I play with different ways to tell your story,
but this isn’t a Choose Your Own Adventure,
all of your superficial lines led to a dead end.
I try my luck with sympathy, shock, scorn,
but even heroes need glossy decorations and
my denials of “I didn’t know” sound as if I did.
You could have left me better material to work with.
It’s too hard to create anything original out of this,
I’m not clever enough to rewrite your mistakes.
Spring Cleaning Espionage
I will have to move the bed
now that you’re gone.
Instead of sleep, I fall to the floor,
staring up through the eyes
of the dust bunnies who used to
watch you watch me try to find
the right clothes to wear.
I never noticed there were
so many of them in here,
sneaking about the wooden floors,
hiding in the corners, pretending
not to hear us debate what day to drive
up North, how long I would have
to work that night, who won at darts,
whether or not I cheat at air hockey.
After I move the bed, my dresser
too will have to thrust through
the spies of dust
who know too much.
From there, my vanity will follow.
They’re hard to control,
these calculating dust bunnies.
I catch them into little piles,
but they always escape
to drift back across the floor.
The Siren’s Fading Cry
I storm a path through the sharp sun
on my patio, only pausing
when the seven-twilled song
of an unseen cardinal lulls me to listen.
I rest until he stops short of another refrain,
silenced by dark echoes of a girl
who waits in the parking lot below.
She punches numbers into a cell
blasted on speaker that head straight
to the voicemail of an unavailable man.
We hear her swear, hang up, try again.
His voicemail, curse, click, repeat.
His voice, repeat. His voice, again.
His voice. His voice. His voice.
I want to scream my own metallic warning,
let the wind strengthen my words
before they drop down on her head:
Hush. Quit. Enough. Stop already.
You are trespassing on protected territory.
The results always remain the same.
You will never hear him answer again.
The End of Westland
Flying through stations I hear the chorus wobbling over and over. You taught me and Rachel
that trick one night, how to rap our fingers, fast like the Indian call you did as a kid, against our
open mouths to make the words vibrate. I try it in the car now, wondering if that’s really how
they made that sound for the song like you told us they did.
I had a flight booked early the next morning, what am I going to do for a week without you here, but couldn’t leave until you dragged us out for Sam’s Bananas and karaoke. You dedicated come tomorrow, tomorrow I’ll be gone to me and at the time I rolled my eyes, but now I turn up the car’s heat because those words pop little bumps down my arms.
I almost missed my flight that morning, these Sam’s Bananas really mess you up, but Rachel
shook me awake and I raced to the airport, leaving you to snore from your corner of her
apartment floor. You left a message on my cell for every day I was gone, come back I’m bored,
but that town has terrible reception so I didn’t hear them until I was already home.
Natasha Ganes is a writer, editor, and a co-founder of TreeHouse. She is a graduate of Chapman University in Southern California, where she received her MFA in Creative Writing and MA in English Literature. She received her BA in English/Journalism from Madonna University in Michigan. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in Muddy River Poetry Review, quarter after, Elephant Tree, Amazon, and Every Writer’s Resource. Her nonfiction has appeared all over the place. Visit her Amazon Author Page at:www.amazon.com/author/natashaganes. <firstname.lastname@example.org>