Over the hill of horizon the compass desert rose, cactus thorning north, south, east, and wick getting long as day as wax smokes and shrinks. An alcove candles devotion, everything that hope smote. A heavy door seals prayers combustible, an explosion of dove. The gun.

Black lace shadows a dead new bride. Earthquake the new ferry, a Styx with no boatman.

She, buying a pee stick and Chiclets at the 7-11. Making change, the clerk laid silver on her eyes. The fluorescents flickered noon. Pan, read the package of bread. Pan, strobed the retina when the TV went off.

The garage door shakes a train that smells like oily rags. Mom’s home early.


  1. Meg Tuite

    Hi Sara! OH JOY OF JOYS!
    DAMN! Sentences that live and breathe misting over each other! It’s gorgeous! “Over the hill of horizon..” The movement from translucent to exposure is amazing. At the store, Mom’s home….the gun… all of these just like the ‘black lace’ ‘the clerk laid silver on her eyes’ every part of this is a journey that does bring us through horrific tension with every word into that last piece, “The garage door shakes a train that smells like oily rags.” Holy shit! ‘combustible’ ‘explosion’ ‘a dead new bride’ ‘a Styx with no boatman’
    This is palpable and frightening and every word brings us closer! Truly brilliant! I’m not breathing! Send this killer out! WOW! LOVE!

  2. Georgiana Nelsen

    love the way each sentence leads to the next, ramping the tension and the explosion! Great work.

  3. Robert Vaughan

    Sara, this piece rocks with your envious use of lovely prose poetry, lyrical sentences, word selections and the tension so palpable. Love the desert setting (CAN’T WAIT!!!) and the imagery, the lyrical balances. Also your so effective use of (oomph!) white space- why a dead bride, why the two things she purchases at the 7-11. On and on, until ‘Mom’s home early,” we are left with so much to ponder. Effective use of such a tight, spare flash piece. Agree with Meg, send it out!

  4. Faye Rapoport DesPres

    Whew – wow. I echo all of the compliments above. “The garage door shakes a train that smells like oily rags.” What a great sentence.

  5. Aimee Parkison

    Sara, the diction, sounds, and haunting imagery read like prose poetry with so many memorable sentences. I love it!!!

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