Prose Poetry / Flash Fiction

It All Depends

Brad Rose

Admiring the corporality of animals, we’re parked in the ghost car. I have an indoor question: How many misspelled thoughts must I have, anyway? There’s nothing more beautiful than wanting the impossible to be true, especially when it is. Time passes faster in the mountains, than it does by the sea. Like a drowned body, the sky’s blue prairie floats overhead. Wind light as confetti. Maybe we should take a drive to the beach; go for a swim? I don’t want to give away the ending, but I can tell you it’s a beauty. No one attends their own funeral. Know what I’m saying? By the way, that outfit looks good on you. Although, it all depends on how you look at it.

Notes

Theodore Worozbyt

The black Bell telephone rings. That sound had lingered. Outside, throats hidden beneath a leaf, faces blunted, the toads have stopped waiting to be collected. Slowly then, as though my queasy blank might meet itself and soar deep into the blue invisibility of a Northern sky, Isabelle Faust draws her bow across a charcoal portrait hanging in my mind. Ones appear in such gaps as the eye provides and the ear can’t ignore, if not their expressions. They stay welcome but stay alone, and sing their sighs through spaces between forgettings. Only grief hears them out. The violin is not higher than the viola; it is smaller. Each note contains a fingertip touching something so like itself there remains no distinction in the echo.

Syrupy

Ivy Alvarez

Spine of the world: its curvature: sheer. Here. Consider each tangle. Impossible at this angle. A honeyed slickening, skin scaffolding, thin viscosity whips falling, how much vertigo our earth diverts, divests for the ceiling. So crystalline. Everything begs for a licking, a taste of armature, pure musculature, sweet architecture. Such a candied, candid space between these buildings. A teeth of stones, shadows, signposts. Blinds. A muscled bite. Concrete bones beneath each bright surface. Right. Simply scurfless. Open doors to cavities, decay, every roof shiny with condensation, haze. Let’s scoop the drops, boil it up. Reduce. Evaporate.

Night Prowl

Ion Corcos

I am a rattlesnake, wrapped in a purple blanket. A route over water and mountains. The forecast is for snow, half a world away. I am human with fire in my belly, burning wild. A mad dog, prowling the streets at night. It is raining now. It is snowing. My house is on fire. I am a tree holding a nest of eggs. A rattlesnake comes. Steals them. I will not hold fear, tend to it like a baby. It is snowing now. I hold a broken umbrella. An umbrella is a tree without spirit. There is someone in the dark.

Ariadne on Naxos

Eric Pankey

She hears the goat bells descend. It must be nightfall. Fireflies, little lamps snuffed and relit, survey the woods’ depths. The cloud-fed mosses on the ridge-edge grow inky black. Thumb-struck, the match flares brighter, noisier than it ought. She closes her eyes, untangles a maze’s abstruse distance into a line.

The Return of Odysseus

Eric Pankey

To gather the evening’s cool, the shutters are left open. All at once the cicadas, dumbstruck, cease. She turns toward the shore, senses a squall in the offing. In anticipation of a kiss, she swallows; touches her tongue to her lips. The moon sheds light as transparent as a threadbare dress.

Relax

Brad Rose

The sign in the window says Ladies dresses 70% off. Can’t be sure whether that’s an invitation or a warning. Like God, the cause of the incident is still under investigation.

Stop me if you’ve heard this story so many times, you can’t remember what it’s about. Administratively speaking, you’d do the same, if I were in your shoes. With the deluxe nightmare, it comes at no extra cost, excluding normal wear and tear.

I may look like I’m hiding in a drowning, but I’ve learned you can have an excellent memory, if you don’t spend all your time trying to forget. It’s as easy as an electrocution in standing water.

It’s such a beautiful evening tonight, don’t you think? The breeze, cool and slow, your eyes, dark dead stars. With my hand in yours, I feel relaxed as an ax lounging in blue sequined moonlight. The throat of the moon pulled out like a drawer.

from The Introvert’s Guide to Dreams

Brian Clifton

Luckily, you’ve separated a calf from its herd. It darts into the woods. You follow, your entire family at your heels. Together, your panting fills the forest with moist and rhythmic movement. If you sense anything, it’s that nature doesn’t always want you inside it. But there you are, gnawing through nature’s ribcage. You drag the calf from the woods into the light. It is not alive; a pulse remains in your jaws.

You stare at the river from the bridge that spans it. Your chin rests on the metal railing. You feel the bridge start to shake. When the wobbling becomes more pronounced, you hear the footsteps—marching toward you, fresh from the blackberry patch, an army of children, their mouths smeared into a constant opening.

J. Vernel Equinox

Mark Young

Returning to the Moon is the key to humanity’s long-term future in space. It is a vertical project, akin to climbing a ladder. Each step has its own name, its own symbol. The symbols are not visual representations of the naming words. Nor are the names descriptive of the activity of the step. There are no milestones, only spaces between the steps. Memory retains them thus, & can produce them to the mind whenever it has occasion to consider them. The first step is called “A control toolbox automatically loading for no reason.” The sea is its avatar.

Castor Mound

Jeff Streeby

St. Hubert’s Day
and through frost smoke rising from the creek
a waxing moon

Sunset. Light leaching from a freezing sky. A clear night falling. East, the cold glitter of evening stars, but west beyond the lake, twilight burning out in colors of honey, wood violets and blue vervain.

Right about now that 80 lb. super blanket I spotted last week will be working the castor set just upstream from the den. The chin stick will make him drop a front foot squarely between the jaws of a #4. Tomorrow morning, as sure as I’m standing here, he’ll be at the bottom of the drowning rod. If he’s as big as I think he is, he’ll go at least 70 inches. As long as he isn’t all scarred up, he’ll maybe rate “Select”.

Venus. The Milky Way. The order of things.

The Beaver Moon
At perigee,
biggest and brightest of a lifetime

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