Cappuccino fights for us. Not acrid drip coffee, like the crow-black sludge manufactured in all-night truck stops. That muck flays your throat with writhing fingernails of hate. *Plop* *splash* *plop* it knells, as gummy chunks hit the porous floor of a Styrofoam cup, like sounds best left in the bathroom. Like an invading tyrant, it marches upon you, subduing you behind dark, dripping bars of endless night. But the king fits his guests in fuzzy robes, silken sheets, and popping fires. He speaks, his voice a shining note, as he glides from his steaming nest to rest in a porcelain carriage. He arrays himself in infinite sheets of deep browns and tans, like soft, supple leather. And tipped from his bed, he releases a thousand dancing warriors, adorned with silver swords and helms and shields, to piroutte across the stage of your mouth, fighting back knived goblins and the bloody fangs of wolves, singing all the while, before diving head first into the cave below to do battle against the coldness of wakeful nights. Only a king, not a bully, can keep those nights at bay.
I posted this vignette previously, but after receiving some critiques, I reworked it. Let me know what you think.
“You scare me,” a previous draft began. But the ghoul of perfection cornered me, and in desperation my task took way too long, with way too much censure. Revealing my unedited self, as opposed to the comfort of studied abstraction, makes my face warm and my hands shake. So the deceitful strength of rotting fingers keeps you and me apart. But like the steps of my pursuer’s persistence, only by means of repeated encounters can our romance succeed.
A certain three year old princess has more power over me than a professional boxer. No uppercuts, but she can keep me on the ropes, punch drunk and ready to fall. Thankfully, she does not realize this yet—at least not to the degree that she could. No doubt she could even make me play dress up. More, anyways.
Remove the wide “w,” and you have either “rite,” like a fraternity’s yearly hazing, or “rote,” as in high school homework. Indeed, we have witnessed a coup d’état. Western schools have usurped Frost and Crane, profiting from their imprisonment and flogging their children into submission. They give us pickaxes instead of pens and imprison us in a mine of expedience and efficiency. We need a headlamp to lead us in sojourn, so that upon surfacing we might inhale crisp air. Perhaps then we can widen ourselves and even the world, itself.
“You scare me.” I began this way in a previous draft, but my need for perfection compelled me to take way too long and to have way too much censure. Candidly revealing my unedited self and even emotion, as opposed to concealing me with studied abstraction, scares me. A lot. But only by means of numerous dates can this romance succeed.