November 4, 2015

Christian Bell



You know the story of Calliope trapped in a room.  Ideas hit you like a murder of crows.  At first you marvel at the multitude.  Soon, they shackle you to the wall, peck and peck until you are wounds.  Calliope, hair torn and clothes askance, laughs a song, hope turned to despair.


We stood side by side, looking at the lutes through the glass.  You said, split avocados.  I said, ancient rock guitars.  We knew the hands that once played them have long been dust.  I saw your reflection in the glass, a silhouette in charcoal. I reached for your hand but it wasn't there.


Her sound drifted through the window like the aroma of cooking curry, enticing to the wandering palate.  He walked by, hearing the soothing viola notes, his vanilla clothes brightening to fruit salad mélange.  Stay and listen, as the world marched, deaf grays hollowing out the remaining ears.


I am lost in hammered leaves and crunchy steel.  My mouth wrapped in finest muslin. Scream and it's lonely music, beautiful.


You thought, I've never actually heard music on an elevator before.  You wonder, maybe I will when I die.  You pray, I hope it goes up, and the music is good.


Christian Bell lives near Baltimore, Maryland. His fiction has appeared in SmokeLong Quarterly, Wigleaf, and JMWW Quarterly, among other publications.

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