It's fingers scraping on gravel and knees pounding on pavement, and wheels spinning mercilessly fast, now that there's no friction, no contact between wheel and road to slow down their hamster wheel frenzy.

This is Spill.

It's giggly girlfriends, crowding each other's space, clutching pillows below bambi-wide eyes, wearing secret smiles and shushing each other. It is a demand, an order, and an ultimatum.


It is sticky and sweet and puddling in bright colors, in the kitchen, on the carpet, grape juice or wine, heavy, and dark, and staining. It is cleanup and apologies and dry cleaning.

Spill in aisle twelve.

The sounds of Spill is the hiss of pain between teeth and the crunch of bone, helmet, ground.

It's the bossily whispered, "Okay, what's his name."

It's the crack of wineglass or thud of plastic jug.

This is spill. It's entrails streaming across the role-player's imagination-crafted sword. It's ink twirling lazy veils of itself into toilet water, the tortured artist indulging in a temper tantrum. It's your little brother, and your math homework on the kitchen table, and the spaghetti that's for dinner. It's secrets bursting in your cheeks and dribbling out the corners of your mouth even though you really didn't mean it.

Spill. You can't resist it. It's peer pressure and gravity and fate, pressing on the liquid inside of you and the earth. The seventy percent of us that is water. The earth's core that is believed to be molten. All that's keeping everything in is crust and skin, fragile eggshell bodies.

It's a wonder we don't spill more often.

(At a program I attended this summer, we wrote pieces modeled after Sherman Alexie's "Captivity." They were built in stanzas and each one was centered around one word. This isn't what I wrote at the program, but I think I like it better. I'm hoping someone else will like it, too.)