Aphelion Issue 275, Volume 26
August 2022
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
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Chameleon Boy

by J. B. Hogan

How does it feel, chameleon boy,
to be dying?
Colors unneeded,
splotches considered a disease?

Blow up your throat sac,
do your electrical-jerky pushups;
push back from the end.

It’s only fear, anger –
loss of identity,
continuing life in your absence
that rankles so.

Go ahead, regenerate yourself – or try,
make the colors change,
the cells grow anew.
Crawl along that thin limb
onto which you cling.

Do something.

Fall scale-shattering back to earth,
leave residue on a leaf,
slide around and beneath your tree.

Time is passing, chameleon boy,
make up your mind,
the waiting is tiresome.
Saggy skin is hardly a treat to anyone,
a lack of movement no excuse.

React will you?
Breath in, breath out,
or get out.

No one cares for a dramatic
final death scene.
Breath in: once or twice,
make up your mind.

Do something.

© 2009 J. B. Hogan

J. B. Hogan has a four-story e-book, Near Love Stories, now online at Cervena Barva Press (www.cervenabarvapress.com). He also has over forty-five stories and thirty poems in such journals as: Word Catalyst, Istanbul Literary Review, Cynic Online Magazine, Admit 2 (forthcoming), Every Day Fiction, Every Day Poetry, Ranfurly Review, Dead Mule, The Scruffy Dog Review, Smokebox, Aphelion, Rumble, The Swallow’s Tail, Poesia, Bewildering Stories, Avatar Review, Copperfield Review, Ascent Aspirations, Megaera, The Pedestal Magazine, Dogwood Journal, Mastodon Dentist, Poets Against War, The Square Table, Raving Dove, Mobius, and Viet Nam Generation. He lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

Find more by J. B. Hogan in the Author Index.

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