Mount Baker

Your eyes are spoons and forks. You ask me, “Above the clouds, do you sleep?”
I nod and show you nylon sheets, metal rods, carabiners, every magic charm
needed for floating thousands of feet above. You ask me, “Do you enjoy

the harnesses and helmets? Is it the perspective you most enjoy?”
I don’t say it’s knowing you’re somewhere in this same world asleep
wishing I lay next to you that tethers me to this peak. You charm

me more than summit, goat, grappling hook, crampon; there is no charm
in risk if there’s nothing to risk, and you, you are everything. I can’t enjoy
the pulling away, the ascent, the rappel, the landfall, the unpacking, the sleep.

So sleep; charm my dreams. Like me, enjoy the sweet suspension.

Writing for YeahWrite’s weekly challenge. Click the badge above to read more poetry and flash fiction!

Prayer For Long Distance Relationships

Your strut down Fourth toward me is a blue-jeaned alleluia
one last blast of heat before November’s frost
each footstep is a stone thrown into an empty cargo hold

I want to be the hunger you hold
between your hips and under your tongue alleluia
to be together again is to study the frost

glistening on two parallel lines of train track frost
so cold it licks our arms our legs until you hold
my future once more in your hand amen alleluia

Whisper alleluia before the frost takes hold again

Sandra Mode


The day I moved into the hollow of a giant redwood
the crowberry eyes of a family of martens appraised
my ragged chin, my desperate need for shelter,

and rightly deemed me harmless. They knew the city does not shelter
those that need it most. I unpacked my life, slept below the red wood
sky as constellations of banana slugs appraised

my verdant dreams, and woke to find my nap praised
with larksong. I joined their melody, singing for shelter,
for autumn and spring, for the growth rings of a redwood.

The redwood appraised my plea, and gave me a family in which to take shelter.


Eau–de–vie, New Year’s Eve, 2000

Fireworks crackle over Bronson Park; the crowd hoots. You mention your toes are numb
despite your boots, so we walk hand-in-hand to a booth and I buy you a warm brandy.
I say: We’re standing on the rim of a century. Your reply—Two centuries.—is tinny, dressed
in blue.

I think: The night is a snifter—its base in the wide-bottomed park edged in cobalt blue,
the glassy highlights of snow, the stem of a single oak shrouded in December, numb.
Tinted streetlights offer the only source of warmth, casting this jubilee in the caramel glow of brandy.

Only you distill me. The rest of the city is hidden in plain sight, like the brandy
crouching behind the taste of port or the flashes of cerulean and topaz blue
from the folds of your purple anorak (despite the dim light). Tonight I am everything
but numb.

Though my fingers are numb, I hold a chilled glass of cherry brandy as I drink in this blue, tapered night.


*This tritina brought to you by Rowan and Christine. Click the badge above to read other tritinas by my friends at yeah write.


I trace the things on your desk with my finger: the blue Bic pen, the loose pay
stub, the nickel and two pennies (your lucky seven
cents), the seam of your leather wallet and the silver teeth on your keys.

These things strewn on your desk are talismans in which I store my gratitude, the keys
to secure our happy togetherness. Of course, you don’t know this: I pay
for your loyalty to me in silent matins and vespers as I trace. Somehow these seven

personal effects garner power over us, like seven
stoic judges presiding at your desk, or back-up keys
to the room that houses the delicious magic that brought you to me: I can’t afford not to pay.

You see, only after I pay will the seven talismans guarantee me your heart. That’s what’s in it for me: your key.

*This tritina is brought to you by Rowan. She gave me the words seven, pay, and key. See below for other tritinas by my friends.

Want to give one a try? Give us a shout in the coffeehouse and we’ll give you three words. In the meantime, check out the other tritinas this week!

Mojave (hold, fire, drive)
The Farmer’s Wife and the Crow (crow, sorrow, secret)
Striations (silver, touch, ease)
Excavation (mine, treasure, keep)
Lunch Date (mark, steal, lie)
Trying to Tritina (fair, gold, spun)
Flip Of a Coin (run, coin, fly)