Sharp-dressed Dead People by Brad Rose

As soon as I can, I’m going to become a whole different person, because whenever I talk to myself, I’m uncertain about who’s listening to whom. Naturally, it takes some time to get to know yourself, especially if you’re not interested. I think I’ll wait here until something beautiful happens. Pride goes before a fall, even if it doesn’t burn many calories. Each year, I stand in the shower for three-thousand, six hundred, and fifty minutes. The water smooths its cool hologram over me as I wonder, Am I a security threat because I have no heart? Both sides claim that the other side suffered heavy casualties. Of course, that doesn’t explain why there are so many sharp-dressed dead people walking around town. Is this a motel or a hotel? There are so many guests here, but no one seems to know if it’s OK to hunt them for food, or for sport.

Brad Rose was born and raised in Los Angeles, and lives in Boston. He is the author three collections of poetry and flash fiction, Pink X-Ray (Big Table Publishing, 2015), de/tonations, (Nixes Mate Press, 2020), and Momentary Turbulence (Cernvena Barva Press, 2020). WordinEdgeWise from Cerven Barva Press is forthcoming in later 2021. His poems have appeared in Cultural Weekly, Bending Genres, the LA Times, and the American Journal of Poetry. A complete list of publications is available at:  Brad’s website is: Selected readings can be heard at

Contemplating a Nest by Mario Kersey

The gray, gauzy sky bled sunlight as I wandered around in the backyard, barefoot.  We had another disagreement which became protracted, leaving me to meander to the treehouse; the previous owners furnished it for their kids. I pondered the big questions of life whenever I occupy it. I also go there when I just need to get away from us without stuffing myself into a car and driving aimlessly. I’m never an alert driver in my contemplative phase.

I felt the weight of her eyes upon me like a finger resting tapping my shoulder seeking to turn me around.  It was a battle of wills as I struggled to resist the gravity of her silent demand.  I walked further away, closer to the treehouse to weaken her gravitic tendrils. I tried to think of something pleasant, but could only think about us.  I entered the treehouse, finally.

Since the passing of her father, arguments have become a new routine.  Mostly benign in origin and resolution, but last night was considerably vitriolic. I checked my mental diary I call Why Am I with Her to take inventory for why we should remain together.  I didn’t know which chapter to review first. I paused. Thought. She is palatable to me like I am to her, I supposed. Our love was sepulchral, stable.  I couldn’t see myself beyond her, and for ten years our bond made me secure. I would reestablish my orbit around her, I worried.

For the time being, I stayed in the treehouse staring through a small window at the cardinals repairing their nest, finding myself suddenly envious.

Mario Kersey possesses a nigh pathological taste for cabbage.  When not consuming his leafy obsession he manages to get work published in IodineMixed MagCP QuarterlyDead Skunk Mag.