Young bone

bends 

Sways

like saplings

before it splinters 

With enough pressure

a skull caves

dark interior

extinguishable     by the light

Your hands

are perfect

tools for it

the shape

of love

all craft         all armor

palms

like mallets

even at rest

every surface

a target

Cambridge, MA, 2019

REACTION TIME IS A FACTOR IN THIS SO PLEASE PAY ATTENTION

When you meet    she crosses

the room to you    Precisely

This hand      in this suit

coat pocket      This arm

swinging here to here Football

measured       heel to tile

a steady knocking

When she pulls     the trigger

she takes life      to save yours

Follows      you home

waits      for your heart

to soften       past the edges

to stop hedging     at the light

When you finally reach

she will be      just out of reach

Already      out of the frame

Already lifting      her jacket

from the chair   sleeves waving

from her        brisk walking

Cambridge, MA, 2019

I WOULD HAVE PREFERRED HIS ARMS

or to be formed      of clay

But I was not asked

What's inside        turns me

toward him

even now

as he cracks

the turtle's shell

just to peek inside     pull

the halves apart

I watch

wish for him to find

what he needs

in this

so he can name it

Today

just beyond

the tree line

for the second time

I forgot him

A kind of death

I didn't know        I wanted

a joy

all my own

Cambridge, MA, 2019

Ralph Pennel is the author of A World Less Perfect for Dying In, published by Cervena Barva Press. Ralph’s writing has appeared in The Ocean State Review, The Iowa Review, Literary Orphans, F(r)iction, and various other publications. His work has been nominated for a Pushcart, the Best Small Fictions Anthology, and he was twice a finalist for Somerville Poet Laureate. Ralph is a founding editor and the fiction editor for the online literary journal, Midway Journal.

 

http://midwayjournal.com

http://ralphpennel.com

YOU HAVE BURNED SO VERY BRIGHTLY​