Old Delhi Couplet

By Rachaita H.

I will go to Ghalib’s house, the next time I’m in Delhi
Pay him homage with one of those urchin flowers
That lie fallen – on the sidewalk of the street
I must visit the old poet
One of these moonlit evenings
In the city of lovers, they call it
His spirit still walks along the winding lanes
Or so, some believe.

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“I write to externalize my thoughts, and to give others a glimpse into my experiences.” – the writer

A Keeper

By Lorna Stewart

I smile up at my date, relieved that she returned from the bathroom. Normally they use that excuse and don’t come back. “Our cocktails arrived,” I push a margarita glass beaded with condensation towards her. She hesitates then sits. “Cheers.”

Weakly, she smiles back taking a sip. Over the zesty smell of lemons I evaluate her. I knew it from reading her dating profile. She’s “the one,” what my mother would call a “keeper.”

I wonder if she suspects the same, that the rest of her life will be spent with me. I wonder if she can taste the Rohypnol.

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“Writing helps me to reflect on ideas.” – the writer

The Third Time We Meet

By Kathryn Aldridge-Morris

The terraza’s closed to stop a Castilian corriente sweeping through the flat, smashing doors and breaking glass.

‘Amelia?’

My lover’s mother doesn’t turn from the hob.

‘Amelia?’

She rips a bulb from a garland of garlic, digs into the flesh, splits it into cloves. ‘Qué?’

From a sack, a squirming sound: shell against shell, squeaking legs, antennae, mandibles. She extracts a blue-green crayfish, its body writhes in her hand.

‘Amelia, I’m pregnant.’

She plunges the animal into boiling water; it hisses on impact, shell flares into red.
Much later I’ll ask if that noise is a scream, or just air.

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“I write as a way to find flow, get a buzz, uncover meaning.” – the writer

Doorman

By John L. Malone

When are you getting a doorman?

Pardon?

A doorman, When are you getting one?

You’ve got me and Bev.

You two are bloody hopeless. You’re never around when I want to come in or go out.

You always want to come in or go out. You can’t make up your mind. We can’t just stand at the door all day long attending to your whims.

So can I have a doorman then?

They don’t come cheap. We’ll have to cut back on expenses. No more cans of flashy cat food.

Damn! Can I have a cut price doorman then?

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John had great fun writing this, teasing readers.

Post-Traumatic Stress

By Steven Holding

He’s never been for giving.
Never been for getting, either.
Instead, he clings to the things that shaped him. Holding in the hurt until he’s fit to burst. Saving the shame until the day arrives when he finally finds the one who made him: presenting them with a present, granting a gift of his pain.
He knows it’s just a matter of time.
So, he quietly goes about his business. Knocking at every house in town, handing wrapped packages to eager happy customers.
When the right door opens, he’s sure he’ll be recognized.
Before delivering a surprise that’s long overdue.

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“Twenty-six letters rearranged then placed upon a page never ceases to amaze.” – the writer

That Year

By Mary Rohrer-Dann

She walked to school alone,
cut through a weedy lot
searching for clues.
In the weedy grasses,
a dented stop sign
bright as a wound
shattered bricks
chunks of asphalt
a gauzy blue scarf
netted with cobwebs,
and what drew her
over and over,
the burnt burlap sack
from which a moldering cat
fur charred black
struggled forever to escape,
teeth and sprung claws
like long yellow pearls.

Fall passed.
Then winter.
Her mother dying.
Dead.

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“I’ve written since 3rd grade. Lots of reasons, but, basically, I just do.” – the writer

Ode to the Beach

By Dianne Moritz

Oh, to wander the beach
on spring afternoons.

To relax in the sun,
or slide down big dunes.

To hear the surf roaring,
waves splashing on shore.

To watch sea birds feasting,
seagulls dive and soar.

To pick pretty seashells,
appealing driftwood.

To reflect and to dream,
as everyone should.

To exult in sea mist,
breathe in fresh salt air.

A beach walk in the spring
is beyond compare!

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“I write to express life’s simple pleasures.” – the writer

Being Old

By Russ Bickerstaff

I should point out that I’m new at this “being old,” thing. I might not be doing it right. I think that I’m failing miserably at failing miserably. (That’s part of being old, isn’t it? Maybe not. I mean, if it isn’t I wouldn’t know, would I?) I’m happy to let you know that you’re doing everything wrong, though. After all, I don’t think that you should be doing what you’re doing now that … I mean I guess by “old” I mean “dead.” And since you’re the one who made me that way, I’m in a position to judge you.

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Russ Bickerstaff is a critic and writer living in Milwaukee.

Social Media

By Lindzi Mayann

A problem I find, a pretty face gets praise.
This book has been stuck with what its cover portrays.
I went through a faze, on my mind it plays.
Don’t seek attention these days, earn respect it stays.
Be wise. Social media is lies.
Fake portraits. A simple disguise.
For the ego hungry, offers endless supplies.
Funny how easy minds are tricked by their eyes.
Real talent missed, how can we beat it?
The system’s broke, I vote that we cheat it.
Got to stop eating it and stand with the elite.
Sticking together, the only way to defeat it.

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“Writing is my absolute passion … and I often feel like my words come from instinct.” – the writer

I Wear Your Jacket Today

By Sheree Shatsky

The drab gray with the corduroy collar. You left the cuffs unfastened, the red flannel lining cold. A pack of smokes in your pocket, a book of matches in the other. A cigarette hole on the sleeve. You said you would quit. You’d try. You never did. You liked to watch the embers burn, the ashes flick cool, as do yours, cast vast across the snow.

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“I write like there is no tomorrow, getting the words down, leaving perhaps, a bit of my past on the page.” – the writer