Skip to main content

Four Bottles by John Short

So suddenly she’s gone:
one more dead friend I don’t delete
from Facebook out of respect.
She changed her name
thus, Kirsten became Christina,
said there were twelve people
living inside her and
she’d grown fat from the medication.
Her daughter, a homeless punk
who befriended refugees;
her husband unhinged and violent.
She quizzed about my poetry
and if it was evolving.
Asked if four bottles of wine
a day was too much.

---


John Short lives near Ormskirk in Lancashire after years in southern Europe. He has a diploma in creative writing from Liverpool University Centre for Continuing Education and is a regular reader at Liver Bards and Dead Good Poets. His pamphlet Unknown Territory was published by Black Light Engine Room Press in 2020 and his full collection Those Ghosts appeared from Beaten Track Publishing in January 2021.



Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Home by Jessa Forest

Home scratches at her shingles with tree branch fingers, pulls the air conditioning unit close to her grimy aluminum siding, and keens an empty song of mourning. We found her wandering the tornado snarled wild three months ago, starved and lonely. She doesn’t know how to take care of herself, you see? We fed her shards of dining room tables, kindling for the fireplace, and cast iron bathtubs clawed feet first. She was slow to recover so we gutted her plumbing, ripped out her nerves, and rewired the electricity. She let the water in every time it rained so we put a new roof on her and let her out for regular walks around the wolf pen. Let her mingle with the vultures, I said, let her feel useful and clean up the dead but no one wanted to listen. We found rot an mold in her corners, infused her insulation with antibiotics, and quarantined her for two weeks while she belched ladderback chairs, sofa cushions, wind chimes, and broken bookcases. She still has her bad days. After feeding time

Things They Don't Tell You by Barbara O'Donnell

That the moment the words terminal diagnosis leave the doctor’s mouth, the grieving starts. Speaking a foreign language to cover for the fact that there is nothing they can do. That the family will fight, even as they know the treatment plan is the best medicine available. That his swallowing reflex will depart before him, making you figure out ways to give him the only thing he begs for, cold juice or whiskey. That you’ll beg the pharmacist to tell you, which is the better mouthwash to use. As if it would make a difference. That you’ll spend those last days, not telling stories or saying how much you love each other. But that he’ll repeatedly throw you out of the room. Make you wonder again, whether to contradict the doctor’s orders ; to give him what he wants. But which will also hasten his demise. So that you can try to eke out the minutes, that the clock tells you are passing, but which seem to stand still inside the close, bare

Letters never sent by Beth O'Brien

I write you letters, like these ones here.  I focus on my handwriting  so I don’t over-think the words  I’m never going to show you.  I burn a stamp, an envelope, and imagine  flames dancing from inside a postbox, pretending I can smell the ink melting.  Sometimes, I think that’s the only way forward and I wonder if red becomes redder if you burn it?  Every letter I write is a reminder of why  they are letters never sent.  Every letter I never send is a reminder of why  I write you words, like these ones here. --- Beth O’Brien is a third year English Literature student at the University of Birmingham. She has had work published with  Foxglove Journal ,  Nine Muses Poetry , and  BellaOnline Literary Review.  She is a reviewer for Mad Hatter Reviews and Riggwelter Press, and has written articles for  sheswanderful.com   and the  Graduate Recruitment Bureau  blog.