Sleeping with the Window Open

I used to sleep with the window open.


The washed out yellow street light
Standing sentinel at the corner next to my driveway
Throws wild shadows on my shelves and walls
That are occasionally stretched into thin waving lines
As the bright pale blue light of the patrolling cop’s
Fluorescent headlights roll past my yard.
The silent murmur of the woods holds sway
Broken by a passing car on a distant highway,
The echoing sirens of a police car needed somewhere quick,
Or the mournful blare of a train lost somewhere in the hills.

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My Dream Car

Lee stood at the window, folding laundry as he waited for his girlfriend. As he moved deeper into a pile of shirts, he saw a car pull up. A moment of excitement, the car pulled away and he remembered Amy was still too far away.

He took a pile of shirts and put them away. When Lee turned around, he noticed a car pull up to the curb, pause for a moment, and then drive away. Curious, he absently picked up another shirts and kept folding. On the fifth, the car pulled up to the curb, hesitated for a moment, and then drove off again.

Gone were thoughts of shirts and his girlfriend. Lee tossed his laundry aside and moved to the downstairs window. A couple minutes later, the car pulled up to the curb, hesitated, and then drove away.

While he contemplated this pattern, it came by again. The interval between the car’s disappeared and reappearance began to shrink until it came into sight as soon as it vanished. After a minute, he noticed the car creeping closer to his window. He jumped back from the window. He couldn’t see the car past the blinds in any of the windows, but he could hear it zipping around.

Just as it sounded like it was about to tear his house apart, he found himself sitting on his bed next to a pile of laundry, phone buzzing in his pocket. Still listening for the rush of air that was the car, he saw his girlfriend’s picture.


“I’m outside.”

“Sorry.” Lee hurried toward the door. “I dozed off.”

“Really?” Lee unlocked the door and hung up his phone. Amy’s worried face greeted his.“It looks like a bunch of cars drove over your lawn. How could you have slept through that?”

Two Lines on a Plane

Today I met my soul mate.

There was no blinding light,
No deafening sound,
Just the washed out pale shine
Of sun through moody clouds
With the soft shuffle of shoes
And the susurrus of amiable voices
As we made our way to and from lunch

A quiet talk of no import
Stole my focus for long enough
To nearly miss what I found:
A pair of eyes aimed at me
In which I saw myself reflected.

Never before have I seen eyes
That look out at the world
The same way that I so often feel:
A passenger along for the ride
Whose interest lies in seeing all
And feels no shame in just looking;
Confined to an inadequate room
With only two windows to serve
As portals to the rest of existence;
Curiosity unhindered by practicality
And hungry to learn everything
That the world has to offer.

Eyes that looked out at the world
And all of the people who passed by
The same way I often stare
As I walk through my days,
Eyes that saw me the same way
That I have seen so many others,
Eyes that looked at me and wondered
What story there was to tell beyond
The space I occupied along their path.

Seconds passed as I took them in,
Step followed step as I saw
Eyes I never dreamt I’d see
In a face so different from my own
And I wasted my voice on idle chatter
While hoping my eyes would meet these.

Eyes that moved passed me.

Eyes that I’ll never see again.