Moonlobe, Jungle, She
By Hannah E. Phinney

He is standing frontwise to the skylight in a room whose walls are flower-explosioned and whose ceiling slants are such that they can only be capping the space at the very top of that ancient house. He is gazing at the milky lobe of moon with eyeballs melancholy-wrappered, since he hears and cannot unhear her cries rising from below – piths of sound impaling his eartubes. Sobbing writes his name and loops endlessly. It is a deadly looping, a blackhole of wounded into which he falls each time her voice sirens up through the floorboards. He thinks: to moonwalk back through time and fork the inevitable path…to create another one, whatever one, any one that leads somewhere other than here. Warm brine fills his eye-wrappers especially at the corners smudging peripheral foliage the gamut of spinach to chartreuse the gamut of strangler fig to bromeliad which plasters the walls etc.

Minutes flex, expand. Still he’s staring at the moonlobe, a placard in the blackened sky, and it has inched upwards and been lightly razored to flout its waxing gibbous-ness. Her chained wails stream continually upwards to him likewise. But dragon lilies dip off of paper into the attic’s dimensionality; waxy boatbig leaves bow into the room; jeweled petals swoop into the space. The jungle is creeping in around him. Monkeys exit their insensate drawings to hop and scamper and birdcalls ring atop his lover’s upfloating grief. He seems unnoticing until a bloodorange bird-of-paradise falls poppingly into position by his noseorgan, and at this he’s closing his marinated lids and inhaling with vigor… There is the zzzztt of an internal zipper unzipping as he accidentally nostalgia-drenches for her bed hair at morningtime.

Skylight-facing he has been for some while now, feet planted and limp arms dangling samely. The alabaster moon tickles the top of his vision, first quartered now crescent waxing, and he moves not, although his slowly-drying swampy peepers have followed the sphere’s ascent through that starless coalbucket named Space. Infrequently do his ex-lady’s moans attain him. They sidle almost afterthought into his heartvalves. Moss is spreading underfoot; vines are curlicuing contentedly; the neon lights of maneating blooms are everywhere. Gone is bed, desk, dresser. He is sinking etherealwise into the caws of mad avian species, or perhaps into the numbing hum of prismed insecta. He is watching as the bleached moon dyes its last bits inky and becomes new. Her laments have fallen faraway. They are only whispers across an ocean of forest.

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Hannah E. Phinney recently received her M.A. in linguistics. She is currently slinging booze and writing semi-surrealistic flash fiction while deciding whether to spend another decade in school. Hannah lives in San Francisco with her fiancé and their developmentally-challenged ball python Zoko.


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