When You See Me Walk

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By Nayana Nair

When you see me walk toward my grief,
toward my past,
with my head sinking down,
with my hands full of my own pieces,
stop me dear.
Come to me.
Run to me.
Call out to me
even when you think I cannot hear.
Hold me back
even when you think I cannot be stopped.
Promise me
that you will try.

Nayana is an engineer and technical writer who also moonlights as an amateur poet. She says, “Writing for me is a process of self realization and an effort to understand what is ever-elusive.”

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An Old Mind

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By Hayley Reese Chow

I smile and tell the doctors I’m fine—no more voices, no hallucinations.

But in the darkness, I settle into my frayed armchair and wait. I twist the wedding band around my liver-spotted finger as the silence of the empty house stuffs my ears. Finally, I feel her butterfly touch alight on my shoulder.

“Frank, won’t you come to bed?” she coos. My damp eyes close as I savor the sound.

They say it’s an old mind’s delusion, but she feels real to me. So, the shadows keep my secret while the world sleeps, and I sit with my ghosts.

          
“I work numbers during the day and spill sentences in the wee hours of the night. Words that sit in the soul only go sour, and writing is the cheapest therapy there is.” – the author

Pockets

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By Dorene O’Brien

Stones, wrappers, spent gum, broken shells, dollar bills soft from the wash.

As a child I abused my pockets—crumpled leaves, melted chocolate, unwrapped candy, leaky pens—and as a teen I filled them: movie stubs, bus tickets, cigarette butts, bottle caps, lip gloss, condoms.

When I finally grew up and got married, I learned the value of a purse, which is like 20 pockets combined: wallet, telephone, tissue, hairbrush, lotion, notebook, perfume, aspirin. But I had never fully relinquished my obsession with pockets, though when I found her number in my husband’s, I wished I had.

           
“I write to satisfy my curiosity about how the world works, and how I work.” – the author

Maybe Tomorrow

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By M. Allman

My thoughts hold me hostage. So, from my apartment window I watch a world foreign to me, but one I long to take part in.

How do you do it? Live freely without a care? Driving, shopping, and going about your business as if fear doesn’t exist.

What’s the secret?

I try to coexist. I open the door, sleek down the stairwell and stop at the portal to your world. My hand shakes as I reach for the doorknob. Sweating, heart racing and trembling, I race back to safety and continue to watch the world from my window.

Maybe tomorrow.

           
M. Allman enjoys writing short fiction. She is the author of the Flashes of Fiction anthologies of short, speculative fiction.

The Wicked Therapist

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By David Derey

When they lay down on the couch, and open up to me;

They have no clue what they’re letting in.

The deep-rooted problems they bring up – I make grow.

It’s my drug.

Then she comes.

From the first session, I have a bad feeling.

Every angle I play her with, she spins around – and thanks me for the perspective.

Every evil seed I plant, blossoms into beautiful flowers in her mind.

I try my best, but she just won’t break.

She wants seven double sessions a week.
Lately, the few times I sleep:
My dreams are bleak.

My Father

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By Dianne Moritz

My father was not
a strong man,
so I’ve heard.
He boozed,
caroused
with woman,
Mother said,
words rattling
like pebbles
in my toy maraca,
till I wanted
to scream my ears off.

One summer day,
he grabbed
his billfold
and left us …
Smooth as stone.

          
Dianne Moritz, seeks understanding of her troubled relationship with her mother. She writes poetry and picture books for children since retiring from teaching in inner city Los Angeles.

3:00 AM Walk

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By Michael Morell

Thunder
like a Mingus
composition
rolls in
to scare her from sleep.
The storm not yet
here, I dress and take
her for a walk
followed by lemon tea
on the couch
as her telescopic
Greyhound neck
rests in my lap.
Flittering legs
lit by lightning
getting her nowhere,
she falls asleep
to the honeyed sounds
of Billie Holiday
while I dream awake.

           
Michael Morell writes to satisfy his need to create, and to better understand the world.