Aphelion Issue 275, Volume 26
August 2022
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Holy Leper

by J. B. Hogan

And you, holy leper,
can you swear it was I,
and not you, who refused to enter
the area of the diseased,
or did you leave me outside of your own accord?

There I sat
in the cold, wet grass,
my pants stained –
one moment I was looking at the sky
awestruck, fearful, reverent. Hopeful?
Christ, I was only a kid,
and then you were gone.

I was looking up at the sky
and the stars receded – pulled away.
It was cold, they receded,
I was looking up,
and then you were gone.
I sat there waiting.

Waiting. For what?
The sky was still, you were mute.
Christ, I was only a kid.
The stars were cold and you were still.
I expected more, and you were still.
And then you left,
left me waiting, waiting –
I am waiting still.

© 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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