a literary journal of the fictional persuasion

LIFE SENTENCES(page eight)

by Bob Arter

Its not so much the continent between us as the feeling I can never shake that here I am afloat between the sand and surface of some unnamed sea and up above she beats and flails in wordless torment, backlit by an ancient star a pallid sky a godless void, and I am tethered here in the ignominy of barely moving currents, drifting, safe, protected from the storm shes bare to, bared to, borne by, slamming her from wave to rock from peak to trough from peril to perdition, slowing now but steady moving stubborn little bitch refusing this much help, no sir no succor nothing doing, far above me far below I watch and wait and wonder how long can she keep it up how many plates aloft on spinning sticks which wave what magnitude will crush her will it will it must and then just at the moment when I know shes done for finished beaten broken by the years the tears the weather that is when she glances down, her slight disdain apparent and with nothing more she measures out the madness of the cruelty of the manifest unfairness of her youth and shrugs into her labored crawl and faces down the Beast before her calling her reviling her inviting her contempt and this I see from down here in my cringing-place my soft safe haven: she with perfect disregard with perfect passion pure precision, she who knows I watch I wait I all but pray I see her, see! her left leg scissors past the right propelling her toward another stone an egg in brine a tiny death Ill never know and this I think is harder than the continent between us.

© Bob Arter 2004

Bob Arter, a native of the golden west, writes mad fiction and verse which every editor worth knowing is itching to get their hands on. He still owes me $1.


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