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©2018 Barren Magazine. An Alt.Lit Introspective.

Still, a Twist of Pale Limbs


by Marley Stuart

I do think of them, the couple
sleeping on the steps of the church
up the street from our hotel.

I passed twice, on my way
to the cafe and back again
with coffee. Still they slept,

back to back, exactly
as my wife and I sleep.
I couldn’t see the woman’s face,

only the man’s: my own
thin beard, pointed cheekbones
and nose, like a picture of me

had been snuck there
where I’d find it. They lay
on flattened boxes so close

that the doors would hit them
if opened from within. A bag
of their things even hung

from the knob. Their ruined shoes
stood in a line against the wall,
and their feet were black from walking.

Then they were waking up
and I went past as if I’d never
stopped. But they followed me

through the day, and even now
I think of them as lucky.
I have gone nowhere.

My feet are so smooth.

Header photograph © Jason D. Ramsey.

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