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Flash Fiction



Poetry by Marlene Lintzer


Matt in Palestine

I said the snow was like Palestine-

the Palestine by the river,
the one they said swam like
a fish, in the Dead Sea, which
was choked with salt, and looked
beautiful in the morning-

and I sat down.

and he wandered to Jerusalem, and he was sick
from the sun, and then came home,

and pressed his head against
the snow-

it was the wall in the end,
and the river. it was the Lebanon
of his folded hands,

and in the fever,
the palestine fever
that was as red
as a comet, he stood by the
pale wall

(pale as his Jericho eyes)

I said
the snow
was like
Jerusalem. cupped it into my hands
until they burnt, and then I dropped
it on the cracked ground

and walked inside.
he was against the
wall. I could see him.
I could

see him like a fish in
a river, a

river of salt



Discussion between the Southerner and the Giant Squid

"Discussion between the Southerner and the Giant

Southerner: I went to an accredited university, among
the battlefields, the cedar trees, the red rivers
which flooded, come summer. I
adapted the habits of my people. then I moved north-
for the ocean! now I live in
an apartment building
over the continental
shelf, and I swim even
in the awful storms. the salt burns the inside of my
I cannot understand why
any-body would fall in love with me

Giant Squid: would you like me to say you less lonely?
what flags
have I unfurled? I know no banners. you have no idea
that I exist.

Southerner: I would like to know some alien
here the sea is roughened.
it feels like sand,
and when I sit in
the sand, it is wet,
perhaps because I cannot see you, I am lonely.

Giant Squid: then fall asleep
open-mouthed, like a silver fish beneath
the brown stars. I will not leave the unconscious
weedy gloom-
the eyeless fish-
the constant warmish ebb, coming sometimes to flood.



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