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 …

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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.

Chris

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By Paul Bluestein

I stuffed what was left of Chris into a black plastic trash bag, carried it out to the curb, came back inside, and exhausted, climbed into bed.

I was awakened early by the grinding gears of the trash truck and peeked out of the window just in time to see the bag tossed into the trash masher and driven off. Washed by relief, I got dressed and wondered what the day would bring.

Now that the photographs, saved birthday cards and your battered fedora are gone, will I finally be free of you?

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

This is What You Taught Me

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By Joe Stallone

We were slow dancing to the Eagles in my kitchen. The only light came twinkling from the tealight candles that I had haphazardly scattered throughout the room.

I was sauced on gin, swaying to the tempo and stumbling on your feet. You laughed at my rhythmic ineptitude, told me I was silly when I was drunk.

Raising my voice to falsetto, I sang to you: Take it to the limit.

Glenn Frey turned in his grave.

What they don’t teach you in secondary school is that when someone breaks up with you, it’s the good memories that sting the most.

Kill Your Darlings

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By Christine-Marie Liwag Dixon

When you are young and in love, it is easy to believe that this is how you will feel forever, that these will be your dreams until you die, that you will spend every day of your life holding his smile. When you are young, love and virtue are not ideals to be upheld; they are constants held by unruptured skin, cradled by souls which have not yet emerged and collided into strangers overnight.

You do not know yet that even if your body lives forever, the person you are right now in this very second will soon die.

     
Christine-Marie Liwag Dixon is the author of Barkada Tayo: Essays on Being Filipino-American.

Where I’m From

Another from the Sunday Archives. Enjoy.

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By Nacklo

Tell me where I’m from.
Explain the culture that made me,
the genes that gave me a kufi instead of shades.
Never been into meadowlarks or glades
yet I appreciate the romantics.
Poets that paved the way.

You see no one is born a slave,
but restricted humanity breeds partiality to your own kind.
Be careful what truths you accept into your mind.
If you let assumptions lead,
you might be disgusted by what you find.
Perhaps it’s semantics,
logical gymnastics that bind,
but if anyone could be summed up in one word it would be Human.

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