Modern Dating for Modern Divorcees

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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.

Crows

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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.

The Life Cycle of Thoughts and Prayers

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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

Serenity

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By Hugo Jay

A calm sea against sandy beaches
Rolling hills
A cloudless sky
Flower-filled meadows and warm breezes and sunshine

The crickets chirp to say goodbye to the sun
And the birds chirp to greet it
Worry is gone
Fear is gone
All is peaceful and quiet and clear and bright

Muscles relaxed
Breathing steady
I bathe in the light of a new day
The animals calm
And the air whispers in my ear

I am free

Perfect World

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By Jacob

In a perfect world, love wouldn’t exist. In such a world, you don’t move in together or get married. You co-habitate. You don’t say “I love you,” as if to reassure each other that nothing has changed since the last time you said it. You don’t have to say anything. You don’t have to open yourselves up and be vulnerable. You don’t have to be sensitive to one anothers’ feelings. You cook for each other and drive each other places and fuck each other because you like the feeling of it. Of not being alone.

It’s Just a Little Dream

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By Ivor Steven

I’ve been waiting inside,
For that never-never ride.
Wishing for that little shrug,
To turn into a dream-time hug.

I’ve been waiting outside,
Trying not to hide.
Wishing for that little smile,
To travel one more mile.

I’ve been waiting all day,
Calling out, please stay.
Wishing for that little heartbeat,
To lay down at my feet.

I’ve been waiting all night,
For that one-way flight.
Wishing for that little dove,
To glide over my love.

I’ve been waiting, seems forever,
Crying quietly, oh whatever.
Wishing for that little embrace,
To become my last dance.

Creeps

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By Paul Beckman

There are creeps everywhere. I hear my female co-workers talking about them over their cubicle walls. I sit on my bar stool nursing my gin and tonic staring straight ahead or doodling on a bar nap and listen to the women after work complaining about the creeps in their life. I don’t know what makes a guy a creep. One of the four women next to me at the bar looked up and our eyes met in the back bar mirror. She motioned for her girlfriends to follow her and pointed to a table. “Creep,” she said, passing behind me.