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๐—” ๐—ญ๐—ฒ๐—ฏ๐—ฟ๐—ฎ ๐—ฅ๐˜‚๐—ป๐˜€ ๐—”๐—ฐ๐—ฟ๐—ผ๐˜€๐˜€ ๐˜๐—ต๐—ฒ ๐—ฆ๐—ฎ๐˜ƒ๐—ฎ๐—ป๐—ป๐—ฎ

๐˜ฃ๐˜บ ๐˜™๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ฉ๐˜ข๐˜ณ๐˜ฅ ๐˜ž๐˜ฆ๐˜ข๐˜ท๐˜ฆ๐˜ณ



A Zebra runs across the savanna

where a man on LSD looks through a treeless diorama and rose-colored glasses, sees colors where black and white should be. A lion licks its claws without bloodying them as a neon-flavored zebra flares green and gold. Heโ€™s amused at first. Becomes concerned when the zebra gallops forward, swelling in his vision, dust mingling at its single-toed hooves, pink tongue hanging heavy. There are trees where no trees should be. And wetlands, or lands too wet to travel upon for plains zebras. And yet high yip barks echo across Africa, the landscape shifting as they shift, barcode stripes, as distinct as fingerprints, randomly appearing in a kaleidoscope. Rejected bachelor herds roam freely on tiptoe, no longer sniffing nose to nose, nuzzling cheeks, sniffing genitals, or rubbing their heads against a potential partnerโ€™s rump. No longer bothered with harems and dust paths leading to the best mare. Content in having black skin under their white stripes, they deny the existence of their stripe less cousins: horses and donkeys, distant as extinct quaggas, obvious aberrations of light. Simple kinds of simultaneity. A lonely quarter century lies ahead with much mutual grooming, and lions, leopards, cheetahs and hyenas to be heroically kicked while zigzagging away, emitting as they run, a high-pitched snort to โ€œfamilyโ€. Better than eyes opened-wide or bared yellow teeth. A bray, a bark or huff. Or the laying back of ears. In self-evident evolutionary terms: in their timeline the auditory spectrum opens wider than the visual.



ย 

Post-Covid, the author has returned as the writer-in-residence at the James Joyce Pub. Among his other pubs: conjunctions, Louisville Review, Southern Quarterly, Free State Review, Hollins Critic, NER, Loch Raven Review, The Avenue, & New Orleans Review. Heโ€™s the author of The Stars Undone (Duende Press, 1992), and wrote the libretto for a symphony, Of Sea and Stars (2005). Recently, his 180th prose poem was published. He was a finalist in the 2019 Dogwood Literary Prize in Poetry.

Speculative fiction & POETRY ZINE
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