Poetry

One hundred years of solitude and all I got was this lousy t-shirt

Why do you love lighthouses
she said
what’s with all those maps of distant islands
she said
and those other ones of the stars.
I don’t know
he said
maybe
he said
maybe
I miss somewhere
he said
somewhen
he said
maybe that’s how nostalgia was born.
Adam’s lament for home and we
his children.

O, Majnun!
they said
why do you sift the desert sands
they said
you will not find Layla there.
And Majnun said:
I search for her
everywhere
in the hopes of finding her
somewhere.

In this age of starships and relativity
as we journey out into the dark
we should not be surprised if
on another world
our ships land on other shores and
beneath alien suns
we find our old friend Majnun
sifting through those alien sands
ever-searching
ever-seeking
his belov’d.

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Prose

Babylon

next door
the lovemaking
subsides
stars fall
from other worlds

anonymous

THERE was the time I found that old laptop in the attic and I asked and I asked but no one knew where it came from. It was dusty and slow — Windows 95 and all that — and inside were stories written by a sixteen-year-old girl called Elizabeth.

The stories were about heartache.
The stories were about young love.
The stories were about moving to New York and being an artist and living in a small apartment that looks over Central Park, watching the sun set on another day and you; you that much closer to the truth.

It was the sort of stuff young girls called Elizabeth write about.

They were not particularly well written.
They weren’t Hemingway.
They weren’t Márquez.
They certainly weren’t Jack Gilbert.
But they were unfinished.

I spent long summer nights dreaming about those stories. And I searched and I searched but I never could find her — there are a lot of Elizabeths in the world.

So I did what anyone else would do: I began to write.

I wrote to fill the emptiness left by those long forgotten stories written by a young girl in a small town called Babylon; waiting to grow up, waiting to find home.

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