Chornby and Leo the Blind Man by Tom Sheehan

Silence is the color
 in a blind man’s eyes 

Leo wondered if it was some kind of contest, if it smacked of more than what it seemed. He had heard the poem a hundred times, Chornby always walking around with the book in his shirt pocket or back pocket suddenly reading it to him, again and again, and Leo, the Blind Man of North Saugus, let the words sink in and become part of him, part of his sightless brain. Just like Chornby had become part of him. Chornby’s face he could not picture, nor eyes, nor beard, nor jut of chin, but settled on the imagination of Chornby’s hands and could only do so when he felt his own slim unworked hands, the thin fingers, the soft palms, the frail knuckles, how the fingers wanted to touch a piano but couldn’t, or a woman, but who wants a blind man?

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A Dream Lover by Frederick K Foote

You’re alone hurrying by under cloudy night skies.

I’m lost in the shadows on the lips of the fetid alley. I’m feverish, near fainting, fading, fading away. You catch a glimpse of me, spy me, eye me, wonder, imagine me. You race away to lock your doors, check your windows.

In your simple underwear you slip between smooth, clean, cotton sheets and dream me, dream me tall, slender, strong.

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Tender Kentucky by Emma Dahlsten

Carrie tilts her head on the back of the vinyl seat on Bus 109 and breathes deeply for the first time in two weeks. The collar of her pressed white uniform is smudged with day old makeup and tears. Her shifts at Memorial Hospital are becoming longer and her patience shorter for the everyday cold and flu vaccinations. She lets her head roll until the tip of her nose touches frosted glass. Her eyes flutter open to see a man in his seventies, draped in loose cotton, stare back at her and wave. The man gives a one-toothed grin and turns his back, shielding whatever sits behind his tall frame. She allows her eyelids to become heavy and falls asleep to the soft lull of the bus’s engine as it trucks through Louisville, Kentucky.

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Brisling’s Code by Tom Sheehan

“Brisling!” yelled his boss Marquis, “if you don’t get out of the way, I’ll kick your ass for good.” And Marquis, darker but plump himself, wearing an atrocious suit with orange lines in it, smiled that puffy-cheeked grin he’d always use, like it was punctuation itself. I’m the boss and you’re the slob, it said. It was nothing less than a tongue speaking right at Brisling’s ear. Even commas and periods were in place, the exclamation points by the fingers. If there were question marks, he’d know them. He bet he could quote him verbatim, all the ways the boss man moved. All of it was catalogued, scored, filed away in his mind.

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