Modern Dating for Modern Divorcees

telephone-586268_1920-1

By David Cook

Left. Left. Left. Right! Match? No. Left. Left. Left. Sigh. Left. Left. Right! Match? No. Left. Left. Right! Match? Yes! Hi! Date? Yes? Yes! Wait. Wait. Today! Shower. Best outfit. Go. Meet. Uh-oh. Boring. Weird. Drink. Nod. Smile. Drink. Leave. (Alone.) Home. Sleep. Up. Breakfast. Left. Left. Work. Lunch. Left. Left. Right! Match? No. Home. Left. Left. Left. Microwaveable lasagne for one. Left. Right! Match? Yes! Hi! Date? Yes? Yes! Wait. Wait. Today! Shower. Best outfit. Go. Get stood up. Leave. Home. Consume half-bottle of own-brand supermarket vodka and a Pot Noodle. Cry. Sleep.

Up. Hangover. Breakfast. Left. Left. Left.

Bio: David Cook’s stories have appeared in print and online in places including Flash Fiction Magazine, Spelk and Sick Lit Magazine.

Iron Impersonation

pair-167267_1920

By Bella

I am black metal
Graphite
Gray lines separating good and evil
Right and wrong
(I am made of in-betweens)

I am magnetite
Crafted of iron and strength
Dark hues that try to hide glittering eyes
I act worse than I am
(Try-hard)

I am raw hematite
Ugly, unpolished
Never sharp
Some days, I’m more talc than iron
Some days, I’m all talk

Who I want to be and who I am
Are two opposite poles
There is no way to meet in the middle

Crows

bird-1778749_1920

By John Grey

Dress like undertakers,
drop from phone wires
to the roadkill below –
their caw is light on melody,
high on triumph –

ELLA
I still have
the record
she left behind
though I haven’t
seen her in years.

I play it
from time to time,
think of her
now and again.

Do them both together
and I run the risk
of dancing.

JEREMY
Lolls all day
in a beat-up rocker
outside a rusty trailer,
drinking and cackling away.
He has no kids of his own
to ask what he did in the war.
If he did,
they wouldn’t have to ask.

      
Bio: John Grey’s work has recently appeared in Front Range Review, Studio One and Columbia Review. He has work upcoming in Naugatuck River Review, Abyss and Apex and Midwest Quarterly.

Praying, Praying

hands-2274255_1920

By Kelvin M. Knight

He prayed in the morning. He prayed at night. Words that came to him. Words that did not. Praying was his backbone. Praying was his life. Giving through prayer gave his life meaning. Until she came along. She showed him the truth. All those years spent developing his relationship with God – how could He have gotten it so wrong? She didn’t answer his heartfelt question, just brushed aside his spirituality with a wave of her hand, then crumbled his faith with these haunting words:

“An affirmation monster,” the light in his new vicar’s eyes danced. “That’s how I discern you.”

In the Civil War

chattanooga-1719772_1920

By Carol Smallwood

Acoustic shadows occur when sound fails to travel
due to wind currents, buildings and obstructions
making soldiers think their minds must’ve unraveled
because what else could it be, what deductions?

Due to wind currents, buildings and obstructions
soldiers can smell smoke, see light from battle
because what else could it be, what deductions,
since sound didn’t reach them fighting in saddle.

Soldiers can smell smoke, see light from battle
making soldiers think their minds must’ve unraveled
since sound didn’t reach them fighting in saddle.
Acoustic shadows occur when sound fails to travel.

     
Carol Smallwood’s recent poetry collections include In Hubble’s Shadow and Prisms, Particles, and Refractions.

The Life Cycle of Thoughts and Prayers

virgin-868970_1920-1

By Desert Dweller

Dissolve into the ether,
these vapors to binge and purge,
resting in street cracks to grow
the seeded wishes of dandelions,
debated as weed or flower,
embrace or destroy,
sun-colored pedals soaked in exhaust,
mulched into fallen bodies run down
by dogma, political strife,
alienation.

The family on bent knees prays,
the man in the van prays,
the mourners pray,
bringing flowers suffocated in
cellophane, piled high into
sickly colored trash,
dyed like cotton candy carnival
while dandelions wilt under
the weight of our grief, tilling
another killing season and blooms
of thoughts and prayers

Remains

under-water-1819588_1920

By Heidi Coon

She whispers, ‘just breathe’
The only way out, is through
Should you fall beneath
Truth laid bare for you

The only way out is through
Weighted pain pulls you under
Truth laid bare for you
Ire turned surrender

Weighted pain pulls you under
The solace of nothingness
Ire turned surrender
Lungs filled with emptiness

The solace of nothingness
How easy to just let go
Lungs filled with emptiness
No grievance toward the throe

Your pain, your grief, your sorrow
Should you fall beneath
Today renders tomorrow
She whispers, ‘just breathe’