Revelation 47

I wrote your name over and over on the underside of my quilt, hoping to make you my love song, but you called me kid and tried to have me barred from the venue. You never told anyone how you’d pushed me against the wall a few weeks earlier. I could measure you in millimeters, the space between my crown and yours. I kept on wearing your shirt and putting your lyrics on my shoes, in my underwear, dying my hair black, hoping you’d place your hand on my waistband again, pull me by my belt loops, but Shana said I should be happy just being out of school, summer’s kick of freedom to swing our arms and bang our heads, and sleep at each other’s houses for weeks sometimes, but she’ll never understand because her whole family’s got blond hair and money. When she read your words against the church, she knelt down before she crawled into my bed, offering a spoken prayer for my soul and protection for her own. Hours later, unable to sleep, I prayed unsavory prayers to a different sort of god, and lay there for a full year covered in black Sharpie.

 

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Beth Gilstrap is the author of I Am Barbarella: Stories (2015) from Twelve Winters Press and No Man’s Wild Laura (2016) from Hyacinth Girl Press. She thinks she’s crazy lucky to work as Fiction Editor over at Little Fiction | Big Truths. Her work has been selected as Longform.org’s Fiction Pick of the Week, nominated for storySouth’s Million Writers Award, Best of the Net, and The Pushcart Prize. She has been awarded several residencies including a stint at Oregon State University’s Spring Creek Project for ideas, nature, and the written word. Her work has appeared in Re:AL, Queen Mob’s Teahouse, The Minnesota Review, Literary Orphans, and Little Patuxent Review, among others. She lives in Charlotte with her husband and enough rescue pets to make life interesting (or flat out insane)


Jim Warner’s poetry has appeared in various journals including The North American Review, RHINO Poetry, New South, and is the author of two collections (PaperKite Press). His latest book, actual miles, will be released in 2017 by Sundress Publications. Jim is the host of the literary podcast Citizen Lit and is a faculty member of Arcadia University’s MFA program.

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