Ephemera

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By Maja Bodenstein

I am fetching a glass of water when the walls of my house crumble around me. Before my eyes the clutter of my daily life reverts to its natural state: my ankles sink into the dirt that was once the floor as the house’s support beams shoot up into the sky, trees once more. In this primeval forest, I am the intruder; I have no choice but to sink into the morass and surrender to decay. But even as I dissolve into the sticky, primordial ooze, I sense life begin anew as a solitary bud sprouts from my little toe.

            
Maja Bodenstein is a Chinese/German screenwriter, obsessed with language and mythology. She lives in London, UK.

 

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A Perfect Breakfast

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By michelefoxauthor

I promised myself after my nursing home breakfast, I’d write a little drabble, however short or long.

The lifeless, colorless food was an indicator of a future I wouldn’t accept: old, cold and tough as the patients surrounding me. “Get better or stay forever.”

My pinkie dipped inside the rim of a plastic coffee mug and recoiled, telling me not to bother. What happened to the cook’s pride?

Mrs. Yates sits behind me, coughing a dry throatful of arsenic-dusted powdered sugar cookies her kids prepared. The same Godforsaken breakfast with her Godforsaken greedy children, and their perfect fricking cookies.

         
Michele Fox has published one novel and several short stories and poems.

Born Wrong

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By Wolf Stahl

I’m just a watch with two big hands
moving slow, then fast, never right on any day,
I say things I can’t understand, and I love you
in an incomplete way,
but I’m trying.

I think everything worth having is worth burning.
Better to weep in ashes than be buried under snow.
The look in your eyes, a hundred miles away,
makes me hate myself for the things I know.

The pressure in my head is disastrous
Rivets bursting like machine-gun fire
I tell myself I’m better off without you,
I tell myself I’ve never been a liar.

          
Wolf Stahl was born on a farm and never recovered.

Some of the Time

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By Ali Grimshaw

Sometimes
the light turns red before we have left the intersection
leaving our tail end vulnerable

sometimes
our brakes don’t work, spinning on black ice with
blurred windows of reaction

sometimes
we must go slowly, inching through the fog in faith
blinded by dense thoughts

sometimes
breakdowns leave us on the rainy roadside
unpacking resourcefulness

sometimes
forgiveness shows up like an invitation
an off-ramp never seen before

sometimes
we just need to stay on the road
grip and steer

The Poems I Have Not Written

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By johnlmalone

I am outside late at night
Writing poems
About the poems
I have not written
The ones I’ve shied away from
Because of embarrassment
Or timidity
Or fear of shedding my jovial persona
And find
Somewhat alarmingly
That the poems I have not written
Far outnumber those I have

           
John Malone is a South Australian writer of short stories, flash fiction and poetry.

Forgive Me

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By johnlmalone

I am not myself today.
I wasn’t myself yesterday either.
Where I’ve got to I don’t know.
I have informed the police, the Missing Person’s Bureau.
They have put out an all points alert.
I go looking for myself in bars, parks, shopping malls.
I take photographs to show them what I looked like.
They shake their heads sadly.
I go home, hang my hat on the rack and slump on the old lounge.
Ahh, there you are, I say, almost sitting on top of me.
I was here all along, he says. Where have YOU been?

            
John Malone is a South Australian writer of short stories, flash fiction and poetry.

Magical Thinking

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By diannemoritz

Do you spit out words as you

might a bite of bruised apple?

Say: Today my dog died?

Do you tell how you watched

the light fade from her

soulful eyes, nothing left

but bones and soft fur?

Should you mention you cried out,

wanting to kill the messenger?

How this longing hurts, sometimes

believing she will amble back home,

tail thumping, cold nose pressed

against your lonely hand …

           
Dianne writes poetry and picture books for kids. Her next book, Hey Little Beachcomber, will be out in April, 2019. She is a frequent contributor to Highlights magazine.