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Flash Fiction


Poetry by Glenn Ingersoll


One Year

I am beginning to fall in love
with somebody who returns my phone calls.
Who last week asked me to help him plan his birthday party.
In a big back yard and in our old clothes
his friends and my friends are going to be hurling pies around.
Pies will fly through the air and mess up our dignity.
I am looking forward to it.
I tell him I like this age.


The Offer Distance Makes

It is one of those houses that poke
over the edge of a cliff. Guests can walk out
onto the back deck which quivers a little
though perfectly capable of holding a party's
worth of dancing. Far below, the skinny river
glistens beneath ebbing mist.
One year it rained
and rained. It rained and rained and
the river rose to the rain's continual prodding,
and the gorge that the passage of its body
had pressed deep into hills
became too small for a body now gargantuan,
and implausibly furious. What had been beautifully
falling away, the sort of view you retire to,
a soothing play of light on currents and the green
it feeds even deep into dry summers,
lifted itself, cold, black, powerful, against
a house that had always been playfully
taking a step toward a fall, maybe flight.
Here was the distance come to call.
It brought its cold impersonal power inside and the weight
forced the house to shift a little,
riding what it had been reaching for,
the distance nudging it.
So it didn't go.
And the distance went back to view,
which two of the people who've come out with their drinks,
who rest their elbows on the railing,
talking about simple things,
look down at and appreciate.





About the Author


Glenn Ingersoll's work has been published in Exquisite Corpse, The Quarterly, Phoebe, and Columbia Poetry Review, among other places. In 1993 he won the Charles B. Wood Memorial Award from the Carolina Quarterly. Spring of 1999 saw the publication of City Walks (Broken Boulder Press).