Aphelion Issue 279, Volume 26
December 2022/January 2023
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
Submission Guidelines
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Flash Writing Challenge
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Memento Mori

by J. Davidson Hero

Illness and age, harbingers, the mean crows of death,
With mocking greedy glances picking
On the gravel shoulder at the garbage of human endeavor.
No wonder we scream when we are born.
The antiseptic burns our nostrils, but it is still not strong enough
To stop everything that hates us.

Swaddled in the illusion of hope,
We comfort our mothers and fathers,
Hands like coarse bark, tawed rhinoceros skin,
Unkempt, Cro-Magnon, they cradle us a bit too crudely.

Science promises immortality, someday.

We pop cinnabar and jade.
But cancer creeps back on clattering chelae.
Our arteries harden waiting for the next global pandemic,
While we slowly forget in spite of ourselves,
Until a copy of a copy of a copy loses cohesion.

The double helix is a whirligig measured by a metronome,
And death’s strong hand is always in the small of our back.

© 2009 J. Davidson Hero

J. Davidson Hero is a bibliophile, computer programmer, an award-winning indie film maker, and most importantly, a husband and father.

Find more by J. Davidson Hero in the Author Index.

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