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Flash Fiction


Poetry by Eman Quotah




Even now I feel his absence,
as old women's bones sense rain.
There are other relics
of our love. A shoebox of love letters
in my mother's attic,
an empty vial in the junk drawer,
the dagger
my husband slices apples with.
Lips that touched his.
And memories,
rosary beads I never stop fingering.
Don't ask me to teach you this grammar
of aching. Each night I dream the other:
Two pale gravestones like shoes in a closet.



Myth of the Modern Man
"Sometimes I wish I didn't have this awesome ability"--Snoopy

The emptiest galleries
are Pre-Columbian
and Asian I, II and III
(numbered downward like levels of hell).
With no visitors around,
we guards can sit.
Sometimes I spin a penny
on the hard bench,
write poems
in my pocket-sized notebook,
or see how many steps I can take
into the dark side corridors
before the automatic lights switch on.
It's 1990:
Iraq has invaded Kuwait,
"Can't Touch This" is the theme song
of the museum guards,
and I've fallen in love with writing again.
I fall in love, too, with modern art
and with Jackson Pollock.
Not his paintings--
his head, so huge the furrowed brow
is the size of my torso.
His skin cracks, parched earth.
His eyes are white-less, pupil-less
holes that show darkness
within. He looks
as though he's never been loved.
I'm 18, never been in love,
never been kissed,
never even had a really
really bad crush. He breaks
my heart, smashes it
like the Peanuts Dixie cup
on the splattered platform beneath him.
I want to put my arms around his forehead,
rest my cheek against his nose,
tell him I know now
art is not beauty
but something fracturing
gently inside you,
each time
a little to the left,
a little to the right,
but always
that familiar pain
you love.


About the Author

Eman Quotah is a writer who lives and works in Washington, DC. Her poetry has
appeared in New Works Review and Absinthe Literary Review.