Saturday 23 December 2023

Abandoned by Steve Gerson, stale coffee from the bottom of an unplugged percolator

My room was dark.  An unadorned Christmas tree, hospice-delivered but forgotten,
leaned against a corner void to my right.  No tensile streamers. No string of colorful lights.
Dry needles littered the floor, thirsting.  Ambience like a lost guest seeped in through the window to my left, a dim glow from a wintery gloom, the sun setting behind disturbed
clouds reflecting gray snow.  

I could hear but not see cars speeding on an overpass, their whoosh the sound of my intubation wheezing, heading rapidly toward a hazy destination. Minutes before, my caregiver had read
the chart hanging from my bed like an amputated foot.  

"How are you?" he asked, but his phone interrupted.  He shook the phone to dislodge a lost message, held up one finger in pause, said "Got to get this.  Be back soon," before he left the room not to return.

From my window, I saw a skeletal cell tower, out of service, no reception.  An abandoned grocery cart, wheel-deep in snow, sat empty in the cold field, wind whistling through it as a
marrowless bone flute to awaken specters in my dark room.

About the author

Steve Gerson writes poetry and flash about life's dissonance. He has published in CafeLit, Panoplyzine, Crack the Spine, Vermilion, In Parentheses, and more, plus his chapbooks Once Planed Straight; Viral; and the soon to be published The 13th Floor: Step into Anxiety from Spartan Press. 

Did you enjoy the story? Would you like to shout us a coffee? Half of what you pay goes to the writers and half towards supporting the project (web site maintenance, preparing the next Best of book etc.)

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