Aphelion Issue 279, Volume 26
December 2022/January 2023
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
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by David-Matthew Barnes

The edge of your laughter
Looms around me like the lonely circles of Saturn.
You were so determined to be someone's hero
That like an astronaut, you flew away
Before I had the chance to countdown, make you mine.
You tell me that there is life on Mars,
But it is only this dirty Earth that matters.
For that is where you glide and befriend him,
As if he were a child who has misplaced his lunch.
My enemy, he is the alien who invaded our life.
He walked away with your hand, your heart,
Your flight to success. My sonic boom.
I am grounded, where I have also stood,
On the outskirts of my own cosmic life.
Balancing the beam of breath, I am burrowed by
This beggar's banquet for the broken hearted.
I see the moon mock me,
Beckoning me to come home and to
Reunite with those who have died,
Resurrected before me like satellites.
In loving you, I will never return to yesterday.
In watching you with him: the man, the boy, the coward,
Sitting next to you, tempting you.
He is cunning and coy. He triggers your impulses,
Your curiosity to explore another life.
Oh, your possibilities:
With me, they are jet-set, chaotic.
With him, they are mundane, mediocre.
I am portrayed as the parasite,
Sucking the mercy from your soul.
You look up from the core of your dilemma
And I see the world in your eyes
You stare back at me, hoping that I will understand
Your position, your pride, the price of loving
A man like you, like Neptune, who politely asks me
To understand, to be kind and to forgive
The rape of my intergalactic soul.
I knew exactly where I was going, before I met you.
Now, I travel through outer space, competing.
He knows his science. I only have my fiction but
I have such a story to tell.
I know I will be left, a misaligned planet
In perfect formation with your twisted ways
Like the shifted axis, the wicked orbit,
When you rotated and turned against me
Just like this unfaithful world.

© 2003 David-Matthew Barnes

David-Matthew Barnes is the author of eleven one-act plays, seven full length plays, six screenplays, twenty-two short stories, a tell-all collection of poetry ("Sins Of The Flesh") and a newly completed first novel ("Ambrosia"). His short stories, poetry and creative non-fiction have appeared in over fifty literary journals and anthologies. He and his partner, Nick Moreno, live in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia. They are the proud parents of two teenagers and two cats. 

Find more by David-Matthew Barnes in the Author Index.

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