Category: TFLNM

TFLNM: Sahara Heart

“Sweetheart, what did you bury in the garden?”

My hands are covered in potting soil. I smell like dirt.

I could lie. A coffee cup. A book I love. A letter to a you.
I look down at the ground.
“A hatchet.”

Forgiveness has never been one-size-fits-all. You could sell my car for parts and lose my favorite sweater and I would still take you back. Not like I have much choice. You wiggle your way back into my poems while my back is turned. I find you curled on the couch, asleep, with my diary as a pillow.

I dig holes everywhere there’s room, hiding little bits of you from myself. Underneath my kitchen sink is a stack of disposable cameras I never got developed. Your old sweatshirt is in the shed with the paint rags. The paperback I stole from your bedroom goes out with the next Goodwill donation. I stop buying honey from the stand close to your house. They never put the lids on tightly enough anyways.

I try to scrub the sound of your footsteps out of my kitchen floors. Gone are my favorite writing pens. My old journal mysteriously goes missing. The mix you made me gets lent out to the friend who has never been good at returning things. I sold your bike.

And yet there you are on every dance floor. A touch magnetized to the back of my neck, the curve of my spine. Bodies fit together like gears. Every breath screams “welcome back” without a single word. A friendly ghost I don’t have the heart to scare away.

Maybe I wasn’t meant to get rid of you. Maybe there are stains that never come out, scars you never outgrow. I still cry to the same songs. I still look for you in a crowd. I still write you into every love song.

I forgave you long ago for always coming home. It’s not your fault I leave the door unlocked.

TFLNM, or The First Line’s Not Mine, is a creative writing prompt project. Step one: pick a random generator. Step two: write it out. Step three: hit publish. Let’s play.


TFLNM: Weathervanes

He didn’t understand what he’d done to her, but he would by the time she was finished.

She was bee stings, she was hungry mouth, she was lightning eyes. Coffee-stained everything. Her back arched, somehow serpentine, when she stretched every morning. She turned toward the sun every afternoon, desperate for warmth. She laughed with the genuine sort of rumble that shook her entire body. Restless and impatient and kind.

He was quiet with a loud heart. He played guitar in bed when the sadness seeped into both of their shaking hands. He was morning coffee, he was nighttime skylines, he was feet that never seemed to be warm. His movie watch list was a mile long. Always making hot chocolate. Tucked himself around her every night.

Heartsickness hung on her like fog. She did not know why he loved her, or how. But her heart was bird wings, summer rain, new moon, when he said her name. And, oh, when he told her he loved her. “I love you.” Without condition. Without hesitation.

She was her own hurricane. And he was the calm before her.

He didn’t understand what he’d done by loving her, but he would by the time the storm stopped.

This is a new thing I’m trying on this blog called The First Line’s Not Mine. I’m using a random first line generator, courtesy of Claire, and then letting my creative juices flow, however hesitantly. To write fiction (or fact) for the sake of writing. I hope you’ll consider joining me. It’s hard and a lot of fun.