Aphelion Issue 281, Volume 27
March 2023
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
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What is life?

by Jean Jones

And on the pedestal, these words appear:
My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings;
Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!

-Percy Bysshe Shelley

What is life?
Infinite sadness if we try to remember
that is why it is better
trying to forget
Infinite sadness, short, evocative, full of memory,
but cut short,
like a Summer's day remembered,
and then gone as you grow old, remembering,
until you can't remember anything at all,
just the slow passion of years
until we sleep and never get up
This is where we are-
no more than a whisper,
or as Percy Shelly says in "Ozymandias"
"Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal Wreck, boundless and bare
The lone and level sands stretch far away."

2018 Jean Jones

Originally from Bandung, Indonesia, Jean Jones received a BA in English in 1986 from UNC-Wilmington, and an MFA in Creative Writing: Poetry in 1988 from Bowling Green State University in Bowling Green, Ohio. Jean currently teaches Basic Skills at Cape Fear Community College in Wilmington, North Carolina .

Find more by Jean Jones in the Author Index.

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