Living with keratoconus and so long to A Cornered Gurl

My optometrist diagnosed me with keratoconus at just the right time. Per my ophthalmologist and corneal specialist at the Duke Eye Center, it’s mild in both eyes with no scarring and no advanced hazing. I have a six-month follow-up to assess my status at that time and to have additional corneal images taken. At the beginning of next year, I’ll be fitted for scleral contact lenses. These will help to reshape the corneas in both eyes and continue to enhance my vision over time. …

A poem for Bless

I wanted to be there in person
but I embraced the fact that
a violent virus is still tagging
along on the backs of culprits
and drifting into the lungs of
thousands of human beings on
a daily basis, so I secured
my place in the comfort of
my home as I watched the
youngest of our tribe
crossover into the “real world.”

What an honor—the tears
that flowed down my face
as her name was called— watching
her stand to wave at the
camera as if to say, “Hello, world!
I’m ready. …

Flash Fiction

“Grampy, the plumbers are here to take a look at the busted pipes!”

Elijah yells toward the back of his grandparents’ shotgun house — screams loud enough for the neighbors to hear.

“You wanna give me my pipe? Yes, boy, that’ll be all right. It’s in the den on the coffee table.”

Elijah shakes his head and cautions the plumbers with his right hand and then directs them to the bathroom on the first floor which is where they will begin their work.

“No, Grampy! The pipes! The busted pipes from the storm. The plumbers are here to fix them!”

Go on and get your two-step on, you know you want to.

I celebrated my 41st at my best friend’s place in Charlotte, NC the weekend of the 16th and I truly enjoyed myself. To say that I was spoiled would be putting it lightly. As I was unable to ring in the milestone birthday of the 40th last year appropriately, (Hello, Coronavirus!), this year was spent around someone I love dearly safely in the confines of her home while devouring a delicious homecooked meal, a tequila shot, and a slice of the best ice cream cake this side of the northern South.

I asked for the company of a friend of…

I feel nothing.
I'm supposed to feel
something . . .
Something is supposed to
hit me, shake me,
break me into
some semblance of
acceptance —
isn't it?

there's nothing there.
I want to be happy.
I want to feel relieved.
I want to celebrate like
the majority of this
world but I know
this is far from over.
The damage is done
and really, how do
we undo it?

Where can we start? What needs to take place? So many movements. So many lives lost and this one victory tap-dances on our hearts and it feels …

Musical Selection: Lisa Loeb|Stay (I Missed You)

A Collaborative Effort With Barry Dawson IV

there's a good chance we're all
fighting some useless battle
syncing ourselves to a common
cause that will only erupt and leave
us without victory but we're too
stubborn to admit defeat especially
when we're still breathing

Jana says, "I ain't going back home
to the bullshit waiting for me."
and I understand, I connect with her
she makes perfect sense in
this land of the remaining living
she sweeps her face across the
vibrissae of her Calico, appropriately
named "Bubbles" and I wonder
what it feels like to still be
able to touch something that doesn't
drive you crazy

Flash Fiction

Mommy turns in front of the thingy that shows her back to herself. She flits in front of it and looks at her ankles, then her thighs, then she squishes her hands in front of her all funny-like and tries to look at her butt.

What is Mommy doing? I think to myself.

“Hey, sweet boy. Do these jeans make Mommy look fat?”

She swipes at my chin, then cups her hand under it gently and scratches in a circular motion. Even though this feels good — I know better. I’m not answering that question.

I look up at her…

Musical Selection: Cheryl “Pepsii” Riley|Thanks for My Child

Flash Fiction

I gently close the door behind me. Titus is sleeping in my arms. The first thing I think is, Have we decorated the nursery with everything he’ll love and adore? I know we did. It feels like we did. He smiles. Angels must be visiting him. Or could it be something neurological?

I’ve always believed that old wives’ tale. I believe in angels. I believe in good luck. I believe in miracles.

And Titus . . . he’s our miracle.

Who wouldn’t want the newness of innocence swaddled in purity? I am grateful for Elena. She carried him for us…


Phyllis is holding a bullfrog in her hands; captured this morning at 05:00 am. Its back legs have been run over by some sick kid’s 12-speed bike. She’s beside herself with sadness. The tears flow rhythmically.

I watch them as they become art on her face.

Yesterday, my goldfish died. We held a small ceremony in my parents’ bathroom. I said a few words, my dad eulogized its life. My mom cooked baked ziti afterward.

I want to tell Phyllis I know about her pain — I’ve seen death recently and it stings more than the damaged back legs of…

Musical Selection: Madonna|Take A Bow

An Audio Poem

An Audio Poem

And I know you will
I know you'll crouch
on bended knee, spit your
cause to our mighty God
and pray for my soul
I don't ask you to
because I can't change
who I am
I wouldn't try if I could

This displeases you
you hate that I've deviated
from whatever plan you
had mixed up in
your bag of tricks for
loved ones who should
walk exactly the way
you think they should

but I am no one's puppet
I have no strings

Funny how you thought you could Houdini a grown-ass woman into being…

Tre L. Loadholt

I am more than breath & bones. I am nectar in waiting—Editor PSILY •Writing for the cosmos. •

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