Aphelion Issue 254, Volume 24
September 2020
Long Fiction and Serials
Short Stories
Flash Fiction
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Flash Writing Challenge
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by Erric Emerson


She floated across dancefloor
enveloped in bloody-red furls,
gilded-purse glittering, slung
from nude shoulder. Cascade
of coal tresses over open back,
slyly matte smirk, a copper gaze
leveling men, pissing off steady’s,
the makings of a well-mannered scene.
My practiced words stuck-throat
on approach. She breaks ice,
"so u goin’ 2 dance wit me,
or should I find the Pellegrino?"

Neither of our prom-dates chanced
a cut-in, not the fast songs, the slow.
It was mostly her dragging me outside
for snuck-in smokes, the shotgun blast
to chest when I catch-eye; look away.


My failed tongue on simple PortuguÍs
words you teach with giggled patience,
I hear first language with your m„e at BBQ,
bona fide accent you slip into like a nightgown.
Feeling slick, I google-translate, then butcher aloud:
dÍ-me um beijo “Damie un bejue.”
Close-enough kiss, follows.


Our Jetta-talks. Respective walls razed brick
by brick on shook-grounds. Most nights we are
fruit- layers, layer, bruised core. The first to college
in a family, pursuit of doctor, I could see you as
a save-world. I am bottle-prone trying to find
my way out of brown paper bags.


The shower steam sheathes us
huddled in heat, the language of body,
we are green, young-blind, moment.


It def possess me.
It make me walk thru walls n shit.
Did it hurt, Em?
Walking through walls?
When it took you.
Oh. Like riding shotgun. Eyez in my eyez.

All of your haunts.
Palaver with Quija. Candles settling mood.
Murmured arcane arts. Contact.
It comes and goes like a fickle stray.
I am horror-flick-montage, deep in books
of lore, rhetoric of fiends, cleansing house
procedure. I’m no priest but Born Again.

That must count for something.

© 2019 Erric Emerson

Erric Emerson is a founding member of Duende literary journal and guest edits Aji literary journal. He has published some 40 poems in 20 plus magazines, and his first collection Counting Days was published in December of 2017.

Find more by Erric Emerson in the Author Index.

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