Carrie Cutforth
1. The Pining Heart

Roberta pined for Tim so long her skin ejaculated splinters into the palms of any other lover that dared caress her skin.

2. Forgive Me Nots

Li was anxious to apologize for her grave mistake but feared Michel’s wrath. So she dispatched overwrought messages in bottles in hopes his anger would abate somewhat by the time they lapped towards his feet on the shore.

3. Jackdaw Messages

Growing impatient, the crows caged in Jane’s heart broke out from her carriage and carried off all her words clutched tightly in their black talons. And Jane sighed, for Jackdaws only steal secret messages, and could not be trusted. She should have taken greater care and employed carrier pigeons to deliver her ciphers faithfully to The Alchemist.

Even now, she watched as overhead the Jackdaws carelessly dropped words that fluttered down towards the murky sea. The potion needed to mend All The Little Achy Things would never make its way back into her hands.

4. Tumble Words

Lucy opened her mouth, and words tumbled out, leaping to their death like lemmings. A few had clung to her lower lip before she managed to shake them off like spittle.

5. Selkie

Nate said he’d never felt so well loved. Liza said she’d never felt less. But she forgave him because she knew how to love well, forgive well, live well, and knew he didn’t comprehend what that meant — the old sailor who only understood the surface of the sea, and not the deep sea creatures beneath it, lovely and seductive as they are. The ones she would fillet the meats into parchment and secrete their inks into finely formed words and blotted stained tears — cannibal that she was.

6. Wept Words

Teresa wept words that slid down her cheek, forming pools of sentences on her sleeve: indecipherable and unintelligent.

An errant apostrophe clung to the cleft of her lip. She let it, knowing punctuation marks evaporate quickly with the warmth of the sun.

February 15, 2018
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