Sparks, Fiction

Dominic and his mom bounced all over the Northeast. They uprooted annually, traveled to the next claustrophobic city – next dull town. Everywhere felt the same.

When Dominic met Katie – another teenager and fellow forced wanderer – sparks flew right away. The two latched on, held tight.

And they never let go.

Expand full comment

The Family Restaurant, Fiction

Tom gave one last look around the family restaurant. So many memories. Checkered tablecloths. Gumball machine. Height markers from when him and his brother were kids.

He finished emptying the gasoline onto the kitchen floor, then struck a match. Tom walked away into the cold night. He never looked back.

Expand full comment
Jan 6, 2023·edited Jan 6, 2023Liked by Justin Deming

THE FRESH START, prose poem by Sharron at 🍁Leaves

Although many reckless and impulsive promises will fail,

young women know that after the fading of the bruises,

the licking of the wounds,

there is always a chance to start over.

When women are older, chances for new beginnings run out

and time remains only for the wisest of choices.

Expand full comment

Step, Fiction

Today was Arthur's 70th birthday. The mirror confirmed as much, with his stretched leather skin and his nicotine-yellow teeth.

All his life, Arthur had lived indoors

doing nothing but worry, leaving his dreams for sleep.

Today he stepped out for the first time.

He never stepped back.

Expand full comment
Jan 8, 2023Liked by Justin Deming

Severance Pay (Fiction)

She'd hoped nobody would recognize her with longer hair and bold lipstick,

being used to a face that blended with the background, except when she smiled

and then only because of her overbite. She smirked as she cleared the lobby unobserved

surprised no one noticed the blood on her shirt.

Expand full comment

Winter Highs and Lows - CNF

A beautiful 40 degree afternoon melts the stubborn snow still stuck to the street. The car wash is packed with salt-encrusted cars and owners who are excited that their doors won’t freeze shut after washing.

The next morning it doesn’t matter. Snow blankets the ground. Fresh from a midnight storm.

Expand full comment
Jan 10, 2023Liked by Justin Deming

Zillow - Fiction

Under contract, finally. Thirty five years, four kids, six dogs, one long career.

Little plastic people, staring out with smiles.

Acrylic paint peeling off, revealing colors more vibrant, beautiful, some scars.

They embrace. One, maybe both, whispered “fuck yeah!”

They tumbled down, scraped off the icing, and didn’t look back.

Expand full comment
Jan 7, 2023Liked by Justin Deming

That Missing Minute

streaming all New Year's Eve

mostly Action Kid from Times Square

out on the street

but in the last minute of countdown am buffering

am I stuck in a time warp

out of sync

time traveling between the years

don't feel any different

but am I sensitive enough to know

Expand full comment