Not the Boss of Me


Well, aren’t you a special snowflake,
expecting me to edit this document
when you haven’t even saved it to the network?

Look, mister, we have a network
for a reason. That reason is that, unlike a snowflake,
a contract needs version control. Not to pretend like versions 1 and 2 are each a different document.

So you can take your document…
And you can save it to the network…
No, really, just click on the little icon over there that looks like a snowflake.

(I’m going to cut a paper snowflake out of each page of this goddamn document and tape it to the wall and then head to the bar to “network.”)

December always makes me want to write a tritina. A lot of tritinas, actually. Dunno what it is about the season. This week’s version was brought to you by 3 words from Melony.


Now is the time to stand your ground.
The time to bite down on rage,
feel it squirm between your teeth and smolder

the way a fire might smolder:
caught beneath a blanket of leaves and ground
waiting for its turn to rage.

When I heard, I looked for my rage.
Found it banked among the coals of my dignity. It could barely smolder,
had forgotten how to blaze. The birds of my wrath had gone to ground.

I have no ground for complaint; only the ashes of my rage, left too long cold to even smolder.


Sometimes I lose myself in the grocery store, between end-cap and aisle, where patterned socks hang in racks or chocolate bars form ranks. A tiny copper shotglass mimicks a Moscow Mule mug, reflecting myself at myself: did I come here for milk?


Sometimes I get nostalgic for our old microstories challenge, so here are 42 words for this week.



We children of stone and sky
I sought one; you chose the other
Her name a shape in the night between
Enormous and heavy as sundown

Downpours mark the stony sea; the sun comes soft and
Often by the shore. I’ll sail no sea
Serer spaces call me
Meet my wildness, sky and stone

Only the echo of your name is here, its
Iridescent ribbon caught between my teeth
Etherial tether; I need no other:
Her name, your name, the stone in my sky


When we played the game, you were my prey:
I sought you with silk, with steel,
with the petals of a rose

but when you left my bed, when you rose
to walk among the herds of prey
I was left with only a handful of steel.

And now I steel
myself against the scent of a rose;
against soft words, the gentle hands of prey.

My prey is lost in teeth of steel; I am only, after all, a rose.



The War was over. The stars sat silent and placid outside the Harmony’s portholes. A fat colony ship lumbered past our bow, bound for Colonial space.

Somewhere, governors and generals were inscribing the fine terms of the Treaty.

I, too, sat down to write: Dear Anna.




When I was seven, my mother pried me away from the porthole. They had told me Uncle Ezi was gone among the stars. I did not understand then that they meant he had died. I wanted only to hold the stars.

At twelve I learned the stars’ names, which ones belonged properly to the Alliance and which had gone colonial. Colonial was a dirty word, low-caste and anxious. We walked the line, miners, stealing from planets too small for the name, among stars marked firmly Alliance on the maps.

You can have the stars, now; I’ll take the space between.



In the summer, when the power lines ummmmm
and crackle, when the tar
melts underfoot and the world is fragrant

with the smells of summer, fragrant
with heady lavender and the rose bush is full of the ummmmm
of bees carrying home their weight of honey-tar:

Your eyes are black as night, as coal, as tar
and the dark space between neck and shoulder is fragrant
with salt and sweat and your mouth is full of yes and ummmmm-

In summer, ummmmm, in summer the smell of pine tar in your hair and the world is fragrant.