.