Photo by Padre_moovi on Unsplash

You counted every blossom
And taught me the word embower.
You liked the cinerarias, I the clivia.

I’m not surprised, so fiery, you said
With a wink, a nudge, your thumb
Sewed between my shaking knuckles.

I pulled leaves along the wall, unsure
If I could laugh, could bask in your breath
And maybe slow my own.

You pointed, and recited some fact
About the nasturtium I couldn’t hear,
Still shaded in rage — the nerve,

When she asked me, my hand in yours,
Which one of you is the stamen? —
Still wondering if you were ashamed

When I…


Photo by Marvin Meyer on Unsplash

I’m a Medium writer, but not like you. People literally stop me on the street to ask me how I became a success story. Unlike you, my claps don’t come from my mom, and it astounds me how much you don’t get it. Being successful on Medium is without a doubt the easiest thing I’ve ever done. So take my advice and follow these steps if you want people to publish your “work.”

1.) Actually Write About Something

You know what I write about? Success. Determination. The art of YOLO. I’m not sitting around and typing away about nothing. I do something literally every day…


Photo by Laurenz Kleinheider on Unsplash

I am the midnight rage of finding you in my dreams, and I am the morning dread of leaving you there.

I am the promise to my bathroom mirror that I won’t break down. I am the severing of that promise by noon.

I am the shooting pain in my knee after one mile too many. I am the tooth marks in my hand that fought back tears.

I am abrupt, one-word answers that scuttle conversation. I am the coffee I buy my friends to show them I’m sorry, because I can’t outright say it without mentioning your name.

I…


Sifting through the ashes of a failed relationship

Photo: Visoot Uthairam/Getty Images

I have forgotten the pain of heartbreak long enough for it to feel like the first time. I can’t eat without the nausea of dead butterflies rotting in my stomach. I don’t have the stamina to lift my head, only enough for restless nights and endless thoughts. God forbid I should go a day without crying in empty conference rooms or on dimly-lit streets. This pain is implacable against everything but time. I know that, and I am watching as the seconds linger.

You were the first man whose hand I held in the street. Will you remember that night?

Michael Rudden

Freelance writer. Heart on a sleeve. Chicago. https://michaelruddenwriting.com/

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