Monday, February 13, 2017

Matthew Borczon

Souls

(1)

hard
to dispute
the logic
of a
5 year old
Eliza wakes
up shaking
crying she
calls my
name

she is
afraid of
dying again
this feeling
swallows her
like a
hand inside
a pocket.

(2)

As I
hug her I
stroke her
hair and
give her
the Catholic
answers my
parents gave
me at
her age

don’t worry
it’s a
long long
way off
and when
it does
happen I
will be
waiting with
grandpa and
all your
family

Eliza’s voice
breaks
“Daddy
I’m the
youngest
so I
will have
to be
alone for
so long”

I think
she cries
her weight
in tears.

(3)

I can
only hold her
feel scared
I know
alone
it has
ridden
my shoulder
daily since
the war

I know
fear
of death
I have
held a
dead child’s
body and
handed it
back to
its father

I know
fear of life
after war
fear for
men without
legs or arms
fear of
my own life
without faith
with almost
no soul left

fear of
crowds and
the feeling
that no
matter how
many people
are around
I am still
dying alone
by minutes
and inches.

(4)

I say
nothing
just pull
her close
cry with her
in silence
as I
promise
to her
to me
to the universe
and every
religions God
that I
will get
some of
my soul
back

buy it
steal it
reclaim it
rebuild it
out of
something
or out
of nothing
some how
some way
I will
have it
so I
can leave
it with
her when
I go.


Matthew Borczon is a nurse and Navy sailor. He is the author of a Clock of Human Bones from Yellow Chair Review Press, and Battle Lines from Epic Rites Press. His next book, Ghost Train, will be out in June 2017 from Weasel Press.  Sleepless Nights and Ghost Soldiers is set for a release in 2017 from Grey Boarders Press as well. He publishes widely in the small press. 

Friday, February 10, 2017

Sheldon Lee Compton

Bakadewin (Hunger)


The Wendigo stood to be seen in its full form, the emaciated body, skin so flecked and brittle it could peel open in a breeze, the ribs a resting canopy across its middle, its legs little more than a jutting tangle of pulsing veins. In its hand was the swirling ball of the earth. Its eyes were sad, a vivid green against the stygian backdrop of the universe. And though its eyes shined sadness, the mouth was a horrible circle of tongue and teeth, the insides slickened wet. Yawning, it stretched its boney jawline to breaking and revealed the depths of its throat throbbing with life, anticipation. It was as if the mouth cried separately to be nourished, like an infant trapped inside the face of a monster. In one blurring gesture, the Wendigo cupped its meal with shredded fingers and gave a long, sepulchral wheeze.

The earth did spray like
stardust resplendent light from
its mouth and was gone.

Sheldon Lee Compton is the author of three books, most recently the novel Brown Bottle (Bottom Dog Press, 2016). His stories can be found in Unbroken Journal, Gravel, New World Writing, PANK, Monkeybicycle, DOGZPLOT, Spelk, WhiskeyPaper, and elsewhere. He was cited in Best Small Fictions 2015 and Best Small Fictions 2016.