Aphelion Issue 275, Volume 26
August 2022
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
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The Name

by Bruce Whealton

His name is like
an incantation,
a magic spell,
so afraid I am
to even say it.
No, it is a curse
and something profane
all the same...

I heard that name
today and heard myself
saying that name
and it felt like I'd committed
some grave sin
and that I should seek the Sacrament
of “Penance and Reconciliation”
from the Church.

While not normally given
to such magical thinking,
or belief in curses or incantations,
I did feel different today afterward,
and for a while
I couldn't get that face
out of my mind...
I felt anxious
expecting something bad
to happen...
and the world felt different -
a bit more unfriendly
and frightening...
and I felt alone and vulnerable.

But since I shared this poem,
I felt a little better,
a little more relaxed.

© 2010 Bruce Whealton

Bruce Whealton has been the co-editor and publisher of Word Salad Poetry Magazine since 1995 and their newest publication, Haiku Ramblings. They publish both on the web at WordSaladPoetryMagazine.com and in print. Bruce has a Bachelors Degree from Georgia Institute of Technology and a Master's Degree in Social Work. He has been writing and studying poetry for many years with various mentors. His poetry has been published recently in The Horror Zine, and the associated Anthology called “And Now the Nightmare Begins: The Horror Zine. His poems have also appeared in “lines written w/a razor,” “Childe Bryde,” “lunatic chameleon,” “the thin edge of staring, “Chance Magazine,” Venus Rising, the Wilmington Star News' Port City Poets, and “Gravity Hill,” and “Simple Vows Anthology” which is put out by St. Andrews College Press.

Find more by Bruce Whealton in the Author Index.

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