The blank, untitled documents, you, and generally living without a sense of direction


Kelsey Dantuma

Taken when things in my little world were shattering into such tiny pieces that they were unable to be put back together again. Nonetheless, something about the reflection of the white lines in this picture gave me hope that their path was still the brightest.

I don’t know you anymore


Exhaustion gripped the walls

as the banisters twisted and bent and collapsed one after the next,

all while the colors faded and the T.V. sat muted and displays of the geometric curled up the walls.


Static filled my vision as dust danced playfully out of the corners of my eyes,

yet it turned menacing as the sun went down

and the lamps, with their warm glow, shut off with the click of a timer.

Drifting in and out I questioned what I had to give—

I tried and none of the answers could be found—

it’s all just ghosts here.


I could start a smile or a frown,

but in this very instance neither seemed more fitting.

Medium can cross over and invade the precious homes

of life and love and languishing for them and of themselves.

They shared nothing but a sense of wonder—

an image,

although different in skeletons yet alike in kingdoms,

burned deep into their minds to where it flashed across their eyes in just a blink of an eye.


And I’m not afraid to bleed or to be seen in such a state,

moreover that it is the fear that a lack of torn skin will make a fool out of me—

anticipating the impending, mind-gripping displacement of things going very wrong.


Because I will still breathe when I am told to

and will pause when all the things I love but never truly understand tempt my hand.

Living like this is not really living;

simply existing in memories is a state of the past,

yet a fact of my future.

These words will forever live on this page,

and my eyes may graze over the letters later on

and be given the privilege to smell and taste the air here

at this very moment.



Perfect places


Their faces paled with the graying of the winter sky,

and they both led their own lives cold and alone

in all senses of the word independence.


They can smell it now,

the scent of December.

But it’s not the usual subtle hints of the season, no,

it is heat drilling a hole through the snow as it all boils down to water—

smelling the grass as it slowly unfreezes underneath.


There is no winner here,

and the ice melted down to the perfectly imperfect,

unevenly even ground.

The dirt seemed even more unforgiving than the white,

but the lowest of places have the most potential—

the littlest of people have the most to gain.


Matted floors with square-blocked patterns

shared their gazes as they fixated

on the curling threads coming undone.

The fluorescent lights bared down,

but they were nothing more than transparent,

not even shadows.



But this is where they grew;

their seeds sowed this empty dirt floor,

when the light switch was flipped off by some force

that felt more than sorry for them in the dark.


Through the green, they danced underwater

living in protest and freedom of and from what lurked on the surface.

They were drenched to their bones in parking lots—

perfect places where they could never drown.

Between the white parking lines

two inherently selfish people learned to share oxygen tanks.

There was no deception,

not even a reason to ask questions,

only living, breathing.


Basketball courts embellished with curves

a whole set of rules laid out visually.

Toe after toe,

shoe after shoe,

with laces tracing the ground a whole future was laid out in white lines

almost begging for them to follow—

showing them how easy it would be.

They could stumble and go without and laugh in love,

love while they were locked in.

But the requirements were strict,

and they found that there were parts of themselves forgotten in the spaces between.

And that the slightest push would prove to be too far;

it was all too easy to knock each other down.


The falls weren’t easy,

and the pavement scraped at their skin until every inch of their bodies screamed,

yet they chose to channel the burns outwards so they could go on.

It resulted in messages on steering wheels with lingering friction from pencil erasers.

Static crawled beneath socks sliding across wooden floors on their way to collision.

Turns were taken tightly or not at all, sparks building underneath the tires.

Hot air whizzed between their fingers as hands teased each other in their odd greetings.

Through it all, one of them forgot to turn off the gas burner on the rusted stove,

maybe they were both at fault,

or maybe it was just old,

and the temperature and the tension was

building, building, building.


Their fireworks were no longer beautiful displays in likeness,

and they held each other hostage,

the tape over their mouths,

in hopes that neither one would set them off for the final time.

In silence was where they lost each other,

and they ended with nothing but a faint glow

that was anything but proportional to what they once were.

It was nobody’s fault but their own

for snuffing each others’ flames out,

so now they find themselves at the finish early

with nowhere to go but back to nothing.