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War, a very short story

illustration war very short story cats and dogs illustration war very short story cat and dog backwards

The woman thought of God a hundred times a day. A thousand. An infinite number of times. Consciousness on the quantum level. And each day, she grew unhappier. More discouraged. Bleaker. Uglier. Sadder. More uncertain. In the trenches. Wanting to know for sure, and be done with it. The big picture… could anyone see it… could anyone imagine it… could she, or anyone she knew, ever have a clue to its subject… its matter. Most people seem strong until something goes wrong. Could time really heal?

Her belly grew heavy and cold, a dizzying pit of endless space. Would she ever be able to see it through to the end? Where was the end? When was it reasonable to stop trying. When was it the right time to stop trying… too hard. Where were people when you needed them. Bullets never did any body any good. The first human-killing weapons led to more, and more deadly, machinery for war… cannons and tanks and bombers. Land mines. Napalm. Nukes. Propaganda. Poison. Secrecy. It all boiled down into the same rotten thing, in the end.

Terror. The dog barked and barked and yelped and whined and barked some more. He was single-minded; his existence that moment was all about the cat, the cat behind the sofa. She refused to be ruled by terror. She growled and hissed back. She sat just outside his reach and baited him. Sometimes it worked. Sometimes it backfired. Sometimes the dog came so close to her, his mouth closed in on the long, silky fluff of her tail. He bore a complex pattern of red scratches on his black and white snout. The man wanted the cat gone in the morning. What if he insisted? The man, or the cat? She preferred the cat tonight. No telling about tomorrow.

 

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Filed under anger, courage, death, fear, fiction, grief, heart, hope, human beings, humanity, loss, love, mourning, murder, peace, personal responsibility, prose poetry, relationships, short stories, soul, spirit, united states of america, war, wish

(Love is like a) Chain of Possession, a prose poem

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(Love is like a) Chain of Possession

My black cat is a shadow — with yellow eyes.  She yawns, and the startling pink of her mouth lies exposed.  Fangs of unbelievable sharpness.  How is it she refrains from using them on me?  I feed her, I pet her, I clean up her waste.  She kneads my lap, sharp needles encased in velvet.  I, too, am a cat — fangs and claws hidden in softness.  The illusion of receptivity.  The startling pink of the vagina yawns with boredom.  We need more air, moving air, air to ruffle our fur and wake us from this somnolence.

Sweet sleepiness like honey — clear and amber and sticky.  I coat your penis in honey, taste the sweetness, but it isn’t enough.  I want something wilder, something dangerous.  the fascination with death, with destruction, with smoking cigarettes.  The power of the flame to obliterate.  My heart alternately rages fierce, then trembles, vibrates like a small bird, poised for flight.  I cannot be tamed.  Mama tamed herself with scotch whiskey — damped her needs with ice and amber fluid; put out the flame.  She gave me my first black cat, hoping I could fly her dreams for her.  She only hated me for my freedom, her gift.

I fished, as a child, like a woman possessed:  dragging flailing body after flailing body out of the murky canal water, trying to birth myself in a way mama had not.  I felt mingled pity and disdain for my prey — threw them all back, gasping, bleeding, yet they bolted for the depths in a flash, hurrying back toward the life I had interrupted.  I toyed with the puffers, watched them inflate soft white bellies, gleaming, pearly.  They squawked in protest.  sometimes, a spot of blood where i removed the hook.  They all went back to the water.  my canal, my lover — a cool finger of brackish life.

Later, I gave birth to a child, paid for my pleasure, all that fishing, all that lust.  The child’s father held my hand, blinking in the shadows, gazing in mute stillness at the bloody pink and white body, as she opened her tiny mouth to swallow us both.  Her gums, naked yet as hold-fast as iron bars.  She felt the air upon her skin and screamed her agony, her ecstasy, her freedom.  She stared into my eyes, then swallowed my heart.  She breathed and sucked and smiled sweetly in her sleep.  Her first cat will be black, and she will bolt from my life as quickly and painfully as she entered.

I will never stop wanting a lover.  The need satisfied will spin a chain, a golden chain rattling in the dark.  I am terrified by my own strength.  I sleep, I wake, I begin again.  twirling life, twirling death, dancing in my room like a madwoman.  My cat watches, crouched to spring, her eyes thin slits of light.  Someday, she will swallow me.  My lover’s eyes create of me a woman possessed.  Spirit of the feline.; needles waiting in black velvet.  Swollen flowers meet, and cannot part; he is mine.

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