25 Word Stories: Remonstrant

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Her litanies at supper were remonstrant
hisses that culled and lulled her handiwork;

Invoking her upbringing before meals
wasn’t enough to fulfill her ungodly aims.

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75 Word Stories: Correspondence

Correspondence

In the sixteenth century, it was customary (cautious?) to
assume some were in correspondence with

the afterlife–that they were witches. To this end, and to
a significant degree, those in question were purged.

Now, we preach other messages, hoping to be heard.
We seldom reflect upon impending fires,

or a judgmental drowning that might have happened several
hundred years prior.

We mark off as mere belief, those
things that are dark factions of knowing.

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75 Word Stories: Confluence

ConfluenceThese encounters, these pleas–
such misinformed stalks vitiate

me: a keel-hauling through a body
whose waters burn with bromine.

You will discover my moorings
clean from fasting, from strict ashes;

I stiffen for your bind. Filter me down,
again, to an edifice for your era.

Oh stranger, you cobbled me your disciple,
confounded all my discipline.

Is it fortunate to be light, thinly
stamped? My distress is your atlas

and confluence for a gaunt sale.

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50 Word Stories: Compline

ComplineWith these last laps I leapt with devotion turned
distant at your dismissals; I consecrated myself with
only You in my mind.

Now my song for you is finished with a sprite fluttering,
and corporeal liturgies flow from my body as it’s allowed–

water-drawn glory swept aside, for purity,
drowned.

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50 Word Stories: Erasure

ErasureShe was told it could be “overcome;”
given pills as tools to survive;

given a place, a time, to talk with a therapist
about dreams bigger than her own.

Her condition isn’t so codified, or one
of such solitary refinement.

She relies more on her words
than those of others.

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50 Word Stories: Range

Range

You counted every success, every failure,
like points in your game.

You split into strands and magnified
the peaks of your own denial,
expected us to pull you
from your pilloried past.

After each loss, was it really
so strange for your tears?

Didn’t splitting all this pique your interest?

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50 Word Stories: Poison

ergo7She’d always pick the high road and struggle
to stay there, even if it meant
unfolding, or, desiccation was the price.

Her secret to survival wasn’t that she held onto her precious reserves,
but that she’d drawn a path of progression at the expense of provision—
always, the higher road.

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50 Word Stories: Gauge

GaugeAs far as she was concerned, she took being dead to the world literally:
a listlessness would rebound whenever she tried appearing normal.

As far as she was concerned, the gauge on her life was set too low,
and her excuses, limitless.

Even so, she’d repeat the verses she’d learned.

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Are You There?

Are You ThereShe craved an unmet validation, and, given her environment, who could blame her?

Control came to her via acts that numbed and overwhelmed.

One misplaced comma, a cut, or quote by Blake:

“For mercy has a human heart/pity, a human face…”

So neglected, so misplaced.

She’ll sleep until she’s awake.

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Make Human

Make HumanIt’s 3:00am and she’s thrown the clipboard with background-check forms across her small, rented room. She can’t recall half of what the papers are asking.

She wonders if anyone who’s moved as much as she has could remember any address. Even so, she’s intent on coming across human, on paper.

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