A stranger sighs warm parchment on my neck. I inhale her story; learn what her huff is about. “Loud Luggage” bumps Metallica in the corner, 5 PM and cups of coffee I know I shouldn’t have because of the baby.
In the mornings, my belly is tight and pulsing the way blood rushes to a part of your body that’s healing. I swear my heart is beating there. I am creating.
I watch a little girl who has never been to a city before, our smallest high-rises filling her eyes, a destitute man sleeping in our shadow. “He’s just tired,” her father lies as a three-legged dog hops by.
“Hello!” she waves to them both. “Let’s buy them coffee.”
Children promise and I want to promise my son everything: roofs for the poor, legs for the legless, good meals, good souls, fried chicken and a clothesline to air his loves when they break his heart. All of us need to come home. There’s music I’ll play. It will always be the same song.
The little girl walks up to a diner, tugs at her father who gives her a wad of dollars. She presses them in her palm. Through the window, her freckles reflect constellations. The stools can hardly contain their gallant blue. The grease skips on the grill.


Rachel Van Blankenship was raised in Northern California. She studied Photojournalism and Creative Writing at The University of Montana and currently resides in Phoenix working as a Designer and new mom to Jack. “Menacing Hedge,” “Gather Kindling,” “Cease, Cows” and “JMWW” have published her poems. She placed 4th in the international “Flash Mob 2013” competition and is still working on her first poetry manuscript. (She knows she’s slow). Visit her website/blog at www.rachelvb.com.

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