The thing about Howl is the way his hair falls 

like a dream of soft shadows i had when i was ten and 

The thing about Howl is his voice is like 

the waiter at the cafe (with white tablecloths and raspberry tea) 

who had golden eyes–like the glint of Howl’s ring on Sophie’s finger– 

and is still the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen 

And the thing about Howl is he’s broken in ways that make the 

world glisten 

The thing about Howl is the way he can fly like 

I always wanted to 

The thing about Howl is the way time bends around him 

like the wildflowers in his secret meadow 

The thing about Howl is the drama, the green goop, and the hair dye and the way he never stops trying to save the world even though he can’t save himself– 


The thing about Howl is that he was never alive but is real.The thing about Howl is the open shirt sass, the “that’s my girl” smile, the “I’ve been waiting.” 

It’s the way that someone could be waiting.

Maria Burns (she/her) is a writer, actress, and creative writing instructor currently based in VA. She holds a BA in Theatre from The College of William and Mary and a MFA in Fiction from Goddard College. Her work has been published in The Pitkin Review and Nota Bene, and her short plays have been performed on both coasts. She is currently querying her first novel. Twitter: @MariaElizaBEE

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