by Fabrice Poussin
I broke a soul once
Upon a fall from grace.
Pieces of a spirit scattered all about the pond
Frantically seeking their kin from the tone of
I broke my soul once
And felt no pain.
I thought I saw a body hover above a shadow
A jigsaw inform of wavy shapes in two dimensions
Lost in space.
I broke that soul once
As if a diamond upon a rock.
It was a dream, hoping to rid the self of a mirror
Too faithful an image of what others could read
In an open tome.
I dropped a soul again
Not sure it was mine on the fire.
It lay there in a puddle of crimson tears pleading
For an overdue reconciliation with another
Below the tree.
She found her soul at last
While looking for a fruit to life.
And she met his gaze as she stood for the catch
Shining with the glow of eternity in the infinite sky
She closed her eyes.
Fabrice Poussin teaches French and English at Shorter University. Author of novels and poetry, his work has appeared in Kestrel, Symposium, The Chimes, and many other magazines. His photography has been published in The Front Porch Review, the San Pedro River Review as well as other publications.
by Derek Hamilton
Lonely; whispers and echoes, and I’ll answer the
Call me; ask if I’m sleeping, I wonder if it’s lost its
Appealing; the jury’s decision, you’ll have it for once in your
Lifestyle; but after a while, it gets harder to know what you’re
Worthless; give it a rest – I’ll make you think I’m something I’m
Not here; I’m no Shakespeare – I’m the best that you’ll never get to
Have fun; when it’s all done – you’ll end up resorting to
Pleading; your case to the courts – something you’ve gotta see to
Believe me; we belong to the Keys – and I don’t need to ever get
Homesick; learn a new trick – a showcase to try to
Impress you; it’s the least I can do – but it seems like it’s never enough
It seems like it’s never enough.
Derek Hamilton is a writer, musician, voiceover talent, and self-proclaimed nerd from Northeast Ohio. He’s a Columbia College Chicago alumni, a published poet, and currently works as a streaming media producer. You can find more of his work at derekhamiltonedits.com
by Dustin Pellegrini
The night I got mugged was a Monday. I had only been up at school for about two weeks and I remember not realizing that until other people pointed it out and kept repeating it. Like it made a difference somehow. Like it mattered. I remember getting sympathy for it from people I didn’t even know. Feeling uncomfortable at their touch, the hugs they forced on me. Their knowing looks they tried to pass over to me. Like they understood. But they didn’t.
I remember feeling the bite of the gun barrel as it made solid contact with the back of my head, smashing down clean like a hammer driving a nail in one swing. I remember not telling people about that part after hearing my brother’s reaction to it. Dad translated it to me first. How Tyler was a hair’s length away from driving up here with every hunting rifle he had to take revenge for me. I remember thinking this was just something dad had said, but then believing every word of it when it was said in my brother’s heavy, panicked voice. How I had to calm him down, convince him not to want to kill on my behalf. How his voice came out in screams between buckets of breaths. How it sounded on the phone like he was driving with the window open and I was afraid he was already making good on his word.
And as I was talking him down, I remember thinking, ‘Let him do it.’ Part of me wished he would, but I let that sink back down into my guts. Now, I only wish I could have responded with his anger, his pure frustration at how unfair it was, instead of with my silence.
‘It’ll be okay,’ I told myself. ‘Turn it into writing. Make it something. Rise above it.’ But I couldn’t help but want to sink. It’s hard to hold it in and just try to float up, it would have been nice to just tread water at their level or just dive down further and hold my breath for a minute or two like Tyler could. I just wish I could give in and do something like him.
Dustin Pellegrini is a writer living in Chicago. He studied Creative Writing at Columbia College Chicago, has had his work read at Chicago’s Story Week Festival and currently works at a nonprofit. You can find more of his writing at dustinpellegrini.com