I remember wanting so much more from clouds

than the droplets that take up so much space

Aimlessly and freely making way through the inexhaustible sky

I remember thinking I would one day get to the bottom of their plump dense curves

Asking others what they could be made of

A formulaic response and quick turn to reality was enough to snap me out

of my wondering

The daydreams of being submerged in all they could be composed of

Engulfed in possibly knowing the magic of what keeps them afloat

despite their ability to hold the thunder storms over the horizon

I remember being filled with hope and holding my breath as I flew towards them

getting closer and closer to my disappointment for falling for the illusion of a cloud


“The trick to everything is: acting like you belong,” he said.

Make Believe. I’m sure she had a moment where that was what she felt she had to do and maybe she reminded herself of that every day for the next twenty years. I’m sure she said it over and over again in her head with every step she took that lead her further and further from that fence. People passing by laughing and carrying on in a language that she couldn’t anchor herself in.

She’s floating.

Cars fly by so fast that her pant legs are glued to her shins and sounds are blaring from the speakers shaking the ground she’s standing on.

She’s floating.

She feels the ground again. Act like you belong. Just blend in. Lose everything about you that makes you you, that made you you. Everything before this moment - forget. Just blend in. Just blend in until you disappear. 



Make Believe.
She buys me whole, takes me home and unravels me onto the table. The front of me exposed as she lays her hands across me to flatten me out. I’m bare to the fluorescent lights in the room and the cold air blowing from the vent above me. I can see the dust of me as it falls over both of us, but she seems unbothered by my undoing. Her glasses are on and they make her eyes appear bigger. Her pupils dilated because of her focus and concentration but occasionally she takes breaks to watch something on a screen that sits on top of her plastic drawers that hold more thread and string than one could ever imagine in almost every color known to man, just a few feet from her table. She’s using her yardstick to ensure I am the size that she needs and takes her cold sharp scissors that make slicing noises as they open well before she cuts anything. She knows exactly how much to take and how much to leave of me. She knows the job I need to complete because I heard her conversing with the woman who pulled me off the shelves before I made it in her bag. She mentioned then, something of what would become of me.

A dress?A cushion?

A slip?

She uses her hand again to flatten my corners and pushes me upward to align me with the edge of the table. My whole being is dependent on how much she takes off and how much she leaves on and how she will shape and contort me into the final product. From there, I am left to make the best of whatever could be next of me. She’s made her tiny line marks along me with her white chalk stub and puts the cold blades to my edges. Slicing through me like a shark in water with nothing in her way. My edges give into the ice-cold blades and show no sign of resistance against them. The fibers of my being give way and either end up on the right or the wrong side of the blades. With her scissors still in her hand’s grip she grabs the edges that she has cut and effortlessly tosses them in the air. There they go, gracefully flying like banderas in the wind. It doesn’t seem to hurt or faze me, as I am completely open to what she could do to me. Scraps and scraps and scraps of me on the floor, making very little sound as they find their way down by her feet. They cross each other, overlap each other and clumsily drape each other, while the dogs sniff and blow air and lick their wet noses after they've stepped all over me. She seems to have taken quite a bit off. I trust she knows what to leave as valuable and what should be tossed depending of its importance to what I will become. It’s as if she is seeing with touching, feeling her way and knowing by what is in her hand how much to cut and toss. She’s done this before – in fact, for many many years.

She cuts me into a shape and more scraps of me end up beneath her. These I’m sure could be of use, I think. There’s far too much on the floor that is being deemed unnecessary. How could she possibly throw so much of me away? These pieces still matter - you paid for these pieces. Surely you could keep these in a bag somewhere. Sweep them up and dust them off and fold them into a plastic bag like the one I came in. It wouldn’t take too much space, could it? i promise you i won’t.

Before you know it, I am finished. Standing on her table and she turns me this way and that, reexamining every stitch and every tuck. Above it all I am beautiful. I know it. She knows it. My colors are radiant and I’m sure I will be the envy of everything in whatever room I am placed within. I will sit proudly knowing that she did it all and that I allowed myself to be completely at the mercy of her hand.

Processing. 2466. There is a sign that I see every morning. The sign is large and stands erect as it relays messages to me several times on my commute. It displays its messages best when it is dark outside. At first it was very helpful for me and in some ways cheerfully greeting me along as I drove passed it. Other cars pass by and the sign would wave a happy “good morning” or a loving “goodnight” everyday. The sign recently turned on me after it had claimed one of my friends about four weeks ago. It took the sign a full week after my friend became one of its many victims for it to reveal it’s true self. Deceiving me for seven days while I  cried in silence during my commutes. Stupidly, I would still wave hello and goodbye not knowing the wickedness and corrupt intentions it kept from me. I’m sure it laughed silently as I drove by. More than twice a day for seven days - waving and cheering while inside I bet it actually wished me harm. It probably waits patiently day by day; eagerly wishing I would leave towards my destination at least a few seconds early to ridicule me. Now knowing what this sign has hid from me, I think back during that first week it kept it’s silence and I noticed it was standing a little taller. It was displaying its messages even more cheerfully, almost tauntingly. The sign mimics the expertise of an octopus that lies below the ocean’s surface hiding from it’s prey, occasionally popping it’s tentacles up to show its presence to those of us who ride the concrete waves. It became harder not to notice those times I passed it. Though scourged by rain and wind it showed a proud face and a lasting glow and foolishly I questioned none of its newfound confidence and behavior.

Now that I know and have seen it’s true intentions I feel it’s power even when it went back into hiding behind those messages that seemed to come from care and concern, those messages that I believed to be so sincere in the beginning. I now know to look beyond that and see that it doesn’t come from concern or care that it instead comes as a warning. It conceals itself with other structures and signs that don’t carry the same intentions. These days I curse and spit whenever it smiles or even glances my way.

Since revealing its true self seven days after my friend was claimed, it tries its best to go back into hiding. I know it is only a matter of time until it returns to boasting about how many more it has claimed.

It’s just a matter of time before it is standing a little taller, a little brighter, and a little prouder. It mocks me now because it knows I know of its intentions, because I know what it is capable of. I hear it snicker behind its messages while giving other cars advice. Its brightness is just as loud as the sound of my tires rolling over the concrete waves. The lives it claims increases its importance, making it more relevant until it can stand in victory in a few more months - once again undefeated and waiting in anticipation for the following year so it can claim many more. Now my commutes are in silence. I no longer wave hello or goodbye 
since it’s betrayal and I do not care to give it anymore of my attention.

Austin, TX. 2018