Seven pieces by Vallie Lynn Watson
I called her Dialtone. I felt no jealousy, nor guilt. Pity. And anger once, when she said she hated music though she’d married a drummer.
When he photographed me, I snuck one of him, promising deletion. I instead printed then hid it, deep in my lingerie drawer, visible through sheerness.
Using My Maiden Name
The bellhop addressed us as Mr. and Mrs., using my surname. From then on H. called me “Mrs.,” except in bed, where I was “Dr.”
Topless and Barefoot
Once in our room I removed all my clothes, then most of his. We didn’t dress for forty-eight hours, though he never removed his socks.
Two Hour Lunch
The last time I saw him I had the flu. He visited at noon, made breakfast in bed. We didn’t know we should say goodbye.
Broke by Noon
We crossed paths once, a few months later. I almost raised my hand as our cars passed, but then saw she was in the backseat.
No Room for the Blues
He circled the deflated hot air balloon, leaned down, rubbed the blue velvet-like material, and knew she’d be okay. He left the woods quietly, alone.
Vallie Lynn Watson‘s debut novel, A River So Long, was published by Luminis Books in 2012. Her Pushcart-nominated work appears in PANK, Frigg, Gargoyle, and other magazines. Watson received a PhD from the Center for Writers and teaches at UNC Wilmington.
Three pieces by Lori Cramer
Spotting my ex at a ballgame, I’m catapulted into the past: youth, revelry, indiscretion. Older and wiser now, I hurry away before he can see.
Pearls of Wisdom
He’d claimed to be at a baseball game with his buddies, but she suspected infidelity. The proof came later: a receipt from a jewelry store.
When we met, your mood matched your uniform, blue as a Picasso, but by evening’s end I’d transformed it into a lighter and brighter hue.
Lori Cramer’s short prose has appeared in Blink-Ink, Boston Literary Magazine, 50-Word Stories, Ink In Thirds, andWhale Road Review, among others. https://loricramerfiction.wordpress.com. Twitter: @LCramer29.
Eight pieces by Annmarie Lockhart
I warned you.
But you preferred
He holds my hand,
brings me flowers.
It’s curtain time.
Take a bow.
Exit stage right.
At the Barre
Stretch away the hangovers
trade fifths for eight counts
forget why you wanted to forget
pirouette, dizzy, but sober
lip-bruised blood blister
leftover from a new-moon night
fade before we remember
where we misplaced
the bouquet and the garter
Make the Cut
First, finger the margin,
find the edge, then slice,
clean, take some extra.
Leave nothing behind.
Stitch the incision.
Then the scar will guide you.
Find Me a Mannequin
I’m not asking for much:
dance partner hot pocket sous chef yes man open hand
good habit strong jaw teddy bear gold locket heart throb
My skin turned green in the shade
of the blocked sun, invisible ink
spilled secrets, told the tale
of how much
A minute before his head hit the rock
he told her he didn’t love her and
dove, deaf to her curses, streaking
the lake bloodshot.
Baguette Me Not
Bring me cream puffs, lobster tails,
cannoli. Spin me sugar that tastes like love.
Pull me passion fruit taffy. Frost my skin.
Or kiss me.
Annmarie Lockhart is the founding editor of vox poetica, an online literary salon dedicated to bringing poetry into the everyday, and Unbound Content, an independent press devoted to poetry. A lifelong resident of Englewood, NJ, she writes two miles east of the hospital where she was born. You can find her words at fine places in print and online.