He didn't mean to imply that love was the length of a roller coaster ride. Or that ashes could settle quickly. Looking birdlike under her over-sized rayon robe, perhaps one kept from a laconic lover, she kept telling him to say what he means. His eyes turned to cold-metal stillness.


She thought of old ravens, sculpted from bronze with painful precision. One stood over a glass case in her father's house by the sea.


He broke through his own cracks and said that two lives don't necessarily add up to One. She uncrossed her legs, full of nubs and tiny spasms. She rose and said "I need more than just your seeds." He left. Outside the air tickled his nose. He thought of feathers and why babies need so much sleep.







A woman unravels in her sleep.

If she could slap herself at the right moment,

she could photo-shop her dream,  post it on Deviant Art.

Here's the photo-shopped dream:

A French detective whispers into his phone

that there is a murder of chocolate ducks in the playground.

This is a fix of time that would look great

in an acrylic medium, thinks the woman beneath the woman.

Or maybe the French detective was a collage

of street-wet eyes with old tunnel visions, a gallery

of fingerprints that never added up.

In Paris, there's an old saying

that the chocolate ducks had already melted.



 Hieronymus can't afford their ghosts.

 The words he types levitate,

 turn to human forms searching

 for warmth, redemption. He's backspacing

 a love letter to a girl

 who hung herself upside down.

 This way he can almost reconcile

 himself to the fact

 that his timing was off.

 And there was the love-sodden

 Norse woman with big greedy hips

 who made him Spanish omelets in

 an apartment of midnight suns.

 Above their simple design of words,

 chimney smoke rose in slow dances of despair.

 Orange peels, the curled skins

 of Akero apples on the table

 reminded him of the natural source

 of fragrance. He told her

 that happiness is best

 when it is timed. He left her

 with a delicious pippin of a lie.

 The cell phone chirps an angry

 bird of a diva's voice and the husband

 with hot charcoal rocks between his words

 is telling H. that he will kill him.

 Hieronymus doesn't admit to anything.

 Instead his brain hums in the silence,

 he knows that like everything

 reduced to unending endings,

 now the two of them are doubled down

to nothing.


KYLE HEMMINGS lives and works in New Jersey. He has been published in Elimae, Smokelong Quarterly, This Zine Will Change Your Life, Blaze Vox, Matchbook, and elsewhere. He loves 50s Sci-Fi movies, manga comics, and pre-punk garage bands of the 60s.