Image by Geraldine Dukes from Pixabay


She lays out cards—real cards, bigger than most,
not watching the half-finished solitaire
on her screen. Pictures are colorful, bright
as outdoors, meaning more than her poor sight
can read. They tease her small mind. She might
spread the cards again. They’re larger than most.
No voices are left. No words anywhere.

Something’s here that she’s forbidden to see:
Flying swords, delicate faces, a death—
not hers—that linger in this close, stale air.
She shakes a cigarette, ruffles her hair.
She feels stabbed by silence, while she stares
at something she’s forbidden to see.
How much longer will the world hold its breath?

Mark J. Mitchell was born in Chicago and grew up in southern California. His latest poetry collection, Starting from Tu Fu was just published by Encircle Publications. A new collection is due out in December from Cherry Grove.He is very fond of baseball, Louis Aragon, Miles Davis, Kafka and Dante. He lives in San Francisco with his wife, the activist and documentarian Joan Juster, where he made his marginal living pointing out pretty things. Now, like everyone else, he’s unemployed. He has published two novels and three chapbooks and two full length collections so far. Titles on request.A meager online presence can be found at

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