Author: Sad Spell Press

Spellbooks available here.

Balsamic by Danielle Perry

 
Slowly I made altars all over the apartment. I was preparing
but for what I didn’t know / something was coming or
 
 
something was changing / maybe I mean someone / maybe
I mean me. I thought of her, desperately, endlessly. I wished
 
 
I had a name to call her by. The fairy stories taught me
names are power / that to know something’s true name is
 
 
to have power over it / if I knew her name I could call her
by it and she would have to come. I wanted her to come.
 
 
The altars seemed the next best thing to a name.
 
 
The moon was just a shard of light in the sky
and I was waiting / for what would cut next.

Filaments by Heather Goodrich

Clumps of my dress fall off. So I sweep dress and toast crumbs and coffee grounds and dried noodles and flour and egg shells and onion coats and hair. This tile really should be replaced. And the carpet. And the ceiling above the TV room. Ruined from a leak in the shower. Nobody showered here for years. Mice chewed holes in every box spring. Photos and mirrors cover holes in the walls. Doors shaped like question marks after a tug-of-war of push/push with Dad. Can’t tell unless you look close. Nobody ever does. 
 
Nobody looks. Nobody sees. You do not see this. How can you not see this mess? Then what are you looking at? If I pricked your skin would you feel it? If I carved pig in your flesh would you blink? Nobody would notice this. Blood would clot. This wreck waits to burn. This wreck waits to expel itself. Numb. So numb. Like people waiting in line. Not noticing anything because they’re texting. Not noticing that Loveland has changed. Not noticing because they don’t look. They don’t see. They don’t find the mess a mess. They don’t see a problem. When I scream, they say: Heather, stop the drama. I throw up on them and blocks of gristle stick to their sweaters.
 
I have swept for a week. Blisters and calluses cover my hands. Sweep. Splinters may have pricked me, but my swollen hands won’t feel it. Sweep, sweep. My feet are numb, and I’m nearly naked. Is this floor even clean yet? Outside, the wind picks up and heather no longer cuts the sky. In the foothills, cows and heifers graze in the moors. This ground is volatile cake. It urges me to stop. Don’t beg me to put the broom down. Sweep, sweep. If I stop, things get pretty. I wish I could stop. It’s just that this floor is dirty and I can never say anything.

Single Sentence Staccato II by Christopher Morgan

1.
The philosopher’s need
to play Devil’s advocate
alienates his closest friends.

2.
The sticky grey matter
brought home by a child
ignites the family’s organs with tumors.

3.
Each second,
the microscopic machine
in your heart
drills deeper.

4.
A falsity is repeated,
repeated, repeated,
until it’s believed.

5.
The elevator’s floor
opens and the couple drops.

6.
An octopus loses two arms

to a fisherman

and they never grow back.

7.
A chameleon puffs itself up, 
hissing for its life, 
but the viper slithers closer.

8.
A blind man 
hears his neighbor being assaulted, 
but cannot come to their aid.

9.
Each of the shark’s
crushing bites further crack
the diver’s cage.

10.
A fable has a single message:
sadness.

11.
A radio tower 
collapses during maintenance 
and two technicians plummet.

12.
Tidal waves 
deposit jellyfish 
in palm trees.

13.
A storm-struck tree
crashes through a cabin’s doorway,
confining a family indoors.