BIRDS OF A FEATHER
He didn't mean to imply that love was the length of a roller coaster ride. Or that ashes could settle quickly. Looking birdlike under her over-sized rayon robe, perhaps one kept from a laconic lover, she kept telling him to say what he means. His eyes turned to cold-metal stillness.
She thought of old ravens, sculpted from bronze with painful precision. One stood over a glass case in her father's house by the sea.
He broke through his own cracks and said that two lives don't necessarily add up to One. She uncrossed her legs, full of nubs and tiny spasms. She rose and said "I need more than just your seeds." He left. Outside the air tickled his nose. He thought of feathers and why babies need so much sleep.
THE GREAT ART FORGERY
A woman unravels in her sleep.
If she could slap herself at the right moment,
she could photo-shop her dream, post it on Deviant Art.
Here's the photo-shopped dream:
A French detective whispers into his phone
that there is a murder of chocolate ducks in the playground.
This is a fix of time that would look great
in an acrylic medium, thinks the woman beneath the woman.
Or maybe the French detective was a collage
of street-wet eyes with old tunnel visions, a gallery
of fingerprints that never added up.
In Paris, there's an old saying
that the chocolate ducks had already melted.
LOVER OF WORDS
Hieronymus can't afford their ghosts.
The words he types levitate,
turn to human forms searching
for warmth, redemption. He's backspacing
a love letter to a girl
who hung herself upside down.
This way he can almost reconcile
himself to the fact
that his timing was off.
And there was the love-sodden
Norse woman with big greedy hips
who made him Spanish omelets in
an apartment of midnight suns.
Above their simple design of words,
chimney smoke rose in slow dances of despair.
Orange peels, the curled skins
of Akero apples on the table
reminded him of the natural source
of fragrance. He told her
that happiness is best
when it is timed. He left her
with a delicious pippin of a lie.
The cell phone chirps an angry
bird of a diva's voice and the husband
with hot charcoal rocks between his words
is telling H. that he will kill him.
Hieronymus doesn't admit to anything.
Instead his brain hums in the silence,
he knows that like everything
reduced to unending endings,
now the two of them are doubled down
KYLE HEMMINGS lives and works in New Jersey. He has been published in Elimae, Smokelong Quarterly, This Zine Will Change Your Life, Blaze Vox, Matchbook, and elsewhere. He loves 50s Sci-Fi movies, manga comics, and pre-punk garage bands of the 60s.