Youphoria

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By John McLaughlin

“Youphoria can help you …”

No, no—it’s all wrong.

“Youphoria is the answer to …”

Better, warmer—but terrible still. Backspace, backspace.

The easy-injector is practically calling from my front shirt pocket; to hell with the rules. I feel for it, flick it open (an elegant motion) and drive the needle into my left shoulder. One prick followed by a black blossoming of pupils.

Youphoria is Sunday afternoon daydreams; scent of mothballs in Grandma’s basement; summer sunbeams puncturing clouds after the storm.

The cleaning lady’s vacuum bumps the desk and I’m pulled back into my skull. But the words still fail me.

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In Dreams

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By Lynn White

Do you dream in colour,
or are your dreams grey,
muted monochromes,
pale imitations of reality.
Are they flat almost featureless
in a blurred mist,
or are they stark
black and white?
No grey.
No doubt.
Are your sleeping eyes prisms
to reflect the outside in,
in a spectrum of rainbowed glory?
Or are you afraid.?
Afraid to let it enter
 your unconsciousness.
Afraid to set it free
to make a kaleidoscope 
of shades and tones
to recreate 
a new reality
in glorious colour.
Do you remember?

     
Lynn White’s poems have been appeared in anthologies and journals such as Vagabond Press, Apogee, Firewords, Indie Soleil, Pilcrow & Dagger and Snapdragon.

#foreveryes

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By Tina Stewart Brakebill

They were waiting. Her followers. The wedding was in an hour. They expected an update. Her finger hovered over the share button. Nearly 10,000 of them. Thanks to that viral video: Office film homage culminates in surprise proposal. She couldn’t say no. Did she want to? Then more and more followed. They wanted. And wanted. Did she want to say yes? She stopped thinking. She let them vote on the dress. Pick the cake. Choose the venue. Niagara Falls of course. Did she want to say no?

The water rushed.

She inhaled. Hit share. Exhaled.

#noforever

Roman Holiday

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By Jane Dougherty

Casa Mario had become their restaurant, ever since their first holiday together when he had proposed as they watched the sun set over Rome from the Gianicolo.

Years later, he still insisted, always gently with a smile, never giving her chance to say she wouldn’t mind trying somewhere different for a change.

She would take his hand, trying not to let her smile slip, trying not to look with too much longing at the noisy, bright, banal restaurant fronts they passed, none of which reminded her of the dreams tossed away like coins in a fountain.

A Quiet Ending

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By Natalie Mansfield

The sound of dripping water filled the whole building. Every drip amplified by the silence outside.

Droplets of water glided slowly through the air, eventually splattering in the growing puddle on the floor. Dirty water rolled into the cracks between the floor tiles, soaking through the rotten wood below and dripping into the space underneath the building.

A brown rat looked up just in time to see a droplet of the dirty water splash on to his face. The water seeped into his skin, infecting his tiny body with a virus that no human would live long enough to identify.

The Slightest of Things

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By Dana Al Rashid

It is the slightest of things
That have the most profound of effects

It is the invisible bite of an insect
It is the enemy you least suspect

It is raindrops piercing through stone
It is the little seeds you have sown

It is the silence of words left unsaid
It is the monster hiding under your bed

It is the grass growing under your feet
It is the invisible wall of deceit

      
Dana Al Rashid is a writer and poet from Kuwait. She published a poetry book last year under the same name as her blog: “Reflecting Moon.”

Life Creeps Up

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By John K. Adams

Life creeps up on you. If you pay attention, you can watch as it passes.
Death arrives with a fanfare one can hardly ignore. You enter the waiting limo and … off you go.

Death surprises some. Despite the best evidence, they carry on … until they don’t. How does one warn those who just won’t listen? Many entertain Death’s acquaintanceship for years by drifting into disengagement. The final sendoff just punctuates the end of a life spent not caring.

Most (I hope) live many short years until their fickle breath escapes one last time. They live every precious moment up until …