#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

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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 …

Crows to the Rescue

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By John Grey

Crows have been by
to relieve us of my dead.
A possum was squashed.
A raccoon was mangled.
A sparrow dropped from the sky.
Can’t look.
Don’t even want to think
about those carcasses being out there.
Luckily, crows have a taste for my discomfort.

     
John Grey’s poetry has recently appeared in The Homestead Review, Poetry East and Columbia Review. He has work upcoming in Harpur Palate, the Hawaii Review and Visions International.

The Milk

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By Carolyn Black

Am a little sour today
More than half-empty
Near the end of my days
A fresher version is nearby
It looks identical to me
But holds more weight
More presence

Ah, a hand is reaching toward me
Careful!!
Don’t shake me like that
I might curdle

The hand picks up the other carton
Which it chooses over me
Loaded, as it is, with promise
Of rich creamy coffee
I am all but dried up
Only a thimbleful of me left
Not worth pouring

Destined for rinse then recycle
May as well
Be totally empty
Washed out