by Michelle Reale
The train was persistent. It was due to come through again. In a room shaped like an octagon, the corners of which reminded her of Rome (a place she’d never been) she pretended she, too, was just passing through. Forget the fact that her feet housed the splinters from the floorboards she’d been walking for years. Or the fact that every time the train passed to a place she’d never go, the faces of friends she’d never met stared out of yellowed windows and waved as if she were the ‘must see ‘ attraction along the way. And at night (though sometimes in the morning, too) she’d close the thick lids of her eyes and hum “gone, gone, gone.” Then the train would come by with its smoke and its clickety-clack and the sound of the steely tracks like blades in an old time movie, reminding her of all the places she’d never go, locations were all the same to her in their mystery. Still, the people would wave, and point, and photograph her. Later, they’d speak of her as if she were nothing more than a ghost. No more than a woman of indeterminate age living in a home by the tracks whose corners reminded her of Rome. Everyone would be simply passing through. If she had a voice, she’d like to say that everything considered, it was still the silence she loved. But the train would keep coming. She would dare the people to believe her she was okay exactly the way she was and would remain so. If only they would stay long enough to look around, to stay a bit and reason the whole thing out for themselves.
Michelle Reale’s works have been published in a variety of venues including Smokelong Quarterly, elimae, Word Riot, Monkeybicycle, Eyeshot
and others. Her fiction chapbook, Natural Habitat
, will be published by Burning River in April 2010.
by Molly Gaudry
A carafe, that is a blind glass. —Gertrude Stein
In a different version it was not a pea but a cocoa bean
you came to us in the night
soaked in cold
trembling with fatigue
Mother brought you inside where the last of our candles were burning
prepared for you a bed of many mattresses
in the morning she asked how you had slept
I was the one who did the beds
knew you had not slept on those mattresses
had slept on the floor
I had never seen a being so beautiful as you
who in passing my cocoa-bean test brought me great inspiration
the dresses I fashioned from that point forward where winged creations made from the excesses of water on hand
each drop sewn one on top of the next so that the texture was rippling as a pond beneath the moon….
Molly Gaudry is the author of the verse novel, We Take Me Apart (Mud Luscious Press, 2009), and the editor of Tell: An Anthology of Expository Narrative (Flatmancrooked, 2010). She curates Walking Man Gallery, edits Willows Wept Press and Willows Wept Review, is a co-founding editor of Twelve Stories, and is an associate editor for Keyhole Magazine. She writes occasional book reviews for East&West Magazine, and she’s currently tweeting a chapter of her new verse novel, FLORA THE WHORE, every few days on Twitter.
by Colin James
Our neighbors sun themselves indiscriminately.
See the after affects,
the linear contortions as chaise lounges buckle.
Oars replace legs,
to stand with the rows of canes
near the pool-house study.
We can sit quietly
our buttocks clutching the seats width,
until it’s time to dine
and I hold you like a drink.
Colin James lives in Massachusetts but used to live in England. He works in Energy Conservation. He has poems forthcoming in Oysters And Chocolate
, Calliope Nerve
and The Tower Journal