Tag Archives: creative writing


Today the rose broke from its slumber

It didn’t talk…except when I talked

It didn’t grow…except when I grew.

It’s still there

Waiting for something,


Thirsting, but failing to wilt

Starving, yet unable to fall.

It exists, but will not be,

not yet at least.

It believes in potential, rather than the present

Seeing “what could be” versus “what is”

The leaves may grow…one day

Or petals may fall

Either way,

Spring has come, and the rose has finally awakened.

Come Sit

Her serene voice invited him before he could comprehend what she had just said. In the corner, he stood, leaving ample space between him and his greatest fear, until she beckoned him to face it. She patted the soft cushion next to her exposed leg, the same way a wife would tap her husband’s shoulder. In a dull moment, the cramped bedroom became a spacious prison; he searched everywhere for an escape, even though the door was right behind him. Moments before, it had been quickly shut, by her, as she trailed him into the room. Her movements were surprisingly agile, slinking into his presence without any recognition; until she wanted him to see her. And now, she resting on the edge, lips full of the finest wine; the smell trailed into his nostrils without warning, prompting him to become slightly intoxicated.

Thick with hesitation, the next moment arrived as he contemplated all the reasons why fulfilling her simple request was dangerous, yet today was a day that her language ruled over all. Upon this realization, he decided to throw away all rationality, and accept her invitation. The distance between them was only a few short steps, but it took him an eternity to reach her side; and she immediately rested her softened cheek upon his shoulder. Midnight hair flowed down into his hand as her lunar smile illuminated the darkened room. Making herself comfortable by his side, he challenged the very thing he sought…connection.

It was here, breathing down his trembling arm, testing to see how long it could stay before infecting his heart. A feeling wrapped in four-AM conversations, cold french fries, and rhythmic confessions. It was finding a piece of yourself in an other person, and politely asking them to share it with you.  Alone, it’s power can make the doubter believe, if given enough effort. What was it doing here, in front of him? Attempting to rebuild a once beating heart, currently in jagged fragments across a salmon-tiled floor. It yearned for unity once more, to be tied together by the threads of fate that were attached to her. Why then did this feel so tragic?

Pressing his body into her arm, he answered, utilizing his frame to finish his sentences. Words were no longer necessary, for the two uttered from her mouth were enough to both entice and quell the hurricane brewing in his gut. Again, without his knowledge, the tools of their trades came together, this time allowing finger and palm to serve as brush and canvas. It was a warmth, that only should’ve lasted a darting second, embedded in the memories of yesterday; but yet here it was, within his grasp once more.

Who was he to say no to the thing he missed the most? Together, they unshielded themselves in each other’s presence, bearing the markings of years of insecurities. Alone in this room, on the corner of a half-constructed couch, the two traveled to their own world; choosing to live in their creation, rather than conforming to the illusion. Although brief, their realm became real from two simple words.

“Come sit.”



The harsh wind licked the dusted snow off of the poorly constructed cabin. Positioned a few meters away from the edge of the cliff was the construct rocking along with the blizzard. Ice crept in through the gaps in the roof. A young man with an overgrown beard threw open the door and hurried inside. He wore a leather jacket with fur around the shoulders, a wooly hat, and had a pair of rugged binoculars wrapped around his thick neck. Using the lens, he peered out over the other side of the mountain. “We’re safe,” he frantically said to his younger brother, cautiously positioned against the wood. The eldest pedaled back from the frosted window, and slowly doused the oil lantern sitting on the floor.
“You got it, right? I saw you attack it with your knife, right?”
“I think, it was moving so fast I couldn’t even tell.”
“What’s that on your back?” the younger brother weakly whispered. The eldest quickly reached for the fire prod before removing his coat and bringing it to his nose.
“It smells like…sulfur,” he said.
“Was that some bear?”
“I…I don’t know. I can’t even describe it .”
The wind’s speed started to diminish as the indigo moon crept behind the peak of the mountain. “I shouldn’t have brought you up here, this is all my fault,” the eldest said.
“Don’t think like that,” the younger exhaled.
“No, it is, I should have waited until you were healthier before we did this.”
“If we would’ve waited, I may never have done this climb,” he passively smiled. “You know I wanted us to go on this trip, we’ve talked about it for too long.”
“Always the optimist, even in the face of danger,”
“Right…” the younger replied. “What do you think we should do? Bar the doors?”
“Smart idea. Whatever is out there, it’ll have a harder time getting through the door if we block it.”
“Did you get a good look at it? the younger curiously asked while gasping for air.
He shook his head, and specks of crystallized sweat bounced onto the frigid boards.

The eldest rose to his feet and began rearranging the furniture to barricade the entrance. He angled the massive dresser towards the door, tilted the circular table to block the exposed window, and broke the lantern to scatters shards of glass in front of each possible entrance. Sitting in the corner, the younger brother watched in awe at his resourcefulness.
“This reminds me of old times?” the eldest said while wiping his hands.
“Oh…does it? How?”
“Remember how we used to play in the woods. I’d build a fort, and you’d sit around waiting for it to be complete. We’d stay out till the sun went down, and we’d play that one game. I forgot what it was called,” the eldest said.
“Ah, that’s it. You always wanted to be it too,” he chuckled.
“Those were the days…everything was so simple back then.”
“And then I got sick…” he confessed.
“And then you got sick.”
“Who would’ve thought,” he coughed, “that ma and pa gave me the bad genes?”
“Don’t blame them,” he stated.
“I’m not. Nobody is to blame but myself, for being so weak,” the younger paused. A gale cut through the logs and stung their sullen eyes. “That’s why you wanted to bring me up here, right? To show me I wasn’t weak.”
“Guess you figured out my motive, huh?”
“I am the smarter one, remember?”
“Is that so,” the eldest laughed.
The repositioned furniture slightly creaked as the night progressed.
“Do you even want to take a guess at what that was?”
“It had two legs, and it stood upright.”
“I thought I saw a tail or something attached to it. But I don’t know any animals that stand on two legs and have a tail.”
“Ever heard of a kangaroo?”
The younger leered at his brother, “you think a rabid kangaroo is chasing us across the Appalachian trail?”
“No, but it is an animal with two legs and a tail.”
“Yeah yeah, so we have no clue then,”
“Do we need one?”
“Not really, so long as we survive,” the younger confessed.
“We should escape, first thing in the morning.”
The younger nodded before dropping his head back onto the wood. “I’ll take first watch so you can regain your strength. You’ll need as much of it as you can if we have to make a quick escape.”
“Wake me up when it’s time to switch shifts, or if you hear anything. I don’t care if it’s just an icicle falling off of the roof, wake me up.”
The eldest snapped his fingers, before reaching for the cast iron prod in front of the fireplace.
In the stillness of the moonlight, a slight echo rang from outside of the cabin. The youngest just managed to drift off to sleep, before the echo resounded. He frantically jumped out of his nap, but reached for his side immediately afterward; his muscles were spazzing once again. “Did you hear that?”
“No, what was it?”
“Sounded like a shout. Shit, do you think it found us?”
“Doubtful,” the eldest said.
“What about our tracks?”
“The blizzard probably covered them by now, even ol Ham-bone and his bloodhound nose couldn’t find us. And we put them lights out as soon as we came in.”
“Right, I forgot about that,” he exhaled. The silver moon shone its light through the window, flooding the cabin with ivory. As the beam crawled from one wall to the next, the younger brother picked his head up for just a moment to notice his shadow across the floor. His sickly frame was barely visible; the radiation had eaten away at much of his muscles, leaving a crackling skeleton in its wake. The youngest twirled his wrists, watching the darkness give form to his figure once more before glancing at his brother; his eyes trailed the floor until they reached his sturdy boots. The eldest peered through the sliver of the window that was available, gripping the metal prod. The moon retracted behind a slight wave of snowy clouds, but for a short second, the younger brother failed to recognize his brother’s shadow. Along the floor were the shades of his boots, the iron in his hand, and even his hat; but in the areas where his body was visible were absent.
“Hey, bro-“
“Shhh,” he interrupted before placing his bony index finger over his lips.

The youngest remained quiet as he watched his brother from his corner of the bleak cabin. The remaining light from the moon dissipated, leaving them in complete darkness.
Huff. Huff. Huff.
Trying to control his breathing, the youngest clasped his shaking hands together and tightened his fingers around each other.
Huff. Huff. Huff.
A low growl came from outside the cabin that caused the younger brother to lose his rhythm. Unable to see his brother, he forced his buckled knees to curl, giving him enough momentum to rise. Using the wall as support, he nudged himself closer to the entrance, hoping to catch his brother. As he leaned against the sturdy board, the growl increased in volume, whatever was outside, it was coming their way.
“Brother, brother, where are you?” the youngest whispered. When he experienced the gnawing silence, he assumed that his whisper wasn’t loud enough, but he couldn’t even hear his brother breathing. The growl suddenly changed into something more of a shout, a primal cry. “Brother, please help,” the youngest whispered once more. Footsteps shuffled along the boards, and suddenly, he felt a frigid hand against his shivering arm. He had recognized the grooves of his brother’s hand before he pulled him down.
“It’s outside,” the younger stated.
“Yeah, I heard.”
“What should we do?”
“Maybe wait?”
“Right, the entrances are blocked. There’s no way it can come in.”
“Exactly…” the eldest voice had a sinister tone in it.

Continue reading Shapeshifter.

Seven Stools.

The sting of aged whiskey brought raging fire to his hairless cheeks, an empty glass now resting on the edge of the counter. Above the seating section was a row of televisions, all playing the same weather programming save for the one in the far left corner, underneath the neon sign. The restaurant was dimly lit and nearly all of the chairs had been positioned on top of the stable chairs, dusty pads remained in the air as the floor below had been swept twice. Only seven stools remained vacant at the bar counter, and he was occupying one of them. With enough gel in his hair to sculpt a statue, he placed his plastic card in the hand of the bartender and ordered a pint of the draft. What was he doing here exactly? He thought to himself as the chilled liquid coated his nicotine stained tonsils. As he placed the cup down, the bell above the door chimed and a young fellow, with smoky red eyes, approached the bar. Before the boy, who smelled of ash and cinnamon, readjusted his seat, the gentleman greeted him with an overly gleeful smile. “What brings you to a bar tonight? Don’t have anybody to spend it with?” he comically asked.

“The same thing that brings me to a bar each time, to drink,” the boy sarcastically responded. It was clear that he was in no position to talk, but the man believed otherwise. He twisted the band upon his finger, a large silver nugget, embedded with red gems, a class ring given to him upon graduation.

Continue reading Seven Stools.

Sal y Viento

Despierta mi corazon en la arena

En el mismo lugar que te conoci

Por debajo de las palmas borrachas

Hojas bailando como nuestras almas se tocan

Por primera vez

Te siento en el viento

Tu pelo

Suave como las primeras gotas de lluvia

Que caen durante la puesta de sol

Echo de menos las olas

Porque ahi es el lugar donde te ame

Contando las estrellas en nuestra idioma materna

Mientras que nuestros cuerpos prueban libertad

Estaba desnudo y expuesto

Con la esperanza de que tu verias

Como una parte

De mi,

Para siempre.

“Warning Sign” – Kristen J.

The Leeches Sucked Me Dry.

Peeling their teeth from my skin took every bit of fight I had left.
I am just re-learning how to survive
Though bloodless, and worn
Snatched of energy,
Robbed of love, baby,
I am tired
and I have nothing left to give.

If you were expecting me to dance
And lick your ego; keep you warm on the cold days
Or celebrate your wins,
You came too late.
I am barren waste land
My trinkets, though visible, are all tarnished
There is no part of me that hasn’t been through a war.
Instead of helping me rebuild
They etched their name in the sand, as to claim me conquered
You can see their footprints in my pupils, if you look close enough.
I don’t mean for coldness to greet you at hello
But it is the only defense I have left since they tore down my fortress.

I want to let you know that
I am saving all the good parts for myself,
Once I reclaim them again.
So don’t stop, don’t unpack your bags;
Don’t look for a home here.

Black republican – Anonymous

Woke up this morning
Steady yawning
Black republican
Horribly ignorant
Tuned into some Facebook rants
And I laughed at my tight fitting pants

Seems I’m getting bigger
Cats in a world we still tryna figure
With these 9 lives
I figure that 8 years for blacks to hide
For it should come as no surprise
The media reports we are in for demise

My pops favorite channel CNN
keeps my dad from forgiving his own skin
A man who shares the color of skin
A god forsaken
Black Republican
Some how
I hope we can be
Better at being bi-partisan
Then listing off my cardinal sins
The first being
A Black republican
Just sayin…..
peace ✌️

“I am” by Cortland Gilliam

I am

equal parts faith and fear,

Insecurity erected by skeleton,

Made mortal by flesh

immortalized in melanin.

I am

The quiet kid of open mind and ear,

Eager to hear,

Yet deaf to the volume of his own voice.

I am

The dreamer who reaches for stars but

can only seem to cling to regret

–The one with the throat swollen from truths unshared.

I am

The willfully ignorant one

blinded in the light of his own sun;

The impatient, wandering wonderer.

Worthy, yet waiting for his someday to begin.


“Reverse System of Care” Written by Crystal Cruz

Interlude: I wish I knew how to love like we breathe.

Naturally inhaling for ourselves first.
Taking a breath to ready our bodies for the flight ahead, before spending energy on what or who lies ahead.
I seem to be doing this backwards.
Barely breathing before using all I have for loving what’s in front of me.
Releasing love, and readying myself with nothing to replenish what I’ve lost.
That’s okay, as long as you have someone breathing into you. As you are for them. But in the hollow, I must inhale on my own.  

I wish I could inhale..
Inhale the serenity of a fresh start when I open my eyes.
Breathe in the untouched version of today, untainted by any demise from yesterday.
Inhale the nutrients of my own entity,
Energizing myself with the codes of my own complexity
Inhale the resilience that comes with being pushed by the wind,
Synthesizing and feeding off of love that only comes from within.

But instead I only inhale..
Inhale to transform the toxins of pain into a purity of love no malice could contain
So I may, fill my lungs, with the endurance to speak a thousand lovely words for someone else’s strength to regain.
Exhale?..No I won’t complain..
About how tired I feel from spending so much energy
breathing out this love that’s not pouring back into me.
I didn’t notice how I wasn’t breathing on my own
until I look around and no one’s giving me the love I once known
And yet I still give, no hesitation – undoubtedly
Expecting nothing in return so I’m consumed with anything but me.
Releasing this gas, this fire..igniting, sparks…they’re flying
and me?
Out of breathe. Depleted. Nothing left.

When did I ever inhale to exhale?
Exhale..When do I get rid of what’s not good for me?
When do I know when to stop giving?
To decide that I need to love myself a little more to start living
Maybe not a little more, but more so what come first.
Default set to exhale love but that’s a little reversed.
Synthesizing from within to selflessly expend it forward, a skill not many can do.
Take my own advice: you gotta do this for you.
Cause at the end of day I can’t feed others with no food to make the soup with,
I could just,
take a little time to breathe and restock,
Shelves full of love made from yours truly don’t need to watch the clock.

So I will Inhale…
All my wants all my dreams.
I am my own sunshine and I’m bursting at the seams.
Breath in my own rays, let it prepel me
Tribulations may come but I am all I can be

The unknowns of how the other feels
About what’s fabricated or what’s real
The questioned motivates or the genuine care
About why the world feels like it’s ending and is any of it fair?

A new beginning each day to set me free
Only then can anyone have all of what is left of me.

Written by: Crystal Cruz

basically, I’m the shit. and more – By: Kristen Johnson

[ode to Nikki Giovanni’s “Ego Trippin”]

I am the beginning of a sentence 
and the period that ends it.

I am the love, you yearn for,

the comfort you seek. 

I am the jolt in your cup of caffeine

the quench to your thirst.

I am your gift,

and I am your curse

I am the rhythm laced in this single verse.

I am the subject and the verb

I am the herb that heals you

I am the flame at the top of the candle mourners kneel to.
I am the sunshine and the rain.

A cloud of promise or pain,

depending on how you move me.

I am half woman, half amazing,

I am one of the stars you see when gazing and I am 

blazing like the sahara, 

    I am the equator’s heat.
I am made of magic and fairy dust, 

and a little sugar for taste.

I’m the song and the ballot, the poem and the prose,

the thorny stem of a rose,

    don’t fuck with me.

I am the one brings men to their knees. 
You still don’t see? 

Baby, I am the warmth in the breeze

I am the honey carried by busy bumble bees,

I nourish the earth. 

I am survival.

My smile is staining 

like the ink on this scrap of paper,

Making my mark, my voice lingering in the air like vapor,

long after I am gone.
I am gone, 
Past the days of uncertainty, and questioning my existence

Past the moments spent watering down my name,

my sunbaked skin,

my fire burning within. 

here is my disclaimer,

here is my resume.

I am giving you a glimpse 

of what it might be like 

to walk beside me,

or hold me in your arms.
I am letting you know 

there is no speculation in my love,

no assumption. 

there is only certainty, only this

only yes, only free.

and I can guarantee, 
I am the one that you’ll miss.